No name women - Literature Essay Example

There are two types of ghosts in Kingston’s book - No name women introduction. All these ghosts are present in her mother’s tales. The older woman is constantly telling stories from the Old World and bringing Chinese folklore into her life in America. Mother mentions these “creatures” telling the story of the aunt. The ghosts, or gods, take an active part in the rural life of the Chinese village. Then, of course, the aunt herself is a ghost for the author. She is afraid that by mentioning the aunt’s story she will be haunted by her spirit. The people in the Chinese village are another kind of ghosts for the girl in the USA. Those neighbors came and went destroying her family’s house like ghosts—as the supposed crime was committed in secrecy, so would the punishment be done in anonymity.  All these ghosts inhabited the dreams and fantasies of the young girl who wanted to correlate two different cultures: American and Chinese.

Other ghosts are connected with the American realty. “America [. . .] full of machines and ghosts – Taxi Ghosts, Bus Ghosts, Police Ghosts, Fire Ghosts, Meter Reader Ghosts, Tree Trimming Ghosts, Five-and-Dime Ghosts” (Kingston, 97). An obvious reason for calling Americans “ghosts” is their color, many people’s skin is lighter than that of Chinese, but not all Americans are white so, I suppose, there is another reason besides the physical aspect of a ghost. Ghosts, in most societies, are something to be feared and are unwanted. Another reason why her mother may think of Americans as ghosts is because to her, Americans are the cause of a change in her family and tradition. For example, the view of successfulness has changed drastically from her to her daughter. Maxine is more self-oriented in success than her mother and her mother’s belief in self sacrifice for the group. Her mother blames the American society for changing her daughter’s views and fears that the tradition of Chinese culture will soon be extinct within the next few generations. This American “ghost” is turning the tradition of the Chinese to “ghosts” as well. Another characteristic of ghosts is a presence without being seen. To Maxine’s mother the American society has made a presence in her daughter’s and her life, and even if it’s not obvious, is continually making changes to both their lives. there is another reason besides the physical aspect of a ghost. Ghosts, in most societies, are something to be feared and are unwanted.

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Another reason why her mother may think of Americans as ghosts is because to her, Americans are the cause of a change in her family and tradition. For example, the view of successfulness has changed drastically from her to her daughter. Maxine is more self-oriented in success than her mother and her mother’s belief in self sacrifice for the group. Her mother blames the American society for changing her daughter’s views and fears that the tradition of Chinese culture will soon be extinct within the next few generations. This American “ghost” is turning the tradition of the Chinese to “ghosts” as well. Another characteristic of ghosts is a presence without being seen. To Maxine’s mother the American society has made a presence in her daughter’s and her life, and even if it’s not obvious, is continually making changes to both their lives.

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