Essay on Maxine Hong Kingston 's No Name Women

788 Words Jul 17th, 2016 4 Pages
While industrially similar, China and America have very different social cultures. Maxine Hong Kingston’s “No Name Women” provides me insight with the Chinese culture and how sexual activity is handled. The overall response may have evolved over time, but it is quite interesting seeing a different, cultural response to adultery and misconduct. I wonder why Kingston’s mother fixated her time on telling such a story as if it were her own, and why Kingston’s aunt kept her life secret from her friends and family.
Unlike the United States, China emphasizes collectivism; friends of friends and family members of different households give priority to the whole community, not the individual. Thus in a collectivistic culture such as the Chinese culture, questions would surely arise if individuals kept to themselves. Kingston’s aunt kept a secret from her fellow villages, and her actions caused subsequent backlash. The Chinese culture demanded “Children and lovers have no singularity”; deviating from this norm thus “frightened” the “roundness” established. They “punished her” because she wanted a “private life, secret” life. They refused to let her live peacefully because villages “depended on one another the maintain the real.” While they believe the secret to be a life of extravagance, lust and adultery, Kingston speculates the shame burdened to her aunt is caused by another man’s infidelity. Perhaps Kingston’s aunt “saved her inseminator’s name” out of fear of repercussions from…

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