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Cultural relativism in Warrior Woman

The violent description of the raid of the aunt’s house in Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior at first seems horrific and unjustified no matter the cultural norms. Upon closer examination however, it becomes simply a safety force sprung into action to preserve the general welfare of the village. Kingston’s description of the raid of the aunt’s house may or may not have been a normal action on the part of the villagers. She shows no signs that before the birth of the child, the aunt tried to get rid of her child, run away, or commit suicide as she ended up doing. Had she known that her house would be disgraced, would she have not simply ignored any sort of signs? It seems like a lack of responsibility on the part of her and her family to go on. “No one said anything. We did not discuss it” despite the fact that of “her shirt pulling and the white tops of her black pants showing.” (3) Later on Kingston writes “Adultery, perhaps only a mistake during good times, became a crime when the village needed food.” (13) It seems that by committing adultery, the aunt committed a crime against more than her absentee husband. She put the village’s well being at risk in the name of pleasure, even if it had not been hers. By partaking in activities that could produce children she was not able to care for herself, she was burdening the rest of her family and village. The villagers were to a point justified in the raiding of her house. She paid the price for her infidelity with her passive stance in society. She could have told some one about being raped. She could have left with her child alone later on. She could have simply endured the raid and lived to raise the child. These are hard choices but necessary ones. Even in her death, she managed an easy way out of her problem while further hurting her family. Their water would have been contaminated wither body. In the other side of the story, the villagers were not jus...

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Cultural relativism in Warrior Woman. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 12:26, August 30, 2014, from