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Postmodernist Features in Maxine Hong Kingston’s the Woman Warrior

Author LiXueJing
Tutor DuanXiaoYing
School Hebei Normal
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Maxine Hong Kingston The Woman Warrior postmodernist characters
CLC I712.074
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
Downloads 64
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Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior has received both criticism and praise from a variety of audiences both in China and America. She has attracted the widest attention in the contemporary American literary circle. The publication of her work The Woman Warrior:Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts has been a great hit and been regarded as a pioneering work for vitalizing the Chinese American literature. It has been translated into more than twenty languages and discussed not only as a literary work but also as a cultural text for research on America itself, anthropology, history, ethnic identity and women, etc. In the eyes of many American scholars and readers, Kingston has become the representative of Chinese American literature.The novel is made up of five parts, every one of which can be an independent but interrelated story. Stories and imaginations are woven together; illogical and fragmented memories always bewilder the readers; conflicts between the mother and the daughter, between the Chinese tradition and the America mainstream culture arise one after another.Critics have drawn on diverse contemporary theoretical perspectives, such as feminist, postmodernist and cultural aspects, to approach it. As to its theme, representative comments mainly refer to the following aspects, ranging from mystical Orientalism, patriarchal oppression of women in China, silence and coming to voice, identity formation to mother-daughter relationship. But no one analyzed this work from the perspective of intertextuality and collage. Drawing on the theory of postmodernism, this paper takes a new path in elaborating on its postmodernist features.The paper consists of six parts.The first part is an introduction of Chinese American literature and Maxine Hong Kingston and her three major works, but the main focus-is on her first book, The Woman Warrior.The second part, give a brief introduction to postmodernism and major features of postmodernism. The following three parts respectively discuss reflect of postmodernism features in The Woman Warrior, such as postmodern mixed genre, intertextuality, collage.The last part is conclusion of the paper. Putting forward own views through simple analysis of Kingston’s The Woman Warrior. First, Chinese American women realize their lack of identity in society. In order to revenge and change their no-identity state, women begin to struggle as warrior by equipping themselves with masculinity. Second, in borrowing, adapting and transplanting Chinese myth, especially in the song of Ts’ai Yen at the end of book, Maxine expresses her hope and desire for publicizing Chinese culture and accomplishing final coexistence in perfect harmony between Chinese and American cultures. She eventually finds a reconciliation of the Chinese and mainstream cultural reintegration.

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