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A Madmans Diary by Lu Xun - Essay Example

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A Madman’s Diary by Lu Xun was published first in 1918 in the New Youth Magazine, and ever since, it has been reprinted in many collections of short stories. I have selected this short story because the author is one of the best writers from China in history, and he has…
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A Madmans Diary by Lu Xun
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Download file to see previous pages From the visit, he learns about the younger brother’s tribulations; he suffered from a mental condition, but he recovered and has since relocated to another area. The narrator is given a diary by the older brother whereby an account of the younger brother’s illness was kept. This is the diary referred to as the ‘Madman’s Diary’ by the narrator, and its contents constitute the bulk of the story. From the diary, we learn of the extreme paranoia of the protagonist during the time of his illness (Xun & Nadolny 36).
The story describes about social conditions in china at the time. The diary talks about cannibalism, which is a common practice in Chinese history and culture. During the early 1900s, Chinese people were desperate as a result of the extreme famine, and this culminated into cannibalism. It is this cannibalism that the protagonist describes during his illness by being paranoid that those surrounding him would soon or later eat him up. A deeper analysis of the story shows that the author was castigating and condemning Chinese culture at this time, whereby the strong in society devoured the weaker ones. The character that catches my attention is the madman himself. Even though he has crazy ideas about cannibalism, he typifies change in society. Despite his hardships, he struggles to get better, and later he gets a good job in another city. From his diary, he has given us insight into the Chinese society at that time whereby strong people ‘ate up’ weaker ones (Hsun & Yang ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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