The Woman Warrior: Discussion Questions
August 24, 2011
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Hello everyone! Is anyone besides me still stubbornly working through The Second Sex? I’ve got about 200 pages left, myself. For those of you who also read The Woman Warrior this month, here are some things I was wondering about:
1. What do you see as the main distinctions between what our narrator deems Chinese-feminine and American-feminine? How does she see herself fitting into either of these categories?
2. What did you make of the fact that the word “ghost” is used in the text to describe both dead individuals and foreign groups of people?
3. Moon Orchid is said to go mad at the end of “At the Western Palace” because of the shameful infidelity inflicted by her husband, but insanity is a prevalent theme throughout the text and I think the reasons are more numerous. What do you think those reasons are?
4. About the Woman Warriors: I was reminded of the chapter on Myths in The Second Sex, and Simone de Beauvoir’s assertion that historically, cultures that have exalted women in myth are no more fair to them in real, down-to-earth matters than are cultures whose myths exclude them. What are the differences that our narrator sees in the Woman Warriors of the past and the women in her own family? Are there any qualities that they share? What qualities does our narrator believe make warriors of women?
I know this month is hectic for many of you, and comes at the end of a long succession of hectic months. If you managed to fit this book into your schedule, though, I would love your input! It sure has kept me thinking.