No Name Woman Essay

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Name Teacher Engl 1301/71428 11/8/13 “No Name Woman”-written by Chinese-American author Maxine Hong Kingston in 1975, and published in the United States-is a short story depicting the struggles of native and emigrant Chinese women. The author tells the forbidden story of her aunt, who was violently betrayed by her village and family, after discovering her extramarital pregnancy. On the night the child is to be born, the village destroys the house and the good-name of her family and her aunt casts herself out into the night, births the bastard alone and proceeds to unceremoniously throw herself down the family well. This story is juxtaposed with her own struggles to find her place in America and within Chinese tradition. Kingston achieves this by using her personal experience as a Chinese emigrant, the relationship between her and her aunt's struggle to find their identity and how Chinese tradition discourages the wayward heart for the good of the community. Kingston, a second generation Chinese emigrant, grew up in Stockton, California. The author found the struggle to find her identity was compounded by the traditional Chinese values of her family and the uncertainty of American life. In telling Maxine the forbidden truth about her aunt, her mother intended to guide and scare her into a life without excess or stepping outside the lines. Their family grew up in abject poverty; wasting nothing. Waste didn't merely apply to the necessities, but to all parts of your life-which essentially belonged to the village itself. Adultery was viewed as one of these “extravagances”. Fearing the same consequences her aunt endured because of her relationship with the opposite sex, Maxine, as a young adolescent, found herself keeping the boys at bay by using the term “brother” when referring to them. “Sexual mannerisms” were viewed as “dangerous” and this fear greatly
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