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Word Count: 1,646
A persons identity cannot be given to them instead a person must achieve a sense of her character through personal experience and self search In No Name Woman Maxine Hong Kingston recalls the events of her aunts life in the elusive world of her Chinese roots The story of her aunt is told by her mother and Kingston recreates the events into an exploratory story to help herself figure out what part of her existence is Chinese and help her better understand the Chinese culture By retelling her aunts story Kingston seeks to incorporate both her Chinese and American identities and mold them into her own individual identity Kingston a first generation American finds that as a result of her cultural heritage and current surroundings it is extremely difficult in resolving her identity She is a product of a very strong Chinese culture growing up in American and so her identity becomes multifaceted In attempting to resolve who she is and her cultural roots she discovers that her identity is characterized in relation to her Chinese identity her American environment and the combinations therein In the opening scene of the story the audience is immediately presented with a tragic story within a story The events viewed in retrospect through the eyes of the narrators traditional conservative mother seem skewed and moralistic delivered in an instructive voice The mothers speech is purely didactic She is telling this story to Kingston to teach a lesson never do what your aunt has done and do not bring shame upon the family name Instead of clearly accepting this tale Kingston has a hard time believing and consenting to her mothers message Although Kingston is to never speak of the aunt and pretend that the aunt never existed she disobeys her mother and comes up with a speculative version of events in retelling her aunts story Kingstons story seeks meaning in the Chinese culture system in order to strengthen her
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