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Word Count: 749
The Woman Warrior The Woman Warrior written by Maxine Hong Kingston focuses on the stories of five womenKingstons long-dead aunt No-Name Woman a female warrior Fa Mu Lan Kingstons mother Brave Orchid Kingstons aunt Moon Orchid and finally Kingston herself The chapters integrate Kingstons lived experience with a series of talk-storiesspoken stories that combine Chinese history myths and beliefsher mother tells her Her use of birds mountains and bound feet in her novel are very important and symbolic to the novel Birds are important symbols in White Tigers and Shaman In White Tigers a bird guides Kingston as seven-year-old Fa Mulan up the mountain to meet her mentors The bird represents the bravery of a child who would be willing to climb a mountain in pursuit and also represents the fantastical possibility of a girl literally rising above her station in life and growing to become a great leader The bird is such an auspicious symbol in the legend of Fa Mulan in fact that Maxine is especially disturbed that a bird represents death in another story that of her Fourth Uncles deathhe is killed by Communists while he is trying to capture birds as food for his family To Maxine it is almost as if the talk-stories are contradicting themselves Birds are an auspicious symbol in the talk-stories of Shaman A sea bird is painted on the side of Brave Orchids boat to Canton To Maxine the bird represents luck because the very next ship is boarded by pirates It might also be said to represent fortune in the literal sense when Brave Orchid goes to the market to shop her wallet unfolds like wings Mountains represent isolation safety fortune and possibility in The Woman Warrior The mountain in White Tigers is a magical place where Fa Mu Lan learns wisdom and martial arts In Shaman the mountain near Brave Orchids village is a place of refuge during the Japanese bombing
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