Explain the meaning of "the beginning is hers, the ending, mine," from The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston.

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the final chapter of The Woman Warrior, Kingston says that her mother recently told her a story when Kingston told her mother that she too has become a story teller.  Kingston says that in the retelling of the story "the beginning is hers, the ending, mine."  Then she recounts the story that her mother has told her.  Kingston says that the beginning is hers and the ending is mine to signify the interchange of stories that has gone on between her, her mother, and other women in the family for generations.  At the beginning of the book, Kingston recounts the story of a no-name aunt about whom Kingston knows little because her mother never tells her the full story.  Throughout the book, the same is the case, and Kingston is frustrated by the warped stories offered to her by her mother.  By the end of the book, Kingston understands that the nature of identity and history are ever-changing, and her acceptance of her mother's story indicates this.  Kingston allows herself to become part of this tradition by melding her story with her mother's story.

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The Woman Warrior

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