Do you think Moon Orchid in The Woman Warrior is an orientalized image of Chinese women as seen from an American perspective?

Expert Answers
teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are some elements of Moon Orchid's characterization that relate to an Orientalized image of Chinese women; however, Moon Orchid's character is a little more complicated than an Orientalized image.  Brave Orchid is angry with her sister Moon Orchid because Moon Orchid allows her husband to cast her aside and continue his new American life without her.  Once Moon Orchid arrives in America, Brave Orchid tries to persuade her to go to her husband and demand that he give up his new wife.  However, Moon Orchid will not do this and says that she is not ready to confront her husband after so many years.  Brave Orchid despises her sister's passivity and cannot understand why her sister agrees to be taken advantage of by her husband.  In this respect, Moon Orchid's character is an Orientalized image because the nature of her passivity fits into this stereotypical mold.  However, to simply say that Moon Orchid's hesitation comes from her passivity relegates her to the status of a flat character.  Consider that Moon Orchid has not seen her husband in many years on top of the fact that she has left her home behind and is now in a new country.  Her feelings of doubt and hesitation are completely natural given the circumstances and these feelings and situations are not based on an Orientalized image--they are universally human.

Read the study guide:
The Woman Warrior

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question