Ghosts of a Different Generation in Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrio

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Maxine Hong Kingston wrote The Woman Warrior as a collection of stories from her childhood. She is a child of Chinese immigrants who grew up in America, and battled between the culture she was living in and the one Chinese culture her mother tried to preserve. One aspect of Chinese culture that is different between Maxine and her mother, Brave Orchid, is the distinction between ghosts for each person. Maxine and her mother encounter different types of ghosts, and have thus have different reactions than the other. Brave Orchid was born in China, and lived there for many years before making the journey to America to join her husband. She was raised with traditional Chinese culture, and that included ghosts. In old China, ghosts are …show more content…
Her reaction further pushes her children to believe everyone who is different is a ghost. Maxine has different encouters with different ghosts than her mother. Brave Orchid taught Maxine that unless someone was of Asian descent, they were a ghost. Maxine went to an American school in the day, and she referred to everyone as a ghost. There were different kinds of ghosts, but they were all ghosts. This concept is exemplified very well when Maxine states, “I liked the Negro students (Black Ghosts) best because they laughed the loudest and talked to me as if I were a daring talker too,” (Kingston 166). Her statement proves that when a student was different than her, she considered them a ghost. She also claims during a basketball game when she was younger that “I hadn't memorized which ghosts were on my team and which were on the other,” (Kingston 173). Maxine was curious about the ghosts she encountered because they were real people. Maxine is not afraid of the ghosts, but she considers them ghosts because of the stories from her mother. Brave Orchid did not want the origins of her famiy to be forgotten so she limited her children's contact with other cultures with notion that everyone who is different is a ghost. Maxine's family was scared of the ghosts country they lived in, and they often were very secretive because of their skepticism towards America. Many times they would refer to Americans as ghosts in front of the children which is where the idea that anyone

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