The Woman Warrior

by

Maxine Hong Kingston

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Maxine Hong Kingston Character Analysis

The author and the narrator of The Woman Warrior, Kingston was the eldest of six children, though she believes that her mother had two more children—a son and a daughter—who died in China. Kingston reimagines the life of No Name Woman, the publicly shamed aunt whom she never knew. In a fantasy, she recreates herself as Fa Mu Lan, supposedly a real-life woman warrior, to escape her mother’s prediction that she would grow up to be “a wife and a slave.” Kingston narrates her mother Brave Orchid’s life, both her years as a successful doctor and midwife in Canton province, and her later years as a dutiful wife and mother working in their family-run laundry business in California. Kingston also narrates the thoughts and actions of her aunt, Moon Orchid, recalling the time when she lived with Kingston’s family. By usurping the voices of both living and dead women, figures from her life and legends from “talk-story,” Kingston is able to construct her own selfhood, which exists between her traditional Chinese culture and her American identity. She recalls that she was a straight-A student, but that her mother was indifferent to her academic success due her sense that grades had no practical use. Kingston rebels against the sexist criticism hurled at her by her mother and by members of her community, and she counters expectations based on her gender by pretending that she wants to assume unconventional roles, such as becoming a lumberjack in Oregon. Kingston later attends the University of California—Berkeley where she protests against the Vietnam War, which her brother was fighting in at the time.

Maxine Hong Kingston Quotes in The Woman Warrior

The The Woman Warrior quotes below are all either spoken by Maxine Hong Kingston or refer to Maxine Hong Kingston. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Storytelling and Identity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Woman Warrior published in 1989.
1. No Name Woman Quotes

“You must not tell anyone,” my mother said, “what I am about to tell you. In China your father had a sister who killed herself. She jumped into the family well. We say that your father has all brothers because it is as if she had never been born.

Related Characters: Brave Orchid (speaker), Maxine Hong Kingston, No Name Woman
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

They expected her alone to keep the traditional ways, which her brothers, now among the barbarians, could fumble without detection. The heavy, deep-rooted women were to maintain the past against the flood, safe for returning. But the rare urge west had fixed upon our family, and so my aunt crossed boundaries not delineated in space.

Related Characters: Maxine Hong Kingston (speaker), Old Man and Old Woman, Father
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

It could very well have been, however, that my aunt did not take subtle enjoyment of her friend, but, a wild woman, kept rollicking company…

Related Characters: Maxine Hong Kingston (speaker), No Name Woman
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

In the village structure, spirits shimmered among the live creatures, balanced and held in equilibrium by time and land. But one human being flaring up into violence could open up a black hole, a maelstrom that pulled in the sky. The frightened villagers, who depended on one another to maintain the real, went to my aunt to show her a personal, physical representation of the break she had made in the “roundness.” Misallying couples snapped off the future, which was to be embodied in true offspring. The villagers punished her for acting as if she could have a private life, secret and apart from them.

Related Characters: Maxine Hong Kingston (speaker), No Name Woman
Related Symbols: Ghosts
Page Number: 12-13
Explanation and Analysis:

My aunt haunts me—her ghost drawn to me because now, after fifty years of neglect, I alone devote pages of paper to her, though not origamied into houses and clothes. I do not think she always means me well. I am telling on her, and she was a spite suicide, drowning herself in the drinking water.

Related Characters: Maxine Hong Kingston (speaker), No Name Woman
Related Symbols: Ghosts
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:
2. White Tigers Quotes

After I grew up, I heard the chant of Fa Mu Lan, the girl who took her father’s place in battle…. I had forgotten this chant that was once mine, given me by my mother, who may not have known its power to remind. She said I would grow up a wife and a slave, but she taught me the song of the warrior woman, Fa Mu Lan. I would have to grow up a warrior woman.

Related Characters: Maxine Hong Kingston (speaker), Brave Orchid, Fa Mu Lan
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:

I saw two people made of gold dancing the earth’s dances. They turned so perfectly together they were the axis of the earth’s turning [….] Chinese lion dancers, African lion dancers in midstep. I heard high Javanese bells deepen in midring to Indian bells, Hindu Indian, American Indian [….] Then the dancers danced the future—a machine-future—in clothes I had never seen before. I am watching the centuries pass in moments because suddenly I understand time, which is spinning and fixed like the North Star. And I understand how working and hoeing are dancing; how peasant clothes are golden, as king’s clothes are golden; how one dancer is always a man and the other a woman.

