Paper 3 - Who Am I: Defining Existence Through the...

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Who Am I: Defining Existence Through the Individual in Woman Warrior There are two ways of viewing our existence, passive or assertive. The passive way of looking at our lives is to accept that we are set inside a mold that has already been defined for us by our heritage and the conditions we were born in. We have no control over our existence. The best that we can do is find out the boarders that have been set for us and thus discover what it means to be us as an individual. The more assertive view on existence is that we define it through our own actions. We are not limited by the society we grew up in nor should we try to become limited by the rules set before us. Rather, we define ourselves as an individual through our actions and our choices thus extending the limits of the society through our own individuality. Maxine Hong Kingston’s Woman Warrior illustrates the idea that one should not try to define themselves based on the culture they are a part of. Rather, the novel suggests that the individual should be defined through their actions and that trying to fit into a certain model would only be detrimental and illogical. In the short story “No Name Woman,” the narrator suggests that identity should not be limited by conforming to society’s beliefs, but that identity means being different even if it results in breaking the rules. When the narrator retells the story of her adulterous aunt, she
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This essay was uploaded on 02/22/2008 for the course ENGL 111 taught by Professor Chang,steven during the Fall '07 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Paper 3 - Who Am I: Defining Existence Through the...

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