Maxine Hong Kingston's No Name Woman Essay examples

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Maxine Hong Kingston's No Name Woman

"A highly fictive text [whose non-fiction label gives] the appearance of being an actual representation of Asian American experience in the broader public sphere."
(Gloria Chun, "The High Note")

Such a disparaging remark about the misleading nature of Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior has been readily refuted, notably by Leilani Nishime, who proposes in her essay "Engendering Genre..." that it is a text that transcends genre confines; it challenges traditional definitions of genre and demands redefinitions. Whatever the case, "No Name Woman" (NNW) is remarkable in the way the reader is given a candid social commentary in the guise of an intriguing tale of scandal and oppression. In a
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As mentioned earlier, the mother's version is tinged with conservative disapproval, possibly a result of her direct involvement with the events and their unpleasant consequences. Despite her traditional viewpoint (which might be seen as narrow and bigoted in a modern context), her version is interestingly the most objective one of the three: her own opinions only make themselves felt at the end of her otherwise purely narrative tale. In the next change of filter, the narrator then puts forth her own speculative version of events, portraying her aunt as the proverbial victim of circumstances. Adopting this filter of the passive aunt gives us an insightful look into her surroundings, proposing a degree of identification with her, and inducing a temporary familiarity with the period's oppressive attitudes for modern readers. In effect, this passage makes accessible two potentially alienating elements: the social and temporal context of the setting, as well as the psyche of the character in question. This level of personal identification is taken a step further when, later in the story, the narrator indulges in wild speculation of her aunt playing a potentially active role in the events. The conveying of a modern mindset upon her aunt may seem jarring in the context