Related Characters: Maxine Hong Kingston (speaker), Fa Mu Lan
Page Number: 27
Explanation and Analysis:

“I’m not a bad girl,” I would scream. “I’m not a bad girl. I’m not a bad girl.” I might as well have said, “I’m not a girl.”

Related Characters: Maxine Hong Kingston (speaker), Brave Orchid
Page Number: 46
Explanation and Analysis:

It is confusing that my family was not the poor to be championed. They were executed like the barons in the stories, when they were not barons. It is confusing that birds tricked us.

Related Characters: Maxine Hong Kingston (speaker), The Baron
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

The swordswoman and I are not so dissimilar. May my people understand the resemblance soon so that I can return to them. What we have in common are the words at our backs. The idioms for revenge are “report a crime” and “report to five families.” The reporting is the vengeance—not the beheading, not the gutting, but the words. And I have so many words— “chink” words and “gook” words too—that they do not fit on my skin.

Related Characters: Maxine Hong Kingston (speaker), Fa Mu Lan
Page Number: 53
Explanation and Analysis:
3. Shaman Quotes

But the Communists wear a blue plainness dotted with one red Mao button. My mother wore a silk robe and western shoes with big heels, and she rode home carried in a sedan chair. She had gone away ordinary and come back miraculous, like the ancient magicians who came down from the mountains. “When I stepped out of my sedan chair, the villagers said, ‘Ahhh,’ at my good shoes and my long gown. I always dressed well when I made calls. Some villages brought out their lion and danced ahead of me. You have no idea how much I have fallen coming to America.”

Related Characters: Maxine Hong Kingston (speaker), Brave Orchid
Page Number: 76-77
Explanation and Analysis:

Nor did she change her name: Brave Orchid. Professional women have the right to use their maiden names if they like. Even when she emigrated, my mother kept Brave Orchid, adding no American name nor holding one in reserve for American emergencies.

Related Characters: Maxine Hong Kingston (speaker), Brave Orchid
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:

My mother’s enthusiasm for me is duller than for the slave girl; nor did I replace the older brother and sister who died while they were still cuddly. Throughout my childhood my younger sister said, “When I grow up, I want to be a slave,” and my parents laughed, encouraging her.

Related Characters: Maxine Hong Kingston (speaker), Brave Orchid, The Slave Girl
Page Number: 82
Explanation and Analysis:

I hope this holeless baby proves that my mother did not prepare a box of clean ashes beside the birth bed in case of a girl. “The midwife or a relative would take the back of a girl baby’s head in her hand and turn her face into the ashes,” said my mother. “It was very easy.” She never said she herself killed babies, but perhaps the holeless baby was a boy.

Related Characters: Maxine Hong Kingston (speaker), Brave Orchid
Page Number: 86
Explanation and Analysis:

The Japanese, though “little,” were not ghosts, the only foreigners not considered ghosts by the Chinese. They may have descended from the Chinese explorers that the First Emperor of Ch’in (221-210 B.C.) had deployed to find longevity medicine. They were to look for an island beyond the Eastern Ocean, beyond the impassable wind and mist. On this island lived phoenixes, unicorns, black apes, and white stags. Magic orchids, strange trees, and plants of jasper grew on Penglai, a fairy mountain, which may have been Mount Fuji. The emperor would saw off the explorers’ heads if they returned without the herbs of immortality. Another ancestor of the Japanese is said to be an ape that raped a Chinese princess, who then fled to the eastern islands to have the first Japanese child. Whichever the case, they were not a totally alien species…

Related Characters: Maxine Hong Kingston (speaker)
Related Symbols: Ghosts
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:

But America has been full of machines and ghosts—Taxi Ghosts, Bus Ghosts, Police Ghosts, Fire Ghosts, Meter Reader Ghosts, Tree Trimming Ghosts, Five-and-Dime Ghosts. Once upon a time the world was so thick with ghosts, I could hardly breathe; I could hardly walk, limping my way around the White Ghosts and their cars. There were Black Ghosts too, but they were open eyed and full of laughter, more distinct than White Ghosts.

Related Characters: Maxine Hong Kingston (speaker)
Related Symbols: Ghosts
Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:

Whenever my parents said “home,” they suspended America. They suspended enjoyment, but I did not want to go to China. In China my parents would sell my sisters and me. My father would marry two or three more wives, who would spatter cooking oil on our bare toes and lie that we were crying for naughtiness. They would give food to their own children and rocks to us. I did not want to go where the ghosts took shapes nothing like our own.

