Maxine Hong Kingston 's Poem, The Woman Warrior, And A Chinese Folk Tale

880 Words 4 Pages
In 1975, Maxine Hong Kingston wrote a book that blends a collection of memoirs, an autobiography and a Chinese folk tale. Throughout The Woman Warrior, Kingston reports a complex portrayal of the 20th century experiences of Chinese-Americans living in the U.S in the shadow of the Chinese Revolution. “ White Tigers”, the second chapter, has the feel of a warrior epic. It is drawn from a traditional Chinese myth about a woman who fights in place of her father. It is separated into two completely opposing sections. the first one being the telling of Fa Mu Lan’s heroic story, portraying a strong, independent woman of courage, and the other is the narrator’s description of her American life, a life that underestimates women and undermines their place in society. Fa Mu Lan’s story is greatly gripping because it’s told as if Kingston were actually the warrior herself. Kingston’s fantasy is a symbol of women’s want to change their roles in our modern day society. This text is great because not only Chinese women can relate to it, but all women from all around the world, who grew up in a society, led by unwanted and uncertified customs.

The story of Fa Mu Lan provides an alternative to the traditional Chinese beliefs about women in society. As the woman warrior, Kingston takes on a traditionally male role, wearing male armor and commanding men who fight under her. Note also how Kingston’s husband’s role is reversed in the chapter. In the fantasy, he leaves battle to return home…

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