The Woman Warrior is a complex work which mixes voices, styles, fiction, and reality as it provides readers a glimpse into the Chinese-American experience. Typically regarded as an autobiography, Kingston's memoir greatly diverges from the typical conventions of this genre. Kingston skillfully weaves the forms of autobiography, fiction, history, and mythology into a multi-layered work of art. Most autobiographies focus on the author, taking an introspective look into his or her mind and life, usually containing a consistent first person "I" narration throughout. Kingston's autobiography, on the other hand, tells the tales of several women, both real and fictional, whose stories have shaped her life. Her book does not follow a linear pattern, and it often becomes difficult to discern what is fact and what is fiction. In fact, since most of Kingston's stories are told to her second-hand by her mother or by someone else, it is hard to discern the validity of any of her accounts. However, the factual truth of Kingston's stories is not important, but rather how she comes to terms with them and how she incorporates them into herself.
Kingston's book sheds light on the treatment of women in pre-Communist China. Women were considered substandard to men and were only valued in terms of their obedience, their service, and their ability to give birth to boys. Girls are sold as slaves by their families and men have more than one wife. Kingston is... [continues]
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