Maxine hong kingston silence essay

However, several female Asian scholars have also criticized Kingston's work. Shirley Geok-Lin Lim, a professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara , stated that Kingston's "representations of patriarchal, abusive Chinese history were playing to a desire to look at Asians as an inferior spectacle". [15] Writer Katheryn M. Fong took exception to Kingston's "distortion of the histories of China and Chinese America" and denounced Kingston for her "over-exaggerated" depiction of Chinese and Chinese American cultural misogyny. [6] "The problem is that non-Chinese are reading [Kingston's] fiction as true accounts of Chinese and Chinese American history," wrote Fong, who noted that her own father "was very loving" towards her. [6] [16]

This passage appears in "A Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe," shortly after the episode in which Kingston yells at her mother. It encapsulates some of the clarity Kingston begins to have once she leaves home—her ability to tell what is real from what is not, to make sense where before there was only confusion. It points to what we might call an "Americanization" of her life, a life filled with simple things like plastics and TV dinners. At the same time, it also points to a sadness that Kingston feels for having renounced some important aspects of her heritage. Note the regretful, almost gloomy repetition of the phrase "It comes true." Whereas her mother tells talk-stories about mythical places and peoples, Kingston says that she pours concrete out of her mouth—not exactly a poetic skill—as if she were turning the mazes and mysteries of her past into an ordered American city. The ordering of life may be useful to Kingston in some ways, but it can also deny the richness of her heritage. In fact, perhaps this quotation is most useful as a reminder of what The Woman Warrior is not: a traditional linear autobiography. Rather, living in a world with "no ghosts" is only one phase of Kingston's life; her memoir is more notable—and interesting—for the complexity and confusion of her recollection than it is for its clarity.

Maxine hong kingston silence essay

maxine hong kingston silence essay

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