Woman Warrior
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Woman Warrior



An adequate study guide to Maxine Hong Kingston's bildungsroman, Woman Warrior.

An adequate study guide to Maxine Hong Kingston's bildungsroman, Woman Warrior.



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Woman Warrior Woman Warrior Presentation Transcript

  • Woman Warrior Maxine Hong Kingston
  • Maxine Hong Kingston
    • Maxii was born in 1940 in Stockton Cali. to Chinese immigrant parents
    • Wrote WW in 1976
    • What is a memoir? How does this memoir create its own genre?
    • Is Kingston a reliable narrator?
    • What is one’s ghost-identity?
    • IYHO: what elements in this book blur the lines of fiction and memoir, specifically?
    • Why does Kingston need to create her own genre?
  • No Name Woman
    • every section of the book is tied to an element of deaaaatttthh: this section is the ‘grave period’
    • Kingston is 13 when she hears her mother tell her aunt’s story – after she reaches menarcheeee
    • What is the significance of the opening “YOU MUST NOT TELL ANYONE”? AAIIIAAA!!
    • How does the theme of silence play into this chapter?
    • Why are there different theories of the story, and what are they?
    • “ I’m telling on her, and she was a spite suicide, drowning herself in the drinking water. The Chinese are always very frightened of the drowned one, whose weeping ghost, wet hair hanging and skin bloated, waits silently by the water to pull down a substitute.”
  • White Tigers
    • “ Kingston appropriated the tale of the legendary Fa Mu Lan as a way to empower herself as a girl in a culture that generally denigrated girls” (Dr. Ranjana Varghese, PhD).
    • Kingston is 17 when she fights the white tigers as Fa Mu Lan.
    • This section is the ‘tomb’ section- white in china is the color of mourning
    • What does Fa Mu Lan represent?
    • What is talk-storying?
    • Kingston returns to her own voice at the end of ‘White Tigers’ to show the contrast between her ‘real’ life and the idealized life of the woman warrior.
  • Shaman
    • Shaman is the ‘ghost’ section
    • Kingston writes as a narrator in her present middle age– has ‘white hair’ to indicate this
    • Devotes this section to the story of her mother, changing from past to present
    • What are some characteristics of Brave Orchid as a young woman?
    • What is the significance of Kingston describing the stamps that are on her mother’s documents from China?
    • How does she get rid of the sitting ghost?
    you’re a hairy butt boulder!!!
    • What is the significance of Brave Orchid buying a slave girl?
    • Why does Brave Orchid tell Kingston scary stories about eating monkey brains?
    • What is the purpose in telling the stories of the ghost eaters?
    • What does the village crazy lady represent? How does she relate to Kingston?
  • At the Western Palace
    • Describe Brave Orchid in comparison to her sister, Moon Orchid
    • Describe the plan Brave Orchid has for Moonie when she confronts her husband of yore. What actually happens?
    • Moon Orchid eventually becomes another mad woman character in WW. How does this happen? How does it relate to immigrants’ struggle?
    • At the end, she reveals that her story of her mother and aunt’s confrontation is a fabrication of her imagination, very little is factual and told to Kingston by her brother
  • A Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe Pee-A-Nah!
    • What does the master knot-maker of China represent?
    • What does the incident of the pharmacy candy represent?
    • What happened between Kingston and the quiet classmate?
    • What is the difference between Kingston’s choice of silence for a year, and the forced silence
    • Kingston listed all of the things she wished to tell her mother – what was her mother’s reaction?
    • Ends book with two stories – what are they?
    • What is the story of the barbarian reed pipe? Who wrote it?
    • How does the theme of exile play into WW?
  • It translated well… explain.
  • Do you get it?