Characteristics of Postmodernism in Maxine Hong Kingson's the Woman Warrior
|School||Fujian Normal University|
|Course||Comparative Literature and World Literature|
|Keywords||Maxine Hong Kingston The Woman Warrior postmodernism intertextuality historiographic metafiction|
The Woman Warrior is the most commonly read yet most controversial one among all the works written by Maxine Hong Kingston, a female Chinese American writer. This thesis analyzes The Woman Warrior from the perspective of postmodernism, trying to discuss two of the typical postmodernist characteristics displayed in The Woman Warrior—intertextuality and metafictionality. As one of the most fundamental features of postmodernism, intertextuality probes into the relationship between texts. Several strategies of intertextuality used in The Woman Warrior are parody of the form of conventional autobiography, appropriation, adaptation and pastiche of fragments of well-known Chinese folklores and histories, etc. In addition, because of the combination with historical contexts, the metafictionality of postmodernist texts takes a new form in The Woman Warrior, i.e."historiographic metafiction", which is the new stage of development of postmodernist fiction. This thesis studies how the historical narratives and the self-reflexivity of metafiction are blended together through the unique narrative modes of the book. These two writing techniques demonstrated in The Woman Warrior break the stereotypes of traditional autobiography, challenge the authenticity and authority of historical discourse and make the book characteristic of postmodernist fiction.