ABSTRACT

Thematically and structurally, Maxine Hong Kingston's memoirs enact the assembling of a distinct sense of self from the raw material of the lives and imaginations of countless other women of Chinese descent, a selfhood that must separate itself to appreciate the collective fabric it's made of, and that is driven, further, to address the world at large. The book gives voice to stories and speculations that have filled the speaker's mind since childhood, and the complex, disjunctive structure urges us to wrest meaning from them, as she has. Thus The Woman Warrior offers its readers interpretive experiences similar to those its subject undergoes as she gains an understanding of herself in the world.