No Name Woman, The Issue of Community Control Essay

1350 Words6 Pages
Each community often develops a system of control to maintain social order. Some communities instill this order by legal codes, and other communities use moral or social codes to keep their communities in check. In the autobiographical essay "No Name Woman," by Maxine Kingston, Kingston's aunt disrupts her tight knit community by having an illegitimate child as a result of an affair. Her traditional Chinese community ran by superstition finds it necessary to punish her and brand her a nameless face to ensure the village's stability. Any means of unsettling this stability would disrupt the social order and threaten the community, and would not be tolerated. The village uses fear of shame and the community's strong presence in one…show more content…
Even those actions that are private, which should be made by an individual, affect the community as a whole. Those that bring shame to the family are especially included and will have dire consequences. By the community keeping a watchful eye, it makes the individual extra careful of not bringing shame to the community and thus there are no social disruptions. Kingston's mother goes into further detail of the consequences experienced by the family: "`On the night the baby was to be born the villagers raided our house'" (28). The villagers have "been counting" down to the day of the child's birth. This establishes how involved the community is, that although the child had not been born yet, they still knew the exact date of the birth of the child. The fact that the villagers chose the date of the illegitimate child's birth as the day of the raid, suggests that they want to show that this is not of day of joy. It is a day of disgrace and they want to establish that they do not honor the birth of this child. Kingston's mother said that they raided "our house" which meant it was not just the house of the aunt, however the house of the family as well. When an individual acts in a shameful manner, they bring shame upon the
Open Document