Related Characters: Maxine Hong Kingston (speaker), Brave Orchid, Father
Related Symbols: Ghosts
Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:

“This is a terrible ghost country, where a human being works her life away,” she said. “Even the ghosts work, no time for acrobatics. I have not stopped working since the day the ship landed. I was on my feet the moment the babies were out. In China I never even had to hang up my own clothes. I shouldn’t have left, but your father couldn’t have supported you without me. I’m the one with the big muscles.”

Related Characters: Brave Orchid (speaker), Maxine Hong Kingston, Father
Related Symbols: Ghosts
Page Number: 104
Explanation and Analysis:
4. At the Western Palace Quotes

“Oh, Sister, I am so happy here. No one ever leaves. Isn’t that wonderful? We are all women here. Come. I want you to meet my daughters.” She introduced Brave Orchid to each inmate in the ward—her daughters. She was especially proud of the pregnant ones. “My dear pregnant daughters.” She touched the women on the head, straightened collars, tucked blankets. “How are you today, dear daughter?” “And, you know,” she said to Brave Orchid, “we understand one another here. We speak the same language, the very same. They understand me, and I understand them.” Sure enough, the women smiled back at her and reached out to touch her as she went by. She had a new story, and yet she slipped entirely away, not waking up one morning.

Related Characters: Maxine Hong Kingston (speaker), Moon Orchid (speaker), Brave Orchid
Page Number: 160
Explanation and Analysis:
5. A Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe Quotes

“I cut it so that you wouldn’t be tongue-tied. Your tongue would be able to move in any language. You’ll be able to speak languages that are completely different from one another. You’ll be able to pronounce anything. Your frenum looked too tight to do those things, so I cut it.”

Related Characters: Brave Orchid (speaker), Maxine Hong Kingston
Page Number: 164
Explanation and Analysis:

Normal Chinese women’s voices are strong and bossy. We American-Chinese girls had to whisper to make ourselves American-feminine.

Related Characters: Maxine Hong Kingston (speaker)
Page Number: 172
Explanation and Analysis:

Lie to the Americans. Tell them you were born during the San Francisco earthquake. Tell them your birth certificate and your parents were burned up in the fire. Don’t report crimes; tell them we have no crimes and no poverty. Give a new name every time you get arrested; the ghosts won’t recognize you. Pay the new immigrants twenty-five cents an hour and say we have no unemployment. And, of course, tell them we’re against Communism. Ghosts have no memory anyway and poor eyesight.

Related Characters: Maxine Hong Kingston (speaker)
Related Symbols: Ghosts
Page Number: 184-185
Explanation and Analysis:

Maybe because I was the one with the tongue cut loose, I had grown inside me a list of over two hundred things that I had to tell my mother so that she would know the true things about me and to stop the pain in my throat.

Related Characters: Maxine Hong Kingston (speaker), Brave Orchid
Page Number: 197
Explanation and Analysis:

What I’ll inherit someday is a green address book full of names. I’ll send the relatives money, and they’ll write me stories about their hunger […] I’ve been making money; I guess it’s my turn. I’d like to go to China and see those people and find out what’s a cheat story and what’s not. Did my grandmother really live to be ninety-nine? Or did they string us along all those years to get our money? Do the babies wear a Mao button like a drop of blood on their jumpsuits? When we overseas Chinese send money, do the relatives divide it evenly among the commune? Or do they really pay 2 percent tax and keep the rest? It would be good if the Communists were taking care of themselves; then I could buy a color t.v.

Related Characters: Maxine Hong Kingston (speaker)
Page Number: 206
Explanation and Analysis:
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Maxine Hong Kingston Character Timeline in The Woman Warrior

