Cultural relativism in Warrior Woman

Length: 3 Pages 657 Words

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 dur Continue...


She could have told some one about being raped. The villagers were to a point justified in the raiding of her house. Some of the lessons, like the one about the aunt, may be simply too painful to say straight out to a daughter. Her partner did not have to pay any steep price or make many hard choices for his crimes. The culture was justified in its actions while neither adulterer was. The village stepped in as a cultural force or survival mechanism to preserve the morals and material productivity of the community. It was not the focus on the justification of the aunt but on the reality of women's condition in Chinese culture. When his affair became troublesome he simply shamed his partner and her family. It is or was not fair by any moral or cultural standard. This, I believe is what was the main issue of the aunt's story for the mother. (13) It seems that by committing adultery, the aunt committed a crime against more than her absentee husband. 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. ing good times, became a crime when the village needed food. Both the aunt and her lover failed; she in her inaction and he in his action.