1. The Woman Warrior--Reading Notes
    1. General
      1. Title--implications
      2. Structure: post modern; also non-logical; phallocentric--circular
      3. Dont tell anyone--vs. tellilng the truth
        1. about sex; about women; about the horrors of the past and suppressions of the present; Chinese American parents hiding truth from children; like from the gods 5--afraid of children
      4. sending money home--economics
      5. Use of quotation marks--mother speaking--purpose of the story p.5; dont tell father; warning about life;
      6. Use of bird logo--cover, title page, origami, scroll at beginning of white tigers, all chapter transitions
    2. No Name Woman
      1. First chapter--relationships--no name woman--read the opening; water; never there
      2. National Suicide Day; aunt’s suicide; into the well
      3. The village counting--the great saw--the experience of terror
      4. Disgrace and horror--birth in pigsty
      5. She must speculate to tell the story--what she knows different version
        1. Condition of women in china
        2. adultery as extravagance
        3. rape secret evil--she obeyed him
      6. The outcast table--taking a daughter in law 7
      7. My aunt, my forerunner--a romantic or a rebel--a different version--depilation 9--beauty as binding--feet, vs. release10
      8. Conditions of five generations under one roof--11--vote with your feet
        1. plain miens; loud voices
      9. neutralizing sex; everyboy a brother 12
      10. American Feminine--stimulaing sex
      11. conformity; break in roundness--the circle of generations 13
      12. back to the story of the aunt--giving birth; pathos and pain--not a tribal person but alone 14--pain of separation; for boys there is forgiveness 15
        1. real punishment is forgetting; her ghost draws Kingston toward the water; need to keep the circle closed--cf. end of Sula--cry in the water
    3. White Tigers
      1. Introd.
        1. Chinese girls listened
        2. taught about failure--unless you are hero; swordswoman
        3. the one revenges
        4. woman's danger and power
          1. that's why feet were bound
          2. invent pole fighting--marital art
          3. stories and movies of swordswomen
        5. talkstory is also power
          1. grows up with fighter identity
        6. transition--bird, coming of page of ideograph will lead her up brush painting mountain--switch from would to did on p. 21--maintaining narrator as I
      2. the story
        1. the old couple
          1. Food; old couple--up on the mountain--beanstalk
          2. pine needle designs; magic patterns
          3. rock as table; inside and outside house the same 21--roof lid
          4. Training--like opera singers--15 years--Yoda
          5. Magic gourd in which past and future are viewed
          6. Separation from parents
          7. Choice offered
        2. Stages of training
          1. Learning to be quiet 23
            1. Animals come
          2. Controlling body--pupils and jumping
          3. seventh year: led to mountains of white tigers=Snow Leopard; three feet from the sky
            1. Survival in snow--foraged and carried firewood and nuts
            2. no bird
            3. white tigers prowl; drink snow
            4. food: monks vegetarian food; fasting
            5. fungus of immortality gathered
            6. then eats just nuts and fungus
            7. dead land of depression; weighed down 25
            8. rabbit jumps into fire for sacrifice for her 26--taught her about self-immolation 28
            9. Hunger changes the world--psychedelic vision; the two dancers
              1. everything is dance; yin and yang 27
              2. two angels in their consecutive moments
              3. man and woman
              4. small crack in the mystery
              5. killing and falling are dancing too 27
          4. dragon ways--eight years back with old people
            1. tigers were easy--anger
            2. dragon is wisdom; the whole; never see the whole 28
            3. earth is dragon--a living thing
            4. room for paradoxes 29
            5. sees family; the people she must execute
          5. menstruates and then sees family take a husband for her--playmate since childhood
          6. conditions of the peasants; oppression by barons--conscription [vs. voluntary service]
          7. learning to kill--like animals 33--ties in to her bleeding [cf. death of Chicken Little]
          8. ready to leave when she makes a sword appear
        3. Her heroic exploits
          1. surrounded by parents love--all this totally romanticised
          2. revenge carved on back--all the grudges
          3. white horse shows up as a "sign" 35
          4. volunter army; villagers give their sons--marching north to Peiping--to get the emperor
          5. inspiring army with songs--defeating giants--devil/snake
          6. remains a woman in secret [little dig at Chinese and girls]
          7. Husband comes with flowers; idealized lovemaking; side by side in battle 39
          8. husband at birth; ceremonial dedication; carried into battle in sling; sent away to family with husband 41
          9. gets careless; loses fifteen beads
          10. marches with army to captial--beheaded the emperor--REVOLUTION
          11. touches Long Wall;
          12. comes back to to kill baron; conversation about sexism 43; brutal executions
            1. this is a dream version of her life in America
        4. Village meetings the year one; returns home; bears more sons; housework; perfect filiality 45
