Response to Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior

Before you start reading, this post seems to be perpetually popular in my traffic statistics. The question this brings up for me is whether this is one of the few commentaries on these specific texts / films, or if there is another reason. I would appreciate insight, if you care to leave a comment. If not, you should probably read my statement on plagiarism. Thanks! On to the reason you’re here:


Any person living in the space between two cultures faces risks and rewards for abandoning his or her native culture for the culture of the adopted state. Additionally, that individual faces other risks in the attempt to straddle that liminal space. These risks become clarified in Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, in which she writes from the perspective of a second-generation immigrant, clearly straddling the cultural divide between China and the United States. One of the primary issues Kingston interrogates is the risk of assimilation, most clearly questioned when she writes, “How can Chinese keep any traditions at all…slipping in a ceremony and clearing the table before the children notice specialness[?]” (185). This interrogation points out the danger of losing custom and culture through the assimilation process.

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