The True Story Of Ah-Q By Lu Xun

The Fall of Ah-Q(ing)

In The True Story of Ah-Q, Lu Xun uses satire to compare the misfortunes of Ah-Q, a poor handyman, to the intrinsic problems of the Qing Dynasty that led to the Xinhai Revolution in 1911. Lu argues that the Xinhai Revolution was unsuccessful in implementing any positive changes in China because it was an unorganized rebellion, without a clear plan. Lu also contends that the lack of defined leadership throughout the Revolutionary Alliance hurt the party’s chances of success and weakened the efficacy of the revolution. Additionally, Lu hints at the causes of the revolution and provides interesting historical context through the fictional accounts of Ah-Q’s daily misfortunes. The True Story of Ah-Q gives readers a simplified
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At first, Ah-Q does not support the rebels. The narrator states, “back then, he had an intuition – why, he couldn’t say – that these revolutionaries were rebelling against the established order of things, and that rebellion would make his life difficult; and so head conceived a violent hatred for them.” However, Ah-Q quickly changes his attitude towards the rebellion and sees it as an opportunity to settle his many grievances. The narrator says, “’Hurrah for revolution!’ Ah-Q thought. It’ll do for the whole rotten lot of them!...I’m going over to the revolutionaries as soon as I get the chance.’” Holcombe describes the Chinese willingness to enter the rebellion in a similar way by saying, “Chinese people suddenly awoke to the idea that they were conquered subjects of “foreign” Manchus. Ending Manchu rule became the first priority of the new Chinese nationalism.” Both Ah-Q and the Chinese people entered into the rebellion without much forethought or planning. This lack of a cohesive war strategy eventually shifted the rebels …show more content…
Lu critiques this lack of leadership through Ah-Q, illustrating the absurdity of entering into a revolution without an identifiable, present leader. As Ah-Q attempts to join the rebels the narrator states, “it wasn’t enough to surrender to the revolutionaries, or even to coil your queue up on to your head. The key was make contact with the Revolutionary Party itself.” At this point in the novel Ah-Q had declared his loyalty to the Revolutionary Party, without ever making contact with any Party leadership and with no way to do so. Similarly, Chinese rebels operated in the name of the Revolutionary Alliance without receiving direction from Sun Yat-sen, the party founder. Sun Yat-sen had no control over the members of his party, or the revolution itself. Holcombe states, “Dr. Sun Yat-sen, meanwhile, was in Colorado at the time this unplanned revolution erupted and read about it in the news while traveling by train from Denver to Kansas City.” This impromptu rebellion undermined the goals of Sun Yat-sen. Though the Qing government fell, Sun Yat-sen’s ideas for implementing a Western-style government regime in China never came to fruition. Lu describes this effect saying, “although the rumours flying about told them that the Revolutionary Party had taken the town, nothing else much had changed.” The

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