      3. the reflection--My American life has been such a disappointment 45
        1. straight A's are her conquest--but mother rejects them 45
        2. she has history of screaming outrage when nasty girl proverbs are spoken
        3. the nasty emigrant villages 46
        4. Berkely in sixties --changing the world--like the WW
        5. her feminine rebellion; against Chinese and American feminine
        6. China wraps double binds--48
        7. who the enemy is--racists, developers and real estaters--avenger
        8. News from China is confusing--there the enemy is the Revolution itself 50--we are not the peasants but the barons
        9. hates gurus and martial arts
        10. wrap american success around herself when visiting the famil 52
        11. had to break away; get out of hating range of Chinese sexism
        12. What she has in common with swordswoman is words on her backs--report a crime; the words
    4. Shaman
      1. Maxine and Fa Mu Lan; Maxine and mother--similarities and differences
      2. significance of title: witch doctor, exorcist, traveller in other realities; healer
      3. part 1 57-75
        1. old artifacts-3 scrolls
          1. nursing school diploma--seriouis expressions on pics
          2. photo of graduating class
            1. mother's eyes staring into future; dresses
            2. fathers photos from america
          3. Department of Health scroll with chinese words [not elaborated]
        2. mother lost two children before father left
        3. she goes to nursing school
          1. unpacking artifacts
          2. mother got to be private and independent; older than other girls
          3. natural scholar; learns ancient and modern medicine; exceptional student
        4. the haunted room
          1. mother is sceptical about ghost stories; just nightmare--65
          2. faces ghosts--a hero for friends
            1. dragonness
            2. the sitting ghost 69--what is this: the babies?--weight too burdensome to lift--you have no power; you kill babies
            3. a warrior; courageous; travels alone
            4. sarcastic
            5. She is named Brave Orchid--71; girls bring her back
            6. Shaman--73: altogether lost 12 years, but only one hour in room
              1. babies crying; tortured people screaming--it wants lives
              2. she's scaring the other girls
            7. exorcism performed 75
            8. cf. Don Juan and Morrison/s Beloved
      4. part 2
        1. 75
          1. new community started by nurses; to replace the old
          2. she goes back to village as magic doctor
          3. how much I have fallen coming to America
          4. mother shopping at market in canton
            1. delicious lichees
            2. buying slave
            3. selling daughters
            4. learning how to bargain 79--slavery from inside--testing the girl--trained to be nurse
          5. Maxine jealous of slave girl; mother doesnt love or pay as much for her 83
          6. more chinese ghost stories--apething; boy without anus, killing girls--horrror; nightmares
        2. break 87
          1. mother tells ghost stories to reielve the heat in the laundry
          2. communist tract on exorcising ghosts
          3. eating ghosts
        3. break 90
          1. mother cooks wierd stuff; monkey feast story
        4. break 92
          1. airplains bombing and stoning the crazy woman
        5. break 96
          1. airplanes as ghosts, white people are ghosts
        6. break 99
          1. trouble getting to sleep when visiting mama
          2. mothers complaints
          3. she needs to be away from mother
          4. -white hair; white is just another pigment
          5. mother wont stop working; village mentality
          6. mother cant sleep in America--105
          7. Maxine cant sleep at mothers
          8. we belong to planet 107
          9. Maxine looking for ghost free places
          10. we're both dragons
          11. mother calls her trick name, little dog, not dragon 108
    5. In the Western Palace: the Chinese-American world
      1. 68--The airport--an act of immigration; border crossing; cut off from home culture
        1. complexities of crossing
          1. Brave Orchid waits for Moon Orchid for nine hours--keeping plane up--magic thinking at airport
          2. thinking about son in Vietnam--a return to Asia
        2. remembers her crossing at Ellis Island
          1. identification with sister; her paranoia about immigration holding sister;
        3. talking to niece, MO's daughter who she brought over and arranged a marriage for, who has children; who is Americanized and doesnt know mother
        4. disappointing reunion--not really a reunion, since both have changed
          1. BO's disappointed with her age; critical; daughter calls
          2. MO's stuff hanging out at custom
          3. rude encounter: your so old, you're so fat, so skinny-sparring
          4. sister's silliness irritates BO after 30 years
      2. 119 at home in Stockton
        1. gifts given: slippers from youngest aunt; communist paper cutouts--including Fa Mu Lan--transitions; crossings
        2. BO's character at home
          1. the tyrant woman--village mother in law
            1. displaced in new culture
            2. no English
          2. alienated from assimilating kids
            1. spirit maneuvers not explained to kids--always grouchy--not interested in fancy dress
            2. kids who wont keep pictures, etc.; stuff in rolltop desk 123
