Chinese-American Culture In Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior

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While categorizing each and every person living on the face of this Earth through stereotypes remains a virtually-impossible task, culture does in fact play a role in shaping humans into the people they are. Such cultural traits and customs can conflict with those of other cultures, with one prominent example being the silence of Asia contrasted with the openness of America. Maxine Hong Kingston covers these two topics in depth in her 1976 memoir The Woman Warrior, throughout which a young, insecure girl develops a voice of her own, gaining an increased appreciation for her Chinese-American heritage in the process. The world that she lives in values open communication, often causing those who internalize their feelings to struggle with establishing meaningful interpersonal connections. A character loosely based upon Kingston’s own upbringing and stories that she has heard, Maxine remains unaccepting of her true self until she manages to achieve a cultural balance, learning to respect and somewhat yield to the American value of verbal communication.
In The Woman Warrior, the American culture of open communication and self-advocacy contrasts with the Chinese ideals of reserved communication and silence. While reflecting on school life, Maxine opines, “the other Chinese girls did not talk either, so I knew the silence had to do with being a Chinese girl” (Kingston 166). Here, the word “either” shares certain aspects with the words “too” and “also.” It shows similarity; people

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