No Name Women

Topics: Family, China, Chinese name Pages: 2 (783 words) Published: October 8, 2012
No name woman, by Maxine Hong Kingston, exposed the harsh culture of the Chinese in the 1920’s. Women were treated as breeders and slaves to their husbands. The unborn is the narrator’s aunt; whom she never had the chance to meet. The mother tells the story while her daughter listens to the devastating suicide of her aunt. The narrator of the story struggles to find the morals of her deceased aunt; she attempts to reveal and understand the Chinese culture in the 1920’s versus the American culture she currently lives in. Chinese culture in the 20’s has always been a patriarchal society. The men are completely dominant; they provide money and shelter for the women and children. Women, on the other hand, do not have any power in decision-making, “women in the old China did not choose” (825). They had no say in who their husband would be or how many children they had to have. When they were commanded to do a chore or to cook they were forced to only follow their husband’s wishes. During the adolescent age, “brothers and sisters, newly men and women, had to efface their sexual color and present plain miens” (828). Everyone in the Chinese society looked the same; there was no make-up or trendy hairstyles to make a unique appearance. The hair must be pulled up in a bun when young and when they married, women could cut their hair. A common characteristic of the Chinese was the temptation to grab attention by speaking loudly or shouting at family gatherings (828). The narrator even admits her mother still shouts in the library or other quiet areas. The adjustment from Chinese culture to Chinese-American culture has been different for her family. In the 1970’s the “first American generations have had to figure out the invisible world the emigrants built around [her] childhood in solid America” (824). The narrator feels like her immediate family is not adjusting to the American culture effectively. The narrator’s family has a secret. Her aunt became a disgrace to their...
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