Girlhood Among Ghosts │ Four Levels │ Summary │ English │ Maxine Hong Kingston

Girlhood Among Ghosts

Girlhood Among Ghosts │ Maxine Hong Kingston
- Maxine Hong Kingston

Literal Comprehension:

In Chinese society, girls are not allowed to speak. Therefore Kingston found it very difficult to communicate an everyday event even after she grew up. When she first went to an American school she could not speak English. Her paintings also made no sense. They were all black.

She did not know how to do many things in an American way. Japanese and other children were unfriendly whereas Negro children were friendly. She did not understand American "I" and "here".

At Chinese school, the boys behaved rudely and the girls were not silent, either. They were not strictly controlled there. At close at the end of a session, they were free. Even here Kingston and her sister found it difficult to speak clearly. They were tongue-tied.


In this essay, I think the writer wants to show the difficulties of different mother tongues in different places.

Similarly, the tradition of all societies has different cultural views and morals. Also, the ready tongue is evil is not really an evil practice in all societies.

Critical Thinking:

This essay is very good to reflect the tradition and culture of the educational system in two distinct countries.

But I have some critical questions:

  • Is always 'ready tongue is evil?' I don't think in the debate competition it is the same worse as in Chinese society.

  • How could the education system be so free in America? Are there not any strict rules to make students more discipline?

  • What does she mean by 'cutting the tongue'. Does it mean making one unable to speak or does it mean making the tongue free so that one can speak any language freely?


After reading this essay I realize that silence is a bad practice to learn for effective communication.

Similarly, we must learn to adapt to the destination culture and practices otherwise we can't be successful towards our future at any cost. Also, I started to critically use the culture of the ready tongue as evil.

-- 𓐴𓐴𓐴 --

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