Literary Analysis of No Name Woman

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A short literary analysis of Maxine Kingston's classic “No Name Woman” As part of the first generation of Chinese-Americans, Maxine Hong Kingston writes about her struggle to distinguish her cultural identity through an impartial analysis of her aunt’s denied existence. In “No Name Woman,” a chapter in her written memoirs, Kingston analyzes the possible reasons behind her disavowed aunt’s dishonorable pregnancy and her village’s subsequent raid upon her household. And with a bold statement that shatters the family restriction to acknowledge the exiled aunt, Kingston states that, “… [she] alone devote pages of paper to her [aunt]...” With this premeditated declaration, Kingston rebelliously breaks the family’s cultural taboo to…show more content…
“Don’t humiliate us. You wouldn’t like to be forgotten as if you had never been born. The villagers are watchful.” Practically through her mother’s indoctrination alone, Kingston was shaped throughout her childhood to respect honor, family, and the very Chinese culture itself. Kingston’s mother had once told her, “you must not tell anyone [about your aunt],” and yet in direct defiance, Kingston then “devote[s] pages of paper to her [aunt].” Her actions which defy her mother’s strict order are purposely directed through her rebellious intention to do so. Kingston argues that the emigrant generation, which consisted of her mother, had taken their culture with them because “those in the emigrant generations who could not reassert brute survival died young and far from home.” Yet raising their progeny, they must teach them what they know and understand. Kingston therefore believes that “they must try to confuse their offspring as well, who, I suppose, threaten them in similar ways – always trying to get things straight, always trying to name the
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