DIARY OF A MADMAN LU XUN PDF

The Ohio State University. A hundred years ago, Lu Xun published a short story that would forever leave its mark on both Chinese fiction and Chinese history. Convinced that his parents are engaging in cannibalism — and are grooming him to be cannibalized in the near future — the madman progressively loses his grip on reality. Or so we are told. More pressing for Lu Xun, however, was a metaphorical type of cannibalism, one meant to indicate the repressive feudal order of his time.

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The Ohio State University. A hundred years ago, Lu Xun published a short story that would forever leave its mark on both Chinese fiction and Chinese history. Convinced that his parents are engaging in cannibalism — and are grooming him to be cannibalized in the near future — the madman progressively loses his grip on reality.

Or so we are told. More pressing for Lu Xun, however, was a metaphorical type of cannibalism, one meant to indicate the repressive feudal order of his time. For Lu Xun, Chinese society as a whole was cannibalistic, oppressing and devouring those who were least able to fend for themselves.

It was also not by chance that Lu Xun chose to offer such a scathing critique through the character of the madman. Similar to the allegorical uses of madness in Western literature, the insane in modern Chinese fiction — by dint of their marginality — laid bare the social order even as they renounced it.

By acting as a foil to the benighted masses, madmen in the literary imagination have often been used to expose the rotten marrow of their political and cultural institutions, particularly in the Republican period in which Lu Xun was writing.

Unwilling to face the source of his personal and professional misfortunes, the protagonist ultimately goes mad and is institutionalized. In all three cases, madness appears less as pathology than as a metaphorical signifier of a stultifying and supercilious tradition.

When real and fake, right and wrong have appeared to become hopelessly enmeshed, it can be difficult to remember where the line between madness and sanity lies. Lu Xun reminds us to not give up the fight. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.

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Xun's Diary of a Madman: Analysis & Interpretation

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Log in or Sign up. There's an old quote credited to different origins that says, 'Everyone is crazy except me and thee, and sometimes I'm not sure about thee.

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Lu Xun’s ‘Diary of a Madman’ 100 years on

The madman's ideas represent in part the changes sought by the Revolution of -- a spirit of progress and reform at both the personal and social levels; the rejection of an oppressive traditionalism, ignorance, and conformity. Lu Xun's story is often described as exposing the "cannibalistic feudal society" of pre-revolution China. The enigmatic ending, "Save the children! Beyond its addressing of a specific historical situation, the story is marked by a deep sense of and feeling for the ironies, false appearances, and deceptions often involved in human social life. Read Lu Xun's "Diary of a Madman" here. Listen to Lu Xun's Diary of a Madman here. How does the madman see other people?

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