‘When I visit the family now, I wrap my American successes around me like a private shawl. ‘ She is more sure of herself now. During her childhood years, she always heard sayings that degraded girls, ‘ Feeding girls is feeding cowbirds,’ or ‘There ‘s no profit in raising girls. Better to raise geese than girls. ‘ These all deprives Kingston of recognition and acceptance. Kingston are constantly being looks down upon just because she is a girl. This is also reflected when the family only welcome the returning of the son from Vietnam with chickens and pigs.
Kingston may not successfully gains the recognition from the family, but at least she is sure of herself now. ‘I am worthy of eating the food. ‘ She reassures herself that she too is useful and respectful. Though she may not be the dutiful swordswoman in her mother’s eyes, and her mother is certain that she will grow up as wives or slaves. Kingston chooses to be a warrior who will stand up and fight against all these traditional discrimination. She has successfully found another way to achieve what the woman warrior has achieved by using a pen.
She is confident of herself despite lacking recognition from the villagers and her family. The story of Fa Mu Lan also helps Kingston understand herself better with Kingston own reinterpretation of the story. Reinterpreting the story is a process of self-revelation. Through the reinterpretation of the story, she actually learns that the only way that she will gain approval of the villagers or her family is to take her father’s place in fighting and behead the baron and evil emperor. The impossibility of doing this makes Kingston acknowledge the difference between her American life and the fantasy.
She may not be like the swordswoman having all kinds of hard physical training, to copy tiger’s anger or stalking kill, etc. However, she does learn to stand up in her life to challenge the racist. When her boss called her ‘Nigger Yellow’, she pointed out that ‘ I don’t like that word’, unlike the no-name aunt who endured all humiliation silently, she expresses her dissatisfaction. She also challenged the boss when the boss was being unreasonable. ‘I refuse to type these invitations. ‘ Though this is again not her mother’s intention in telling her the folklore, Kingston displays courage in fighting against injustice by using a pen.
She does not recede under the spite teasing of others. Kingston is not a timid woman who let this kind of inequality continue without people paying attention to them. She is a female avenger and she sees herself as a liberator from all these old attitudes of China. In conclusion, the intention of the mother telling Kingston’s stories is somehow twisted. Kingston breaks from the restrain of tradition and work out a set of her own values. She librates from the patriarchal society. She is not submissive anymore,. She writes her desire and dissatisfaction and in turns opens the way for understanding herself better.