10 Aug 2022


"The woman warrior: Memoirs of a girlhood among ghosts": the book about hardship in California

Format: APA

Academic level: University

Paper type: Essay (Any Type)

Words: 508

Pages: 2

Downloads: 0

Reading the book authored by Kingston reveals that indeed the author experienced various stages of hardship while living in California. One of the hardships the author experienced was that of difficulty in communicating with other people both at her school settings and the external social environment. This difficulty in communication stems from a cultural practice in her native land where tongue mutilation was a common practice and her mother’s personal desire for her to learn multiple languages. 

The author confesses that her subsequent experiences as she grew of age took a different trajectory from her mother’s original expectations since speaking even her native language became difficult. In the story, she states that she was often compelled to repeat her speech performance on a number of her daily social conversations as typified in her conversations with the taxi driver and the fear that ran through her spine when the phone rang (Kingston, 1989). Contextually, the mutilation of the author’s tongue brought her daily hardship considering that she had a strong desire to socialize freely like the rest of her peers, a desire that became unattainable due to her communication problem. 

It’s time to jumpstart your paper!

Delegate your assignment to our experts and they will do the rest.

Get custom essay

Much of this hardship is manifested during her time in kindergarten where she was expected to speak English for the first time. The author acknowledges the struggle she had to go through during this phase of her life, arguing that saying even simple English words such as “hello” proved difficult (Kingston, 1989). With such difficulties in casual communication, her life in the kindergarten did not sail smoothly as that of other learners given the difficulties she had to go through in simple tasks such as asking questions at the checkout counter. 

Even more concerning is the silence the author went through, especially the prolonged length of time the silence took. She states that her silence was the thickest-totaling the three years she was in kindergarten. She confesses that during her first year she spoke to no one, but spent much of her time enjoying the silence. To compensate for the silence, the author took up drawing, another decision which introduced further hardship into her life. According to Kingston (1989), her drawings attracted the attention of her teachers who eventually summoned her parents to school under the suspicion that they were aiding or encouraging criminal tendencies on the part of their child due to the misinterpretation of what the drawings meant, and the message the young artist was trying to portray to her imaginary audience. 

There are certain obstacles the author is forced to negotiate in the process of fulfilling herself. One of such obstacles is that of disparities in the American and Chinese cultures. Regarding this, the author feels driven by the need to fit in the American society in spite of the culture shock and her continued strong attachment to her native Chinese culture. This development is evident in the scene where she drinks from a saucer as it is commonly done in China but otherwise frowned upon in the American culture (Kingston, 1989). A similar development appears during her conversation with the druggist where the conflicts between the two cultures arise as a major obstacle she has to negotiate in an attempt to fulfill herself (Kingston, 1989). 


Kingston, M. H. (1989). The woman warrior: Memoirs of a girlhood among ghosts.   New York, NY: Vintage International . 

Cite this page

Select style:


StudyBounty. (2023, September 17). "The woman warrior: Memoirs of a girlhood among ghosts": the book about hardship in California.


Related essays

We post free essay examples for college on a regular basis. Stay in the know!

19 Sep 2023

The analysis of chapter 23 of poem "Beowulf"

Running Head: BEOWULF 1 Beowulf Chapter 23: Fight with Grendel’s Mother The contexts that mark the beginning of Beowulf’s second fight have him courageous and unafraid of death. Beowulf has his armour on and...

Words: 659

Pages: 2

Views: 168

17 Sep 2023

The 5 key elements of a great story

The aspects that make up a story can be categorized into five basic and important elements. These components work to ensure that a story not only runs smoothly but also develop logically in a way that allows the...

Words: 333

Pages: 1

Views: 184

17 Sep 2023

What is the nature of man?

Man's nature is a broad concept that invites different interpretations when asked to explain the same. Some of the explanation agrees on the initial biblical description about man's nature where the one is allowed to...

Words: 781

Pages: 3

Views: 148

17 Sep 2023

F Scott Fitzgerald and the Jazz Age

F Scott Fitzgerald had the twenties as one of the highlight years of his career. Notably, one would notice that the books written by Fitzgerald are set on the location in which he had been living at that particular...

Words: 1284

Pages: 4

Views: 455

17 Sep 2023

The analysis of stories by Lispector, Allende, Danticat and Cortázar

Lispector _The Hen _ The short story of the hen by Clarice Lispector carries persecution, feminism, and self- liberation efforts. Lispector uses the hen to signify how women are only celebrated for...

Words: 597

Pages: 2

Views: 114

17 Sep 2023

Familiarity and Strangeness of “Gilgamesh”

The epic story of "Gilgamesh" is a classical mythology that reveals several heroic and heartbreaking ordeals that still have a place in the today's audience. Also, since it was written a thousand years ago, it has...

Words: 515

Pages: 2

Views: 379


Running out of time?

Entrust your assignment to proficient writers and receive TOP-quality paper before the deadline is over.