Nameless Aunt Analysis

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Kingston opens her autobiography with a tale of a nameless aunt. She describes the way in which women who are impregnated out of wedlock are treated in China, in this case, utterly erased from memory. Her father 's sister committed suicide after all of the villagers in her rural Chinese village destroyed their home, taking the baby along with her. Then her name is forgotten, her line is severed, and she is denied the sacred burial rites of the Chinese.

Kingston reflects on this harsh treatment and wonders at how her aunt was impregnated. Was it rape? Or love? Kingston considers the effect Chinese society had on her aunt 's situation and tries to imagine what was going through her head. Was she simply obeying a male 's demand, as she had all her life? Or did she fall for him, ready and willing to do anything just to garner a glance? Kingston admits that her aunt 's plight haunts her, that her aunt 's memory and end plagues her thoughts. Kingston highlights the conflict between the rigidity of Chinese society with her experiences in immigrant America. Her two identities are in conflict, and the story of her nameless aunt
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For some years she was mute in school, and colored over pictures with black. She imagined they were black curtains, about to open. In that way, she viewed her life on a precipice, about to begin. In school, she was among a mix of white, black, and a few Chinese. Eventually she found her voice, but it was a weak voice, and she had trouble speaking loud enough to be heard. Yet when she caught another silent Chinese girl alone, she tormented the girl. Kingston hit and pulled and screamed at the girl to speak, and she hated her for what she represented. To Kingston, that girl represented a future that could have been hers. Kingston could have been a mute all her life, sheltered by her family and cowed into submission. But she found her voice, and with it her future in

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