No Name Woman

             "No Name Woman", by Maxine Hong Kingston, is a story of Maxine's family who are Chinese-Americans. When Maxine's mother warned her about life, she told stories that tested her strength to establish realities. Maxine's mother told her a story from her Chinese culture that stood out from the rest of the stories she told. Maxine was reaching womanhood when her mother told her this story, and that she must never tell anyone. She told Maxine that her father had sister who had premarital sex and became pregnant. The villagers in China would not accept this, so they tried to punish her. They raided her house. Maxine's mother told Maxine that this was shameful to become pregnant by someone whom you are not married to. The day after the raid, the aunt and her baby was found dead in the family well.
             In "No Name Woman", Maxine uses differences and similarities in three seperate narratives to explore the traditional Chinese culture. The differences between Chinese culture and American culture; and the traditional roles of women in a Chinese society. The mother, aunt, and narrator (Maxine) all reveal a very different viewpoint on Chinese culture. The mother is supportive of the aunt's final fate, and symbolizes the traditional view of women in society. The aunt's narrative leads readers to understand the traditional view at a personal level. And Maxine's struggle to make sense of the story through her Americanized perspective aslo helped to reveal a great deal about traditional Chinese culture.
             In this essay, Maxine explores the life of her aunt, trying to piece her life and her aunt's together to find a meaning and to try to figure out a connection between her and her aunt. After being told the story of her aunt, Maxine realizes that there was a point to why her mother had told her about her aunt. Maybe it was because her mother didn't want the same thing that happen to Maxine and she used the story as an example. Or maybe her

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No Name Woman. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:43, February 21, 2024, from