The Hyphenated Identity of the ‘I’ Narrator as Chinese-American in The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts
HU, NAN (2010)
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The aim of this thesis is to study the construction of hyphenated identity and the representation of national identity in Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior (1976). Literary discourse plays a significant role in cultural studies because it mediates various cultures with regard to constructing a particular identity for immigrants in today’s multicultural society. In this thesis, postcolonialist and feminist perspectives provide the theoretical ground and approach for researching the unequal power relationship between the authority and the subordinate. In Kingston’s masterpiece The Woman Warrior, the ‘I’ narrator, as the descendant of the first generation of Chinese immigrants in America, has experienced a cultural confrontation between the dominant American white culture and hegemonic Chinese patriarchal culture. In such a circumstance, the narrator endeavors to break out of the double discrimination, eventually obtaining the accomplishment of constructing her hyphenated identity, Chinese-American. Moreover, in the process of constructing this identity, simultaneously, various Chinese and American cultural norms, values, conventions and characteristics are constructed in this fiction, which are actually the images on the projection screen as a strategic discourse rather than simple sketches of stereotypes.