There are several quotes from the novel, which are important in understanding the narrative. In the opening of the narrative Kingston is told by her mother “You must not tell anyone,” my mother said, “what I am about to tell you. In China, your father had a sister who killed herself. She jumped into the family well. We say that your father has all brothers because it is as if she had never been born.” (Kingston 3) .These are the words of Brave Orchid and much of the narrative is based on the folk tales as told by Brave.
By being told that not to tell anyone, it shows the narrative is about the untold stories. These untold stories include the atrocities, which were committed in her people’s village back in China, her dead aunt and her aunt Moon Orchid, whom despite having stayed in America, she seems unable to adapt to their culture. She is trying to get a voice now that she has been silenced all her life just because she Chinese-American. By writing a memoir, she is rebelling against remaining silent for she is telling everyone the things she is told to keep silent about. Kingston gives the voiceless a voice and shows those who are holding her back that she has power.
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