Literary Analysis of No Name Woman Short Story
The Chinese society has a tendency to maintain the cultures of their homeland despite the changing times. However, the dynamism of the modern world catches up with the reactionary nature of a society forcing them to mould into the workings of the new world. Such was in the case of Maxine Hong Kingston’s key character in the story titled “No Name Woman”. The “No-name woman” mentioned in the story went through a life tragedy that saw to the end of her life. This instance pushed her to the wall to the point where she saw that taking her own life was the only solution to her problems. The difficult circumstances that plagued her revealed a lot about her; this is so despite the fact that the narrator knew little of her unnamed aunt. The actions the unnamed aunt took showed that she was a selfless and yielding person.
The No Name Woman by Maxine Hong Kingston
The unnamed main character of the story agreed to be joined in matrimonial companionship without a choice showing that was yielding to customs and traditions. The interests of the woman were to find love as the narrator explains how love blooms out of other subtleties, and rarely out of arranged marriages. These inadvertent forced marriages together with the uncertainty of ever knowing one’s spouse since they will be far away most of the time made marriage a nightmare. The acceptance to join such a union that leaves her in solitude showed how yielding the character was.
The Chinese culture demanded women to be submissive to men and their orders making her to be yielding to other people’s requests. The narrator looks at the various reasons a woman would cheat on her husband, and amongst them is the coercion into promiscuity. Furthermore, this might have prevented her from revealing the identity of the lover who was responsible for her pregnancy; he might have compelled not to do so. This shows how yielding the aunt was as she had been bred to act in such a manner. The result of this was the consequent blame on her for all the vices that her act implied. She accepted the blame for the act without revealing the intricacies that led to the occurrence of this predicament from everyone: family, friends and neighbors. This shows society has molded her into a submissive and yielding person.
The fact that the narrator’s aunt did not reveal the identity of the man responsible for her pregnancy showed how selfless she was. She could have shared the burden and shame of having an illegitimate child. This could have given her a chance to explain whatever circumstance that led to the eventuality; however, she chose to keep her lips sealed. This showed she was willing to suffer for both her and her secret love, proving her selflessness.
The committing of suicide by the aunt together with the killing of her newborn baby also had some element of selflessness in it. If she left her baby behind, it would have had the difficulty of being viewed as an outcast. The Chinese family set aside the outcasts and related with them minimally. This would have affected her child’s life in all aspects, and thus taking its life together with hers showed that she considered the child’s future too. Therefore, she was indeed selfless.
Summary of “No Name Woman”
Conclusively, the unnamed aunt was a person with no limits to how submissive and selfless she could be as illustrated by her matrimonial commitment to a lonesome marriage. In addition, taking the full blame for actions that she did not partake in alone showed she was selfless enough not to put other people in trouble. Her culture demanded her to be submissive, and this came with the unquestioned giving into any situation despite her own interests. These instances prove that she was yielding and selfless in nature.