Lu Xun Essay

2301 Words May 24th, 2011 10 Pages
Lu Xun’s short story “Diary of a Madman” marks the birth of modernism in Chinese literature and is the earliest literature works written in modern vernacular Chinese during the May Fourth period. Modeled after Nikolay Gogol’s story with similar title, the story condemns the old traditional Confucian values that have long persisted in the Chinese society; portrayed by the madman in the story that sees it as a ‘man-eating’ society. Lu Xun despises the idea of a society who adheres to the tradition blindly and calls for a change of strengthening. Lu Xun is considered as China’s greatest modern writer and many of his works spurred his fellow intellectuals into shaping China during the revolutionary period. As such, Mao Zedong is a lifelong …show more content…
He is a madman because he is different from the rest of the society. In one of the entries that reads ‘Get out of here, all of you! What is the point of looking at a madman?’, the people in the village labeled the madman as fengzhi, which means he is mentally impaired. Those cannibals come in a big group; thus exert ultimate power in developing and perpetuating their cannibalism belief. The madman is treated as an outcast in the cannibalistic society because he does not believe in eating the flesh of human as the rest and he stands alone in his own conviction. The madness of the diarist portrays the May Fourth enlightenment for modern thoughts and social change; thoughts and wisdom that put those revolutionary intellectuals at the same state as the madman. One of the most prominent mentions of the story is in the third entry of the diary, which reads, ‘Everything requires careful consideration if one is to understand it. In ancient times, as I recollect, people often ate human beings, but I am rather hazy about it. I tried to look this up, but my history has no chronology, and scrawled all over each page are the words: "Virtue and Morality." Since I could not sleep anyway, I read intently half the night, until I began to see words between the lines, the whole book being filled with the two words—"Eat people.’ The written words ‘Virtue and Morality’ are yet to prove the righteous nature of the belief depicted in the books as a more thorough reading

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