            3. their burrowing; their trophies; didnt seem like much
          3. kitchen for preparing food and animal feed; farm/peasant economy
            1. BO's hard practicality, peasant ways. MO's Hong Kong language and ways--"lovely useless types 128
          4. Brave Orchid orchestrating MO 's reclaiming of husband
            1. funny scenario's of catching and disorienting him; dissing second wife
            2. what a wife is good for: scold her husband into becoming a good man 130; dont begin meek--the warrior fierce woman
        3. MO's alienation from sister's kids
          1. she's testing provoking 135
            1. follows kids around and drives them batty
          2. they're raised in wilderness; not demure; animals; not modest
      3. at the laundry 135 and in Chinatown-- bicultural world
        1. Americans vs. overseas Chinese
        2. life in the laundry; MO cant work--children work
        3. bedroom for whole family to sleep on long nights
        4. do some husband beating 138--women at the gambling parlor--joking
        5. chinatown atmosphere; men at water pipes
        6. eyes reading back and forth is wonderful for MO
        7. MO harrasses them more; describes what they do--very well 142
        8. child translates her chinese to anglo husband--hovering close
      4. 143--the trip to LA--assimilated world
        1. BO prepping MO for the trip with talk story about Empress of East and West
          1. the revolutionary liberation; vengeance of the first wife; takeover-- archaic fantasy
          2. talk on the way down; envisioning the scene of invading the house 144
          3. dentists office; waiting room; nurse is second BO getting agressive, MO terrified--BO could never learn English NB 149
        2. Meeting the brain surgeon--why this profession?
          1. BO gets son to go to Office, bring him down with silly story--funny dialgoue 150 ***
          2. husband finally shows; much younger than MO
          3. rejection--terrible scene--both sisters disoriented
          4. they had become ghosts 153
          5. husband never wrote--"you become people in a book" 154
            1. he too couldnt acknowledge what was happening
          6. He buys them lunch at BO's demand--very western and secular conclusion
      5. MO goes nuts
        1. stays in LA with daughter; fears Mexicans are tracking her
          1. what's significance? culture shock; doesnt understand language or what's going on, cut off from protected female chinese urban identity
          2. everything threatens
        2. BO brings her to Chinatown for shamanic cure, but it wont work
          1. earlobes to try to bring her spirit back--throws out thorazine; sleeps in same bed with her; anchor sister's spirit to earth 157
        3. household upset to contain her fantasies--no light
      6. Conclusion-- Language and sanity
        1. MO put in mental asylum, where she's happy--we understand each other; we speak the same language 169
        2. BO BO's definition of madness: one story that they talk over and over 159--no translation or adaptation; no change
        3. takes the reason for her madness, the husbands taking of another wife; fears her's will do the same
        4. children and husband treat BO as nuts because she has this paranoid fear
    6. Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe: Maxine's voice
      1. transition
        1. brother's report to sister to Maxine about the trip to LA--continuous and discontinuous
        2. topic becomes her style of telling stories: knotted--she's outlaw knot maker--twisted into designs; not math major like brothers and sisters 163
        3. contrast style of previous chapter
        4. topic is Maxine and her voice
      2. mother cut tongue
        1. so she wouldnt be tongue tied--move in any language
        2. Maxine feels it gave her a terrible time talking
          1. broken voice or long complete grammatical sentence
        3. she and mother dont understand each other
          1. picture of BO in previous chapter is uncomprehending
      3. Maxine's self-expression--blocked by her Chinese foreignness
        1. covered school paintings with black paint [making them hard to see]--but curtains swinging open
        2. flunked kindergarten because she wouldnt speak
        3. had to talk in in school--talk a misery, silence a misery --166
        4. difficulty with American "I"--ego and assertiveness --writing and saying "here"
        5. cant say things because they violate curses
        6. going to Chinese school--everything chanted together; no public recitation
          1. discrepancies--wild capture the flag; no supervision during recess
          2. descriptions of voice--splinters, crippled animal 169
          3. sent to Rexall to get reparation candy because mother feared curse of medicine sent to wrong house. 170
          4. Chinese sounds ugly to American ears not beautfil like Japanese sayonara words 171
          5. Chinese cant hear americans; we had to make American feminine speaking personality
        7. the silent girl
          1. we were the same--bad in sports--hated by Maxine [scapegoating; stoning] 173
          2. dark narrative; school deserted; sun going down
          3. I could fly [like a witch] going to forbiden places--boys lavoratory--long interrogations and torment
          4. Your disgusting--if she had bound feet, I would have...stomped on them 178--in lavoratory forever...trying to help***
          5. [tormenting her like BO torments MO---for her own good?]
