Maxine Hong Kingston was writing and then published The Woman Warrior in 1976. According to People History, in the same year, there was a vicious earthquake in Tabgshan, China that killed 655,000 (The People History). Kingston was probably shaken up by an earthquake that killed so many people in the country where she was from. This could have taken a toll on her and maybe influenced how she wrote her book. Perhaps this caused her to take a more sympathetic view to her family in the story since that had just gone through the earthquake. Another huge event that happened in 1976 according to People History (The People History) was that Mao Tse-tung (the founder of the Chinese Communist Party) died. Since she talks some about the Communists and what they did to her family in the story, this probably had a big impact on what she wrote. She says that the Communists were very cruel to her family and I wonder if she was so honest about this because the leader of the party had died. What happened in the years that she was writing the book probably had a great effect on what she decided to include in her story and what point of view to take.


Maxine Hong Kingston was born in 1940 in California. The early forties were dominated by the Second World War. During the war, China and Japan engaged in a war between their two countries. In 1942 Congress approved a five million dollar loan to China. President Roosevelt described China as the U.S.’s main ally against Japan. However Japan was westernized and had the military power and weapon technology that they needed in order to fight the Chinese. On the other hand China had a small, disorganized army that wasn’t really loyal to their leader. Because they had refused to Westernize, they lacked the new technology, battle strategies and numbers of soldiers that the Japanese and most other countries in the world had then. Then In 1942, a few months after the Pearl Harbor attack, Japanese- Americans started being held in camps. There were many Japanese who were taken from California where The Woman Warrior is set.

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-Grace P.

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