Essay: The Woman Warrior

Sample Essay

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This essay is on The Woman Warrior by Maxine Kingston. Kingston deals with the sexism and racism in the world through writing The Woman Warrior.

Ghosts continuously surround Maxine Kingston, the American ghosts of her world and the ghosts of her mother’s talk-stories are continuously plaguing her: the ghost of the girl who followed the bird, the ghost of Fa Mu Lan, even the ghost of her mother, who chased a hairy boulder ghost from her medical school. In The Woman Warrior, Kingston employs the use of ghosts and talk-stories to develop her statement on feminism and to tell a convincing story of her life.

Ling, states that in writing The Woman Warrior, Kingston tried to “understand her own youth and upbringing” (Ling 459). Kingston combines ancient China and contemporary California together through examination of societal and ancestral ties. Kingston deals with the sexism and racism in the world through writing The Woman Warrior. Kingston feels estranged from both the dominant American culture and from the male-dominated Chinese culture.

Kingston utilizes ghosts to develop her point on feminism.

She grew up surrounded not only by the ghosts of the associates and characters who peopled her mother’s tales, but also by Americans who, as ‘foreigners,’ were measured ghosts by her mother. The young Maxine, in a country full of ghosts, is already a half-ghost to her mother” (Bryan 1634).

Kingston uses a Boulder ghost to show how her mother is strong and a great warrior.

‘You will not win, Boulder,’ she [Brave Orchid] spoke to the ghost ‘you so not belong here. Ghost, I will burn you out. I do not give in there is no pain you can impose that I cannot endure'” (Kingston 70).

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