Maxine Hong Kingston tells the story of Fa Mu Lan in The Woman Warrior, placing herself in the position of Mu Lan. In the story, she stays with an old man and woman in the mountains, who teach her for fifteen years. She learns to be quiet, to be aware of the world around her, to fight well. Vowing revenge on the men who captured their harvest and took her people, Kingston trains to become a warrior. After fifteen years of training, she is ready to be sent out into the world to avenge her people.
After returning home for a time, she gathers an army. The fighters revere her, and yet they do not know she is a woman: such knowledge would lead to her execution, no matter her extraordinary skills. Having married a childhood friend, she grows pregnant and yet misses only one battle while giving birth. After a month with the child, she tells her husband to go and take the baby to his family before he grows old enough to recognize her.
After slaying the emperor and installing a peasant to the...
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