The timeline below shows where the character Maxine Hong Kingston appears in The Woman Warrior. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
1. No Name Woman
Storytelling and Identity Theme Icon
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Brave Orchid, Maxine Hong Kingston’s mother, tells her that her father had a sister who drowned herself in the family... (full context)
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No Name Woman, which is the name that Kingston grants her shamed aunt, had the baby in the early summer, according to Brave Orchid.... (full context)
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Kingston notes that, whenever Brave Orchid wanted to teach her children something, she would relate a... (full context)
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...of being intentionally misleading. The Chinese not only confuse authorities by hiding their real names, Kingston says, but also seek to confuse the gods by “misleading them with crooked streets and... (full context)
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Brave Orchid taught her children that whenever they did “useless” things, they used up energy. Kingston wonders if her aunt may have been one of few Chinese to be extravagant enough... (full context)
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Kingston contemplates how her aunt may have met her lover or rapist. Maybe they met in... (full context)
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...the night of their honeymoon, then “he left for America” and they never met again. Kingston imagines that her aunt’s lover was probably not much different from her husband. He, too,... (full context)
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...crime against the family, No Name Woman sat alone at meals. There was, according to Kingston’s parents, an “outcast table.” Chinese people did not let their “wrongdoers” go out and start... (full context)
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...belonged to her husband’s parents. In Chinese tradition, daughters-in-law lived with their husbands’ parents. When Kingston’s aunt committed her offense, her in-laws sent her back to her own family, though they... (full context)
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All of No Name Woman’s brothers, including Kingston’s father, “became western men.” When the family’s goods were divided, three brothers took the land... (full context)
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Kingston wonders what No Name Woman may have enjoyed about “her friend.” Maybe she liked the... (full context)
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Kingston imagines her aunt working on her beauty in a mirror in an effort to sustain... (full context)
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Paying such attention to her looks, Kingston imagines No Name Woman would have caused gossip. She may also have piqued the curiosity... (full context)
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Kingston thinks, too, that her aunt may have been spoiled, “unusually beloved” as “the precious only... (full context)
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...allow for the harmony of five generations living under one roof without creating sexual confusion, Kingston notes that they “[effaced] their sexual color” in favor of “plain miens.” As a result,... (full context)
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...At the dinner table, no one spoke. No Name Woman never said “her inseminator’s name.” Kingston thinks that it could have been a man within her own household, though in their... (full context)
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To make herself less fearful of boys, Kingston herself quietly added “brother” to boys’ names. She thinks this is why no one asked... (full context)
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Kingston’s family allowed for some romance, but it was important to avoid a misalliance. These couples... (full context)
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Kingston thinks that the No Name Woman’s act of going to the pigsty to give birth... (full context)
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It had been twenty years since Kingston first heard the story about her aunt. She has not asked for details, not even... (full context)
2. White Tigers
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Kingston says that when Chinese girls listened to adults “talk-story,” or tell tales, they learned that... (full context)
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On Sundays, Kingston and Brave Orchid would see movies at the Confucius Church. In the films, swordswomen would... (full context)
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...come from “a bird that flew over [their] roof,” similar to those in brush drawings. Kingston begins to imagine herself as Fa Mu Lan. She would have been seven years old... (full context)
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...branch of peaches.” At bedtime, they tuck her into a bed just as wide as Kingston / Fa Mu Lan’s body, and the old woman covers her with “a silk bag... (full context)
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The old man and old woman ask Kingston / Fa Mu Lan to stay with them for fifteen years. When she asks about... (full context)
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The first thing Kingston / Fa Mu Lan has to learn, says the old woman, is how to be... (full context)
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...people lead her “blindfolded to the mountains of the white tigers.” With a running start, Kingston / Fa Mu Lan leaps “over the roots, rocks,” and “the little hills.” The “tiger... (full context)
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Kingston / Fa Mu Lan collects wood. The old man and old woman had taught her... (full context)
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Kingston / Fa Mu Lan has gotten “smug” in her strength because the first two days... (full context)
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One day, Kingston / Fa Mu Lan walks “long distances.” Food becomes very scarce. She has walked into... (full context)
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Suddenly, a white rabbit appears. For a moment, Kingston / Fa Mu Lan thinks it is “a blob of snow that had fallen out... (full context)
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During her fast, before the rabbit appeared, hunger made Kingston / Fa Mu Lan hallucinate. She saw “two people made of gold dancing the earth’s... (full context)
