Essay on Individualism As The Downfall Of Revolution

968 Words Sep 9th, 2016 4 Pages
Individualism as the Downfall of Revolution Revolution, by definition, is the creation of massive, world-altering change. It embodies the crumbling of old morals, traditions, habits, technology, and hierarchies. In the era of the May Fourth Movement in China, this was no less the case; revolutionaries sought an enormous paradigm shift, especially in terms of China’s culture and values. This is expressed clearly in the literature and film of the era, through creators such as Lu Xun and Cai Chusheng. However, the works of these authors reflect a troubling theme of the crusade against tradition, wherein the revolutionary protagonists meet with sparse sympathy and even less success. The failure of revolutionaries in the works of Lu Xun and Cai Chusheng exposes the conflict between the individualist nature of the May Fourth cultural revolution and the collectivist Confucian tradition the revolution seeks to overthrow. Many revolution-era works center around a protagonist who desires to overturn the traditions that have long ruled Chinese culture and who stands alone against the force of centuries of Confucian thought and culture. This is seen clearly in Lu Xun’s A Madman’s Diary, in which the protagonist attempts to convince his brother to turn his back on tradition. The unnamed madman is struggling against the culture of not only his family or his village, but indeed, the whole of China, whose values are abhorrent to him. In the Preface to “Call to Arms” Lu Xun describes a…

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