Cultural Context Essay Lies Silence

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In order to feel even partially accepted in American culture, young Kingston retreats behind an emotional wall and loses her voice: "We American-Chinese girls had to whisper to make ourselves American-feminine. In one poignant and painful episode, she describes the hatred she felt for another Chinese girl who refused to speak and the physical bullying she meted out to get this silent girl to talk.

Through Kingston, however, Brave Orchid's achievements are vocalized and recorded, as are all of the women's lives in The Woman Warrior.

Kingston's memoir reveals Brave Orchid's sacrifices and lifts her out of the nameless Chinese crowd living in America.

Fundamental to The Woman Warrior is the theme of finding one's own, personal voice.

Interspersed throughout the memoir's five chapters are numerous references to this physical and emotional struggle.


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