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Kingston / Fa Mu Lan then sees “the old brown man and the old gray woman”... (full context)
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...relatively easy, but “adult wisdom” is required to know dragons. Dragons are too big, and Kingston / Fa Mu Lan will never see a live one in its entirety. Climbing the... (full context)
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Kingston / Fa Mu Lan makes her mind “large” to understand the universe and its “paradoxes.”... (full context)
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Kingston / Fa Mu Lan also look in the water gourd to watch the men she... (full context)
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The old man shows Kingston / Fa Mu Lan the “strengths and weaknesses” of other warriors when they go into... (full context)
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When Kingston / Fa Mu Lan starts menstruating, she thinks that she has injured herself jumping over... (full context)
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To console Kingston / Fa Mu Lan for being without her family on the day she becomes a... (full context)
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...hands” that the baron has “pledged fifty men” from the district, “one from each family.” Kingston / Fa Mu Lan’s future husband and youngest brother both volunteer, but her father insists... (full context)
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The water in the gourd “churns” and Kingston / Fa Mu Lan then sees the faces of the baron and his family, who... (full context)
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Kingston / Fa Mu Lan stays on the mountain for years, talking only to the old... (full context)
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When Kingston / Fa Mu Lan reaches her village, she sees how old her mother and father... (full context)
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Kingston / Fa Mu Lan's father announces that he has been drafted. She insists that she... (full context)
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The writing is painful, but Kingston / Fa Mu Lan’s training has taught her how to withstand the pain caused by... (full context)
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Kingston / Fa Mu Lan has been waiting for such a sign. Her parents prepare her... (full context)
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Often, Kingston / Fa Mu Lan walks beside her horse. At times when they have to impress... (full context)
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Kingston / Fa Mu Lan’s first opponent is a giant. She cuts off its leg, then,... (full context)
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Kingston / Fa Mu Lan leads the army northward. The emperor sends the enemies that she... (full context)
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One spring morning, while Kingston / Fa Mu Lan is in her tent repairing equipment, her childhood friend and future... (full context)
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Kingston / Fa Mu Lan hides from battle only once, to give birth to her son.... (full context)
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Kingston / Fa Mu Lan’s body slims again, and she gets lonely, feeling the milk drip... (full context)
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A few million villagers go with Kingston / Fa Mu Lan to the capital to face their emperor. They “beheaded him, cleaned... (full context)
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Back home, Kingston / Fa Mu Lan drops her soldiers off “at crossroads and bridges” and confronts the... (full context)
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...good reason, such as one who had joined to save a child hostage, are spared. Kingston / Fa Mu Lan search the house and find a group of “whimpering women” with... (full context)
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After the trials, the villagers “tore down the ancestral tablets” and Kingston / Fa Mu Lan declares that the baron’s great hall will be used for operas... (full context)
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Kingston thinks that her own American life was “a disappointment.” Brave Orchid complained about having a... (full context)
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Kingston went to study at Berkeley and protested against the Vietnam War, which her brother was... (full context)
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Kingston refused to comply easily and do the things that were expected of her. When she... (full context)
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Urban renewal led to Kingston’s parents’ laundry being torn down to make room for a parking lot. This angered her,... (full context)
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Kingston also felt responsible for avenging her family against those who had taken things from them—the... (full context)
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Kingston was not actually much of a fighter, she says. She fought the most during junior... (full context)
3. Shaman
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Four times, Brave Orchid has shown Kingston her medical diploma. Her family airmailed the metal tube that holds it from Hong Kong.... (full context)
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Brave Orchid left her village by ship, just as Kingston’s father had, and moved into a dormitory with five other women. She left most of... (full context)
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To make up for not having the best memory—unlike Kingston’s father, who could recite entire poems—Brave Orchid did a lot of “secret studying.” She was... (full context)
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...her own children out of nightmares by chanting the names of family members, which brought Kingston comfort. An old-fashioned woman would have run into the streets, calling out for her child;... (full context)
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Before moving to the Bronx, where Kingston’s father was living, Brave Orchid worked in her village, yanking bones straight and delivering babies... (full context)
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Kingston notes that her mother seems more grateful for having had the slave girl than for... (full context)
