• Hence means from this place: Away; from this time; because of a
preceding fact or premise: Therefore*.
• We will reunite five years hence.
• She won the talent competition, hence her good spirits.
• She grew up in Florida, hence her familiarity with palmetto bugs.
• Therefore means for that reason: Consequently; because of that; on that
ground; to that end*. It directly relates to reasoning.
• I think, therefore I am.
• She was early and therefore had to wait out in the cold.
• He has a race tomorrow; therefore, he can’t stay out late tonight.
• Thus means in this or that manner or way; to this degree or extend: So;
because of this or that: Hence, Consequently; as an example*
• The professor described it thus…
• We’ve had quite a few examples thus far.
• He studied a lot, thus making it easier for him to pass the test.
“If I feel physically
as if the top of my
head were taken
off, I know that is
•Maxine Hong Kingston
•Themes and Style
Historical Context: Women in Chinese Society
• Kingston takes revenge on centuries of Chinese female oppression
in The Woman Warrior, the larger work from which “No-Name
Woman” was taken. Through her stories about herself and her
female relatives, Kingston paints a picture of Chinese tradition that
portrays women as objectified and enslaved by men. From the days
of Confucius through the early twentieth century, the Chinese
placed men above women and family above social order. When
people married, new family ties formed, and new wives became
subservient to their grooms’ parents. Women from the higher
classes lived extremely secluded lives and suffered such treatments
as foot-binding. The Chinese chose young girls who were especially
pretty to undergo foot-binding. The binder bent the large toe
backward, forever deforming the foot. Men favored women with
bound feet, a sign of beauty and gentility, because it signified that
they could support these women who were incapable of physical
The narrator grows up in Stockton, California,
where she was born in 1940. The events that
actually occur in her life take place in California.
Her imagined warrior life and her mother's "talk
stories," however, take place in China. For
example, the story of No-Name Aunt, the ghost
aunt, occurs in China from about 1924 to 1934.
Kingston combines fact with fiction—relying on her
own memories, her mother's "talk stories," and her
own vivid imagination—to create a view of what it is
like to grow up a Chinese-American female.
She reworks traditional myths and legends to
modernize their messages.
Some critics argue that her dependence on
inventiveness (from the myths and legends) renders
her writing difficult to classify as autobiography or
Shrugs off old forms and limits: Her work differs from most autobiographies in
that it is not a first-person narration of the author's life.
Multiple genres and approaches: memory, fantasy, speculation, translation, and
point of view.
Moves away from the metanarrative: Kingston struggles to reconcile her
identity as a member of two cultures, Chinese and American, who does not feel
entirely at home in either culture. It is a story of an individual.
Themes: Kingston combats what Shirley Geok-Lin Lim has called "the cultural
silencing of Chinese in American society and ….. the gendered silencing of
women in Chinese society,” through the telling of stories about women who are
either literally or mythically her ancestors. Her words are her weapons against
silence, racism, and sexism.
1. In “No Name Woman,” the Woman Warrior is a theme.
2. Two major themes I kept thinking of reading this were
these notions of desiring and being desired.
3. There is definitely a theme regarding gender inequality
4. The theme that wraps around this reading is shunning.
5. One theme that I picked up from reading Chapter One:
No Name Woman was the pressure of being a woman
in Chinese society.
1. One important symbol from “The Woman Warrior”
is the villagers.
2. In “No Name Woman,” from The Woman Warrior,
the the circle–or “roundness” (799)–is symbolic of
societal conformity and constraint.
3. What is the point of the outcast table?
1. Who is the warrior women?
2. How does Kingston use storytelling as a way to get her message
3. Why did the narrator choose to rebel against her mother’s orders
and immortalize her aunt through her works?
4. What is the significance of Kingston imagining different versions
of her aunt’s story?
5. Why was Maxine Hong Kingston worried about making herself
“American-pretty” in her childhood? (798)
6. In ways can the rigidity of society foster creativity and
imagination in the formation of an individual’s identity, apart
from the influence of his or her culture?
7. How can individuals cut people off from their own family?
1. What are the cultural conflicts that the narrator of the story has
2. How does Kingston’s story reflect the consistent ideas of rape
3. “Adultery is extravagance. … Instead of letting them start
separate new lives like the Japanese, who could become
samurais and geisha…” Is Kingston’s reflection on the Japanese
adultery-culture a statement on the liberties and restrictions on
men and women who adulterer?
4. How does Maxine reconcile the fact that her aunt’s suicide was
5. Was suicide the only way out?
Author Introduction: Sandra Cisneros
Born in Chicago in 1954, Sandra Cisneros grew up with her
Mexican father, Mexican-American mother, and six brothers. Her
family moved back and forth between Chicago and Mexico City.
As a child, her defense against loneliness was reading books
and writing poetry. In high school, she continued writing, trying
to distinguish her own voice from the voices of the literary giants
she studied. It was not until a creative writing class in college in
1974, described in "Ghost Voices: Writing from Obsession," that
she began to realize that she had not only a unique voice, but
also a new story to tell that had not been told in American
literature. It is the story of immigrant families living on the
borders between countries, neighborhoods, social classes,
linguistic groups, and races.
•Read Sandra Cisneros
• “Woman Hollering Creek”
• Discuss a theme: love and
passion or sex roles or?
• Discuss the text in terms of
postmodernism or in
articulation with a
• Discuss the story as it reads
through a feminist and/or