The Woman Warrior

by

Maxine Hong Kingston

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A “mentally retarded boy” from Kingston’s Chinese school who spends time at the laundry and follows Kingston around at school. He also carries around bags of toys to hand out to “certain children,” supposedly brought from toy stores owned by his family. Kingston refers to him as “the monster” and “the hulk” and registers repulsion at the boy’s large, stiff, sweaty body. Kingston’s disgust with the mentally- and physically-challenged adolescent boy, who only seems to want friendship, has nothing to do with anything he has actually done. Instead, it is a manifestation of her belief that her parents would see him as a suitable match for her. She projects her own feelings of being ugly, stupid, and unwanted onto the boy.
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The Hulk Character Timeline in The Woman Warrior

The timeline below shows where the character The Hulk appears in The Woman Warrior. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
5. A Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe
Gender Roles in Chinese Culture Theme Icon
...follow Kingston around school. He was large and had a tendency to bark. When “ the hulk ,” as Kingston sometimes called him, found out where Kingston worked, he began to sit... (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... (full context)