Discdiscrimination Against “illegitimate” Children And Their Mothers - English - Essay

1072 words - 5 pages

Rishabh Sahu
Mr. Wooley
AP English
Discrimination Against “Illegitimate” Children and their Mothers
There has been a reoccurring theme throughout history and time, which is discrimination
to “illegitimate” children and their mothers. “Illegitimate” children are babies that are born to a
mother before she is married. In cultural traditions back then, they didn’t believe in this and
would treat these children and mothers unfairly. Both texts, “No Name Woman” by Maxine
Hong Kingston and “The Lost Children of Tuam” by Dan Barry, show different aspects of this
situation but at the end they depict the same universal issue. “No Name Woman” has a more
cultural perspective on this topic and showcases it as being against the Chinese culture. “The
Lost Children of Tuam” focus more on the social and political critiques of this issue. These
stories speak out on these topics and convey a message.
“No Name Woman” gives readers a deeper understanding of the Chinese culture and
their traditions, culture and prejudices. In the text, the mother is warning her daughter not to
make the same mistake as her aunt. It all started when the family started to notice that the aunt
looked pregnant, especially the narrator's’ mother who is narrating the story,”I had not noticed
before that she had such a protruding melon of a stomach. But I did not think, She’s
pregnant...She could not have been pregnant, you see, because her husband had been gone for
years.” The author’s use of dialogue shows how confused and perplexed her mother is about the
pregnancy.. She thinks it is not possible as her husband has been gone for years. Later she finds
out in the summer that the aunt was ready to have a child and that’s when chaos erupts. In their
society, everybody knew each other very well and lived very close to each other. Everybody
follows the same culture and traditions. Having an “illegitimate” child was against their beliefs
and the villagers punished their aunt by,”...threw mud and rocks at the house. Then threw eggs
and began slaughtering our stock... the villagers broke in front and the back doors at the same
time... their knives dripped with blood of our animals and smeared it on the doors and walls.”
The author uses connotative diction to describe the harsh attack of the villagers on the home of
the aunt and her family. The author uses diction such as “blood” and “slaughtering” to show how
angry and furious the villagers are on this issue. The author wanted to explain how big of a deal
it was to have an “illegitimate” child and he does this by describing the violent and aggressive
attack by the villagers. But these are not the only things the villagers did, they also stole and
broke items from the house. This attack lead the aunt to kill herself and the baby. After that the
family started to forget about her and acted as if she has never existed before, “We say that your
father has all brothers because it is as if she had never been born before.” And therefore ...

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