Ms. Margo Williams
ENG 111 (D26)
29 January 2015
Summary & Analysis of Maxine Hong Kingston’s “No Name Woman” Kingston, a first generation Chinese-American woman, shares the saddening story (No Name Woman) of her aunt to explore the community/gender roles, as well as the cultural morals and motifs of her ancestors. So, who is this “No Name Woman?” Kingston learned from her mother about a “forgotten” aunt of hers. Kingston’s mother was a woman “powered by Necessity” and only told her the story of her aunt in order to help her daughter avoid a similar fate. The anonymous aunt was isolated and shunned by her village when she became pregnant out of wed-lock… everybody knew, but nobody verbally acknowledged it until the night the baby was predestined to arrive. The villagers bombarded the family home that night, damaging their property, killing their livestock and stealing the non-tarnished goods. The unnamed aunt quietly escaped and relocated to a pigsty where she later birthed a baby girl. Dissimilar from present day, the love and warmth a newborn commonly brings, was not present. The villagers further disdained her, aggressing her feeling of abandonment that ultimately resulted in her spiteful suicide by “drowning herself in the drinking water”. Throughout the “No Name Women”, Kingston speculates often and even struggles with her own cultural identity and understanding of “what is Chinese?” The purpose of Kingston’s inclusion of No Name Woman in her more elaborate piece: Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts (1976), was not only to give remembrance to her aunt after “fifty years of neglect” but also to establish her cultural identity as both an American and Chinese woman. Kingston “alone” assumed responsibility and gave her mistreated aunt the acknowledgement and respect she never had by devoting “pages of paper to her” as she acclaims in her final statements. Unstated, she shares the story of said “No Name Woman” in the search...
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