The Issue of Maxine Kingston's Identity in the Book "American Born Chinese"

In the book Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston addresses the issues of her identity as an American born of Chinese immigrant parents. As a child she rejected the Chinese culture, she didn’t understand the traditional values,she also didn’t like the way girls were being treated because they weren’t born as a boy. As she becomes older she starts to accept the values. She re-aquaints herself with her own past and her parents’ past. In “No Name Woman” Kingston thinks about what her mom told her about her aunt, and what happened because she had no traditional values.Her mom talks about how her and her sister were getting dressed, she noticed her sisters big stomach. First she didn’t think anything of it, until her sister started to look like other pregnant women.

She thinks my sister can’t be pregnant, her husband has been gone for years. The village had been counting down to birth. The night the baby was suppose to be born the villagers invaded her house. They wore a white mask. They started throwing stuff like mud, and rocks. They even slaughtered the animals, they destroyed everything.Kingston remembers what her mom told her,” Don’t tell your father know that i told you. He denies her. Now that you have started to menstruate, what happened to her could happen to you .Don’t humiliate us.”Kingston also remembers how her mom said her aunt gave birth that night. The next morning Kingstons mom went to go get water, and found her and the baby plugging up the family well. People who slaughter animals and destroy a persons home becuse they slept with someone other then their husband are cruel. They are all adults, they should act like one.

In “White Tigers” kingston talks about all the negative things that happened to her and her sister because they were girls: “I minded that the emigrant villagers shook their heads at my sister and me.”One girl – and another girl,” they said, and made my parents ashamed to take us out together.”Another example is the situatin with her great-uncle.He would ask who wants to go shopping and if the girls would answer “me “he would say no girls allowed. When the boys came back from shopping they had candy and some new toys. Some negative comments they would say about girls were “feeding girls were like feeding cowbirds.” People would also say stuff like how There’s no profits raising girls. Better to raise geese then girls.” When Kingston heard this she started to cry, people looked at her as if she As the years passed by kingston grew older and became more mature.She starts to accept the values of china.She does this by looking back to her past. She remembers how in school there was this chinese girl who was quiet, that makes her think of when she first came to America, how she was the same. So in order for that chinese girl to talk, Kingston started to be cruel: “I said to the quiet girl,” what is your name?”she shook her head, and some hair caught in the tears; wet black hair stuck to the side of the pink and white face. I reached up and took a strand of her hair. I pulled it.”Honk Honk.”….I could see her little white ears, like cutworms curled underneath the hair.” Talk!” I yelled.” Eventhough Kingston knew that she was being mean to her she realized that it was for her own good.

Kingston knew how that girl felt not knowing anybody, being shy, not being able to communicate in a strange place. Another example of her accepting china is when she doesn’t know something about China she actually wants to learn about it. She explains about Ho Chi Kuei and what it is. She talks about how she doesn’t know Chinese, she didn’t want to be scolded or embarassed so she started to look it up in a book. she describes Ho Chi to be a “centipede,” “grub,”…”non-eater,” “dustpan-and- broom” which was a synonym for wife. This proves that she wants to accept being a Chinese American, She actually wants to know something about her country.If she was younger she would have not cared. Not only did she think about her past,she also thought about her parents’ past.

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The Issue of Maxine Kingston's Identity in the Book "American Born Chinese". (2022, Dec 02). Retrieved February 23, 2024 , from
https://supremestudy.com/the-issue-of-maxine-kingstons-identity-in-the-book-american-born-chinese/

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