          6. worst thing yet I had done to another person 181
          7. rescued by sister--Max. acts righteous--later encountered and made no change
          8. punished with 18th months' mysterious illness; best time of her life [cf. MO's happiness]
            1. mother gets her up one day--no explanation
        8. Secrets to hold in; another variation on silence and speech 182
          1. immigration secrets--never tell
            1. lie to americans
          2. talk-story as secret;
          3. parents wont tell truth to children because they are ghosts
            1. dont explain holidays and rituals 185
      4. Speech and sanity
        1. I thought talking and not talking made the difference between sanity and insanity. 186
          1. various crazy women
          2. crazy mary--eventually locked up
          3. Pi ah Nah--village idiot...lapsing into talk story
        2. I am crazy woman in our house 189
          1. talked to people in my head
          2. getting stranger, deliberately
      5. Fear of the Chinese feminine mold--old country ghosts
        1. She acts strange to avoid being married or sold off
          1. fear of parents returning to China which they regard as home. 190
          2. improve voice--pressed duck quack according to wealthiest villager 192
        2. Chinese girls
          1. girls are maggots 191--clerk typists vs. truck drivers
          2. awful sound of chinese opera
            1. she sings "beat me," the audience laughts; kill disobedient woman is OK--Confucius
          3. Finding husband
          4. FOB are fresh off boat husbands
          5. Then the mentally retarded boy--porno in cartons; mother wants him anyway as a rich suitor 197 ***
      6. 197: List of supressed things to tell her mother--over two hundred
        1. confessions of guilt and fears--she envies confession 198
        2. mother doesnt want disturbance at peaceful time in evenings 198
        3. memory of killing spider [cf. Sula]; relieved by the confession--seeing the top magician
        4. Mother wouldnt listen--panic experience
      7. 202 Showdown with mother
        1. blurts out all the suppressed stuff at dinner one night--her self assertion and way to the future--finding herself--woman warrior's education--202
        2. mother is champion talker at the same time--tells her she's misinterpreted mother; her paranoia like Moon Orchid's
        3. Mother says get out: Ho chi Kuei [sounds of chinese enter the story]
      8. Response to Ho Chi Kuei
        1. all the different meanings; looking up the word--sometimes hostile, sometimes not--ghosts
        2. her desire to learn things straight and logical--confucius 204
        3. but it keeps getting more complicated; not science and math
        4. finding out truth--exorcize ghosts
        5. trying again to untangle things
        6. wants to go to china and find out the truth for herself--nice if Communists were taking care of themselves
      9. Resolution: I told my mother I talk story; the beginning is her's the ending is mine--there is no line demarcating 206
        1. Grandmother loved theatre--saved from bandits by being at theatre--she had bound feet
        2. Songs of Tsai Yen, poetess of AD 175 heard in theatre
        3. Daughter of scholar; captured by barbarian Chieftain; rides with him and bears children on horseback
        4. twelve year captivity; speaks chinese to her children only who dont understand her
        5. barbarians music were death sounds of arrows
        6. she hears their singingto moon with flues; yearning toward high note
        7. she's disturbed by music; sings here own longing song in Chinese; eventually sings to Barbarians
        8. they respond to it and so do her children
        9. she brings it back to china and they sing it today about longing; forever wandering***
        10. it translated well 109