Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Karem, F. Jeff

Subject Headings

Kingston, Maxine Hong, Woman warrior, Chinese American women -- Biography -- History and criticism, Self, Buddhism, The Woman Warrior, Buddhist imagery, Buddhist journey, silence, meditation, self, cultural identity, koan, martial arts


Buddhist imagery in The Woman Warrior can be interpreted as part of a Buddhist journey, a journey to observe and realize the nature of the self as mutable and indefinable this concept of self becomes transcendent through the novel to the reader by a participatory process which calls for insight beyond the illusion created by the narrative itself. Through an exploration of Buddhist inspired images - silence, seated mediation, the concept of the self as observer, koan, martial arts, the role of suffering and even aspects of transmigration and time - the struggle or journey to define a self transcends the idea of cultural identity and linear narrative that adds to existing critical discussions of the text