On Mother-Daughter Relationship in the Women Warrior

Topics: Overseas Chinese, Chinese American, China Pages: 16 (6568 words) Published: January 8, 2007
On Mother-daughter relationship in The Woman Warrior

1 Brief introduction of Chinese-American literature in
United States(the special focus on mother-daughter relationship in the Chinese-American women writings) From the nineteenth century, Chinese-American literature has been discriminated by the American literature canon. Most early Chinese American works tended to cater for the taste of the white readership. The situation changed till the later half of the twentieth century when the Civil Rights Movement took place in the United States, during which more Chinese writers emerged on the literary stage and the mainstream of American society began to pay more attention to the Chinese-American literature. The 1980s and 1990s saw flowering of Chinese-American literature, there have been so many works by Chinese-American writers that American literary criticism has come to recognize ¡°Asian literature¡± as a separate genre, of which Chinese-American literature is a most important part. While, the contemporary Chinese-American writers focused on races and cultural identity all the time, and a notable feature of more contemporary Chinese American women¡¯s writing is an emphasis upon mother-daughter relationship. We will have a look on the meaning of this phenomenon. Cultural confrontation and reconciliation is always a major concern of the Chinese American writers who live between two worlds. Standing on the interface of the two cultures, Kinston, one of the representatives of those Chinese American writers, adopts the Chinese tradition of talk story and two generations" experiences in America, and presents readers with the between-world situation in The Woman Warrior. Through her representative work-The Woman Warrior, Kinston explores the Chinese American experience, their cultural identity, and the mother-daughter relationship in different cultural context. Although the conflicts are inevitable between two cultural worlds, with mutual communication and understanding, cultural reconciliation is reached, and eventually a balance in the between-world condition is achieved. Through the approach of textual analysis and cultural reading, this thesis intends to provide a way of appreciating Kinston"s novel, and eventually to help readers understand the conflicts and reconciliation of two cultural worlds. 2 Analysis of the relationship between mother Bell and daughter Ruby in details 2.1 Analysis of the relationship between mother and daughter in details The arts are used to address both aesthetic and serious societal issues such as Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior, the story of a woman's struggle with identity as a minority in American culture. The Woman Warrior was written by Maxine Hong Kingston and published by Vintage Books in 1975. It is semi-autobiographical, incorporating many elements of fiction. In any case, her work stands as an example of postmodernism in American Literature, demonstrated by the fact that although it lacks any kind of continuous storyline, one can still find it interesting. Through this novel, Kingston explores ethnicity and gender roles, especially in the context of her experience as a Chinese-American woman. The book is divided into five chapters: "No Name Woman"; "White Tigers"; "Shaman"; "At the Western Palace"; and "A Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe." In "No Name Woman" Kingston describes the suicide of her aunt after she gave birth to an illegitimate child. In "White Tigers" she creates a fantastic allegory in which she describes her childhood. She imagines herself as legendary Chinese woman warrior, Fa Mulan. In "Shaman" she describes her mother's experience in Chinese medical school. She mixes fantasy and autobiography, detailing her mother's physical and mental battles with spirits and ghosts. In "At the Western Palace" she describes her aunt Moon Orchid's mental breakdown after she emigrates to the United States from China. Finally in "A Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe" she...

Bibliography: [7] Brown-Guillory, Elizabeth. Women of Color: Mother-Daughter Relationships in the 20th- Century Literature. Austin: University of Texas, 1996.
[11] SIMONE De Beauvoir. 1989.The Second Sex [ M ]. New York:Vintage
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