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...Other defects were more serious, such as that of an infant born with no anus. Kingston imagined the baby as a child, “grunting and weeping” in its effort to defecate. Because... (full context)
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During summer afternoons when it was especially hot, Kingston’s parents would tell the children ghost stories “so that [they] could get some good chills... (full context)
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Kingston’s mother cooked all kinds of things that were not normally eaten in the United States,... (full context)
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Kingston writes that her mother was content with hairy beasts, both ghosts and those made of... (full context)
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Brave Orchid was living in the mountains with other refugees when Kingston’s father had finally saved enough money to send Brave Orchid travel fare to New York.... (full context)
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Brave Orchid arrived in New York in January 1940. Kingston was born in the middle of World War II. As a child, she dreamed both... (full context)
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Kingston’s parents never considered America “home.” She feared that once they were back in China, her... (full context)
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Kingston recalls her last visit to her parents. She had trouble falling asleep. Brave Orchid sat,... (full context)
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While they are talking, Brave Orchid notices that she never calls Kingston “Oldest Daughter,” but instead, “Biggest Daughter.” Kingston asks about the two older children who supposedly... (full context)
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...down the laundry, but they could not start over. Neither wanted to stop working, though Kingston’s father is now retired. Brave Orchid calls the United States “a terrible ghost country” where... (full context)
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Brave Orchid tells Kingston that the family can never return to China—a dream Kingston’s parents had been holding onto... (full context)
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Brave Orchid wants Kingston around more often, saying that she wants to live in a house where she “can’t... (full context)
5. A Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe
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Kingston’s brother reported to one of his sisters what had happened in Los Angeles when Moon... (full context)
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In kindergarten, when she had to speak for the first time, Kingston was silent. As an adult, she still has difficulty finding her voice, even to say... (full context)
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After American school, Kingston and her siblings went to Chinese school from 5:00 to 7:30 PM. There they used... (full context)
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Kingston notes that not all of the students who were silent at American school “found voice... (full context)
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When a delivery boy accidentally brought Crazy Mary’s pills to the laundry, Brave Orchid sent Kingston to go to the drugstore to “stop the curse” that the boy had brought. Kingston... (full context)
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On the other hand, Kingston contemplates the loudness of the Chinese. Her father once wondered if he could hear Chinese... (full context)
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The quiet girl was a year older than Kingston and in her class for twelve years. Her older sister was usually with her. Kingston’s... (full context)
Gender Roles in Chinese Culture Theme Icon
Silence vs. Speech Theme Icon
Kingston hated the quiet girl. Kingston hated that she was the last chosen for her team... (full context)
Gender Roles in Chinese Culture Theme Icon
Silence vs. Speech Theme Icon
Kingston examined the quiet girl’s face. She had “baby soft” skin with “pink and white cheeks.”... (full context)
Gender Roles in Chinese Culture Theme Icon
Silence vs. Speech Theme Icon
Kingston became so frustrated with the quiet girl’s refusal to speak that she began to cry... (full context)
Gender Roles in Chinese Culture Theme Icon
Silence vs. Speech Theme Icon
Kingston fell ill for eighteen months and could not go to school. When she did return,... (full context)
Storytelling and Identity Theme Icon
Silence vs. Speech Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience  Theme Icon
Kingston began to hate the secrecy of the Chinese. In her culture, she surmised, even the... (full context)
Silence vs. Speech Theme Icon
Kingston thought that every neighborhood or house had “its crazy woman or crazy girl,” or its... (full context)
Gender Roles in Chinese Culture Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience  Theme Icon
Kingston learned that young men—FOBS, or Fresh-off-the-Boat’s—were placing ads in the Gold Mountain News for wives,... (full context)
Gender Roles in Chinese Culture Theme Icon
...boy” who liked to hand out toys, supposedly from his parents’ stores, began to follow Kingston around school. He was large and had a tendency to bark. When “the hulk,” as... (full context)
Storytelling and Identity Theme Icon
Gender Roles in Chinese Culture Theme Icon
Silence vs. Speech Theme Icon
Kingston decided to mimic the habit of confession that she had learned from her Mexican and... (full context)
Gender Roles in Chinese Culture Theme Icon
Silence vs. Speech Theme Icon
The hulk returned with another crate. This time, Kingston looked at her mother and screamed for them to send the boy away. She then... (full context)
Storytelling and Identity Theme Icon
Gender Roles in Chinese Culture Theme Icon
To learn who she really was and what she liked, Kingston says, she had to leave home. It turned out that she preferred conventional aspects of... (full context)
Storytelling and Identity Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience  Theme Icon
Kingston remembered that the day after she “talked out the retarded man, the huncher,” she never... (full context)
Storytelling and Identity Theme Icon
Kingston recalls a talk-story that her mother told her recently. Her grandmother loved the theater. One... (full context)
Storytelling and Identity Theme Icon
Gender Roles in Chinese Culture Theme Icon
Silence vs. Speech Theme Icon
Kingston likes to think that her grandmother and aunts heard the songs of the poetess Ts’ai... (full context)