Essay The Woman Warrior- Silence (Theme)

803 Words May 11th, 2013 4 Pages
Theme: Silence (finding one’s own personal voice)
Kingston gives a voice to many of the voiceless women in the book, resulting in them discovering their identities as individuals. The theme of finding one’s own personal voice is a major theme in Kingston’s memoir. She makes various references to the physical and emotional struggle throughout the text by seeing the silence of the women in her family and Chinese culture. By adding her experience as a Chinese-American woman she tries to discover her voice. For Kingston, silence basically equals to a lack of voice, which she associates with the loss of identity as a woman.
In No Name Woman, you can see that Kingston fears that if she stays silent and doesn’t find her own voice, she would
…show more content…
For example, in the chapter White Tigers, the legend of the Chinese woman warrior Fa Mu Lan is a constant reminder to Kingston that women can exceed socially enforced limitations. Kingston discusses how as a child, she imagined herself to be like Fa Mu Lan, who saves not only her family but also her community, “the villagers would make a legend about my perfect filiality,” (Kingston, 45). In this chapter we see how, even as a child, Kingston dreamt of going past a life of insignificance. Brave Orchid’s story of the woman warrior proves how stories and legends of tradition Chinese culture can create alternative, and almost a destructive voice for women who otherwise would spend their life in silence due to the dominance of a patriarchal society.
The voicelessness of Chinese woman living in a patriarchal society is shown when Moon Orchid unwillingly confronts her Americanized husband and is unable to voice her years of rage and grief in At the Western Palace. Moon Orchid relays the tale of a woman, deserted by her husband, who has completely submitted to the patriarchal view that woman should always remain silent and never question male authority. When Moon Orchid goes to confront her husband, “…all she did was open and shut her mouth without any words coming out,” (Kingston, 152). Her loss of speech is the deciding factor in her husband’s decision that she has no place in his American life, “I have important American guests who

Related Documents