No Name Woman: Exploring Sides of Cultural Identity

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Throughout the end of time people have based their decisions on the opinions of other people. In a person's life there might be certain situations where they do not do what they really dream of doing or going outside the box, because they are fearful that it will not meet the standards of their loved ones or the societies as well. They base their decisions on what others have to say or will say when they do something that is not normal to them. Most people find their families opinions to be more important than their own because they are afraid of being rejected or shunned. When not taking their family’s opinions into consideration, they feel as if they portray the action of deception. A well-written illustration of a families opinion that has an impact on one's life, and having caused deception when not considering them, is the story No Name Woman by Maxine Hong Kingston. Kingston talks about how her aunt remained unnamed and unspoken about within her family due the deceptions she caused the family to feel. Her aunt who remained that way for years makes her wonder what she did and why they never spoke of her in the household. It had a major impact on her life knowing that within the bloodline of the family they were able to act like the aunt was a ghost. Kingston uses this essay to explore her identity so finds who she is. A key point that is made is in the Chinese culture men's actions are not accounted for like they are for the women. 

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Chinese men were praised, this made it easier for men to have a higher status in a social setting, along with being treated differently. It is noted that self-identity should never depend on other people's opinions. Kingston uses the illustration of the unnamed aunt to describe that no matter what culture, class, or gender, should ever make someone feel like they have to pretend to do something that they do not love doing. Kingston uses the Chinese and American culture, along with the double standards between men and women to prove that it is important to find the identity of one's self to understand that being different is unique. Kingston provides us with evidence of her Chinese side when she discusses her own experiences with attraction as a child. She writes of how she always struggled with trying to impress the opposite sex, because she feared that trying to make herself American-pretty so that the ve or six Chinese boys in the class fell in love with her would lead to making all of the boys of every race in the class like her, which is something she did not desire.

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