This paper presents an account of the experiences endured by people in early China based on gender inclinations. These experiences are the result of the perception that people have towards other individuals triggered by varying differences in culture, race, country, and gender. In order to settle at one of the best analysis, the paper will look into Maxine Hong Kingston writing from her book, The Woman Warrior. Maxine uses her life learning experiences since she was a young girl to expose a profound correlation between gender and nations. She has incorporated several characters that she uses to build on the book topic. Most of these characters are her close friends and most importantly relatives whom she closely interacts with throughout her life (Kingston 11). This paper will consider the fact that China is one of the nations that are full of diversities such as gender, culture, race and national inclinations and that has caused differentiated experiences to the people that have lived in the country and studying Maxine’s work reveals that there is a clear relationship between nations and gender.
A nation is responsible for creating a platform within which individuals interact to come up with rules and regulations that provides guidelines on how people found within a certain locality are supposed to behave depending on gender. That way, a code of conduct is defined under which people should interact. Therefore, in an event where a member of that community fails to comply with the set rules and regulations, he or she is liable to some penalties equivalent to the actions that are against the stipulated regulations. That is especially true at the community level, just like it is evident back in China Society (Kingston 17). The consequences of such an action that is against the norms of the society will be determined by whether one is a man or a woman. Maxine provides an episode in her book that talks about the “unknown woman” who a reader comes to learn later to be Maxine’s aunt.
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The unknown woman finds herself at the center of a colossal predicament when she becomes pregnant through adultery. That is highly prohibited in the society within which the woman lives. As a result, her home is attacked by members of the town during her time to give birth. Although she is in a position to give birth successfully in a barn, the attack brings her family a lot of shame, humiliation, and disappointment. The situation worsens when she reveals that, the newborn is a girl. According to her society rules, a girl child is known not to receive warm welcome from members of the community while compared to a baby boy. That revelation led to her attempt to commit suicide by drowning both herself and the baby in a river (Kingston 26). It happened after realizing how limited the prospects of her infant were. This fact presents a clear picture of how nations have woken up to provide social injustices that only allow a certain gender to have high chances of living as compared to others born within the same society.
Consequently, nations have led to immense problems comprising of abject poverty, and poor living conditions. This has greatly contributed to a vast population seeking refuge in other countries all over the globe as immigrants in the pursuit to make their lives better. In the host country, America, just like the many other ethnic groups entering America, the Chinese immigrants running from their country faced social, economic, and legal discrimination that limited their rights and opportunities. Maxine gives a good example of her mother Brave Orchid, who had once been a prominent doctor in her native country China, but was forced to work in sweatshops or as laundry worker (Kingston 27).
Maxine memoir penetrates into the syllabi of a large number of women’s studies courses about the gender issues it brings across, especially when it comes to the duties of women in early China society. Her mother, Brave Orchid, comes up with an archetypal Chinese attitude that presents her as self-denial, and one who is self-abnegation for the well-being of the community. That is, the characteristics that “No Name Woman” lacks. Maxine’s further writing provides evidences of the subjugation of women in Chinese culture and Tradition. For example, there is repeated phrase “better to have geese than girls” (Kingston 34). The book The Woman Warrior gives an account of Maxine’s voice and strength as an autonomous woman in a Chinese tradition, which is confident to bring together the idea of Chinese wife slave with the talk stories about swordswomen. In another case, Maxine presents to the reader the difficult situations a woman in traditionalist China encounters in a bid to abide to the society requirements.
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Back in the foreign land, America, the impact of immigration differed greatly on gender lines. As an immense number of Chinese immigrants struggled to find residential places in the new country, they were encountered by different experiences based on whether they were men or women. As Maxine explains, Asian-American men settling in North America found their settlement there as that which was to lead to freedom, civilization, and for a brighter future in American society (Kingston 39). With their masculinity, the Asian men intermarried with the white women in this region providing a platform for better living standards. Maxine considers this action as that which undermines the societal values of the Asian American society. Asians were not allowed to intermarry with the whites, according to the Chinese tradition. The case was different to the Asian women finding settlement in the same place. According to Maxine, the period was marked by difficult times and hardships. Asian women faced constant discriminations owing to their activities in America as prostitutes, wives, mothers, and cola borers with the men (Kingston 41). Americans viewed Asian-American as alluring sex object, exotic, depraved prostitutes, and victims of Asian patriarchy who used to be in great need of rescue. That was not only discrimination but also a means of managing other people’s culture (Kingston 45). For that reason, American-Asians in America, especially women, had to battle a lot of racism and discrimination during this time.
Maxine talks about a girl who turns crazy after her parents leave her at her mother country, China, and heads to America. The girl talks about things that other people cannot understand with a lot of loud yelling. Later, however, the girl reconciles with her parents in America. Nevertheless, her condition never improves; she ends up being locked in a crazy house for the rest of her life. Here, the writer, Maxine, exposes one of the many challenges that a girl child goes through because of loneliness in her mother country. The consequences become a life-time problem. That case is similar to that of Maxine’s aunt, the unknown woman; it is because of her husband and her family leaving her alone in China that she gets into adultery. In return, she ends up in a scenario that cannot be undone (Kingston 51). The only solution she finds to suit her best is drowning herself in a river together with her baby girl. The two examples bring to surface the hardships in a girl’s life. That is especially true when one is tempted to ask oneself, why was that women the only people left behind when their family members proceeded to other countries in search for better pastures?
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According to Maxine’s mother, Brave Orchid, possessing adequate knowledge to be in a position to master different language was very important while in a foreign nation. That is the evidence when her mother challenges her to be talkative. Maxine says that her mother “cut her tongue” (Kingston 53). Maybe, that was good tactics to avoid discrimination that would come along through talking. Consequently, it might have served as a strong weapon in order to challenge individuals in their native country if one were in a position to talk just like them. That would become impossible if otherwise. As a result of becoming too much talkative, Maxine finds herself mistreating a fellow classmate and a Chinese who is fond of not talking. That makes Maxine hate the girl so much to a point of finding herself making the girl talk through molestation. Here the writer, Maxine, presents the reader with some of the challenges that foreign students went through in the hands of their classmates who were in their native country (Kingston 56).
From the analysis in this paper, there is no doubt that there is a deep relationship that revolves around gender and nations. As a result of interaction between people in different nations all over the world, one gets to know how different types of people, to be specific men and women, are treated. It is through immigration as people move from China to America that readers get to understand certain behaviors among members of a particular society. It is through the traditional China society that readers get to know a boy child was regarded highly as compared to a girl child. In addition, through Maxine’s life experience, one has come to understand that there are many challenges in foreign nations. Therefore, it is highly important for individuals to think twice before they decide to be immigrant in another nation.