Relying heavily on Michel Foucault's discussions of meaning-making artifacts and Cheryl Glenn's 2004 book-length work on silence, this essay places Kingston in the context of post-structuralism while also emphasizing that her “silent” form reflects the culture and power structure within which her characters live and from which Kingston comes. Kingston's The Woman Warrior expresses silence in three distinct ways: suppression by self-restraint, suppression by force, and suppression in translation. Using these three avenues of exploration, I argue that rhetorical theorists must address the silence(d) parts of language exchange in order to create fuller understandings of the meaning-making attributes of signified language use and as a means of reducing the privilege of the spoken/written. A re-exploration of a previously discussed text such as Kingston's is relevant to provide insight into this newly rejuvenated conversation about silence in rhetorical play.
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