2010
12.02

The Courage of Kingston

Maxine Hong Kingston is an individual who is clearly no stranger to her heritage for her chinese ancestry is the primary source of her identity.  Though she possesses much reverence for her culture, she is clearly unafraid to be critical of its traditions and practices.  For this very reason, I feel she deserves the right to be called a woman warrior.  Where others have blindly or cowardly followed the expectations of their heritage, Kingston has identified the shortcomings of her background and attempted to correct through through her writing.  Unlike those before her, Kingston believes mightily in the power of women and the fact that she would even write these stories is a testament to that.  To address a lost relative, shunned by her family because of circumstances beyond her control, is an incredibly brave action.  As a heroic writer Kingston gives life to a person who was thought of as never have existing and attempts to correct the circumstances of a tragic situation.  As she states, “a swordswoman got even with anybody who hurt her family”.    He retelling of the fabled Mu Lan story is equally admirable as she reinvents the tale, highlighting the true capabilities of a female warrior, to be compassionate and caring as well as devastatingly dangerous and powerful.

To believe in the power of women meant to be shunned by her family and rejected by her peers, yet Kingston achieve more for herself than was allowed.  Though she was unable to lead armies into battle and smash the oppressive force like Mu Lan or raise her long-forgotten aunt from the depths of the afterlife, her courage and fierce independent spirit enabled her to discover the power of language and the written word.  For these reasons I feel that Kingston has achieved the status of a true, modern woman warrior.

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  1. I enjoyed your title, and I can see why Kingston can be seen to be courageous! She stands up to others view of herself, her heritage and traditional norms, and depicts what others, in my opinion fear to do. I agree that Kingston is a herioc writer who gives life to something that’s typically not seen.