M A I N * N E W S * T O P I C S * L I N K S * R E S E R V E S

Excellent/Interesting Observations and Questions

Here are the names of the people who got "+'s" on their reading responses for Week V, along with excerpts from people's observations and a list of the "top 10+" questions asked. (Note: when listing the questions, I'll always copy the wording from the first time the question was asked and put the author's name first in the list of names in parentheses after the question, so that everyone who asked a roughly similar question gets some recognition, but the first person who asked it gets more.)

Week V: Kingston

Honor Roll: Brad Beck, Sarah Boyle, Andrea Caccese, Jinny Compton, Kristine Cuomo, Jim DeGolyer, Adam Di Palma, Stefanie Evans, Jeff Green, Alex Herrera, Megan Hulbert, Beth Karnyski, Heather Koski, Russ Leo, Holli Neal, Bethany Prechtl, Tom Priester, Kelly Rosemellia, and Karine Torlet.


Top 10+ Questions

1. The author in these stories was making very strong statements about Chinese and American culture. Do you think that the author looks fondly on her Chinese background or does she look back on it with mixed feeling? (Jeffrey Ciminesi, Bethany Prechtl)

2. How does the story about her aunt's death relate to the story of protection of the village? (Heather Giambrone, Bethany Prechtl) What is the correlation if any, between the aunt dying, and the girl developing into a warrior and avenging her family and townspeople? Is there an underlying theme here, an evolution of sort from obedient, subordinate, power-less woman, to mighty, powerful, independent woman? (Brad Beck, Sarah McNaughton)

3. Do the memories and the idea of the dead aunt represent the "ghost" that is supposedly haunting the Kingston family? (Sarah Boyle, Holli Neal) Why did the ghost (the aunt) come back to haunt [Kingston]? What does the ghost symbolize when she comes back? (Kristen Konieczny) The life of the aunt is used as a moral lesson in the story. How does Kingston feel towards her aunt, is she too ashamed of her? I wonder if Kingston feels guilty or rather, obligated to tell this story of her aunt? (Kelly Rosemellia) What does the image of the drowned ghost imply about the point of the story [of "No Name Woman"] and the respective culture? Why does the author care so much about this story? What significance does it have in a modern context? (Russ Leo) In the first story of the aunt, did the death in the well symbolize the fact that the drinking water would be 'stained' with this incident forever? The water is an essential aspect of the lives of those who condemned her thus those against her would be in a sense remembering her by drinking the tainted water. (Adam Di Palma) Does Kingston write "No Name Woman" to show tell her aunt that she doesn't disown her and that she forgives her to or to tell her that she does distain her like the rest of her family? (Nathan Cooper) Was there a reason why the author made this story so similar to the "Scarlet Letter?" (Ryan Destro)

4. First, I am having difficulty pinpointing Kingston's main point in writing the tales. Is she trying to give insight in to the Chinese culture? I am not sure after my reading. (Ryan Barone, Holli Neal, Melissa Lancia, Bryant Loomis) Why does the author betray her family by telling the aunt's story [in "No Name Woman"]? Why is she so bitter about her life? (Noelle Dull, Bryant Loomis) What is the significance of Kingston retelling her mother's story of her aunt from a different view point to her readers? (Holli Neal) Why does Kingston rethink and analyze her mother's story after it is told? (Jeff Green) What do you think was the purpose for Kinston writing about the story of Mulan? (Mickey Dunning, Jeff Green, Jim DelGolyer) How does the history of Chinese woman effect the writing of Maxine Hong Kingston? (William Smith)

5. Are there any REAL ghosts in [The Woman Warrior]? Real meaning in accordance with our standards? What makes a true ghost story? (Stephanie Armstrong) What relevance does the description of the ghosts (the garbage ghost, the meter reader ghost ...) have? (Cindy Stevens, MIckey Dunning) Why do you think Kingston chose the title that she did? What does it have to do with the content of the stories--esp. memoirs of a girlhood among ghosts? (Amelia Vanni) On page 16, the tie in of ghosts (spirits) and how the author (kingston) is percieving these spirits is presented, how is her view different from the views of other authors who have protrayed ghosts? (Lindsay Robinson) Can a ghost story be a history lesson by trying to learn from the mistakes of the past? (Tom Priester)

6. In "White Tigers," why do you think that during the last battle Fa Mu Lan tells her last opponent that she is a "female avenger"? In her other battles that she fought she never told anyone that she was a women. Why? (Alex Herrera) I was really confused about the last paragraph of the ["White Tigers"] chapter (p53). What does vengance define in this last paragraph and all along the story? And what is the crime she is referring to? ("report a crime" and "report to five families") (Karine Torlet) Why did her parents carve words on her back [in "White Tigers"]? (Stephe Stoddard, Stephanie DiBlasi, Cindy Stevens, Jason Golubski) Could it be that they wanted her to always know their sacrifice?? Her mother says "and you'll never forget either." (Liza Infantino) [In "No Name Woman,"] was the sacrificing of the pigs to the gods kind of the same concept as her having the child in the pigsty? (Megan Hulbert, Stephanie DiBlasi, Chris Metot) What does the dragon represent in the story of Mulan? (Salim Miller, Jason Golubski) In the poem the Ballad of Mulan the last phrase deals with how difficult it is to tell male from female when they are riding side by side, do you think that this is another cry from the Chinese women to be treated more like equals? (Jeffrey Ciminesi)

7. Why did the mother tell her daughter the story [of "No Name Woman"]? (Jessica Scirto, Sarah McNaughton, Amelia Vanni, Alex Herrera, Ryan Destro) Can we assume that the aunt story was told by the mother in order to prepare the daughter for life ahead? If the father wanted no one to know about the aunt wouldn't the mother, by telling the story, be disloyal to her husband for disobeying his wishes? (Adam Di Palma, Bryant Loomis) What do you think her father would have said if she would have asked her about her aunt? (Nathan Cooper) What do you think would have happened if the aunt did not kill herself? (Kristen Konieczny) Did or does anyone else think that Kingston's mother was making up the first story? If so, was or is your assumption strengthened or weakened by the second chapter? (Mike Krauklis) Is her mother going too far by attempting to erase her sister-in-law from history, and warning her daughter never to mention her story, or follow in her footsteps? (Jeff Green) Why is her mother so negative toward her? (Jim DeGolyer)

8. What do the ideographs on page 20 look like? Why does Kingston include the ideographs in the story? (Stefanie Evans) In the white tiger I noticed the mention of colors a lot. White, Blue, red and other colors ( p21, p29, etc.). Is this significant? (Shana Sek, Jake Proper, Jamie Coniglio)

9. How does [Kingston] make all the inferences about her aunt? (Noelle Dull, Tom Priester) Why didn't the nameless woman accuse the guy? Why did she protect him? He forced her into this why didn't she expose him? I know that's the same question three times but it changes slightly.... Why bother mention the possibility of incest unless that's what happened? I mean if she didn't believe it was incest why would she bring it up???? (Kris Krajewski)

10. I will also question the term "white devil" once more. Why is this term used as a translation from Chinese if those who pass away in Chinese culture are cared for as if they are still living? (Andrea Caccese)

M A I N * N E W S * T O P I C S * L I N K S * R E S E R V E S

EN 209: Novels and Tales, Spring 1999
Created: 3/21/99, 10:34 am
Last modified: 3/21/99, 12:34 pm