LU XUN DIARY OF A MADMAN PDF

Recommended translation: William A. The older brother informs him that the younger one suffered from a mental illness but got better and took a job in another city. During the time of his illness the brother kept a diary that the narrator is allowed to read. He is convinced that sooner or later he will be eaten. As his paranoia increases, and with it his sense that cannibalism is widespread and prevalent even within his family, he despairs of saving himself.

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Recommended translation: William A. The older brother informs him that the younger one suffered from a mental illness but got better and took a job in another city. During the time of his illness the brother kept a diary that the narrator is allowed to read. He is convinced that sooner or later he will be eaten. As his paranoia increases, and with it his sense that cannibalism is widespread and prevalent even within his family, he despairs of saving himself.

The diary ends with a poignant plea to "save the children. His "I-narration" proves an effective means of distancing himself and developing perspectives different from what his readers would associate with his public stance. It is ironic that he adopts the first-person narrator to avoid revealing himself -- this is accomplished in part by the use of two first person narrators the diarist and the person who reads the diary.

Deliberately took the title of "Diary of a Madman" from Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol whose story deals with an office worker who comes to believe he is the king of Spain. The story condemns the oppressive nature of Chinese Confucian culture as a "man-eating" society where the strong devour the weak. In a sense, the madman is a rebel and social critic whose madness is a kind of sanity. 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.

Study Questions How does the madman see other people? How does he describe them? What is the significance of the animal imagery in the story? What sorts of animals are alluded to? What animal is referred to in Section 1 of the story?

In Section 3, what is the name of the village suffering from famine? What did the villagers there do? Is that somehow connected to the name of the village? Do you find animal references anywhere else in the story? Is there an increased use of animal imagery and references as the story progresses? In Section 6, an enigmatic series of phrases is suddenly inserted: "the fierceness of a lion, the timidity of a rabbit, the craftiness of a fox.

Does it sound like an epigram encapsulating the meaning of the whole story? What might Lu Xun be trying to express through these phrases? Is the madman really insane? Is he perhaps saner than those around him? What is sanity? What is madness? Who decides? Lu Xun was influenced by Darwin and Thomas H. Are there references to such ideas in the story? Is that connected to the animal imagery?

How does Lu Xun apply the notions of evolution to the understanding of the human condition? What changes does he believe human beings must undergo? What is the madman criticizing? Is this story about actual cannibalism?

What does cannibalism stand for? What does it mean to "eat" another human being? Are there any instances of behavior in the story, other than actual cannibalism, which one might term as cannibalistic? Is the madman a cannibal too, perhaps without knowing it? Why does he vomit after eating a dish of fish? What do people do to each other that makes them into cannibals? Are we all cannibals in some respect? What was going on in China during this time period?

What sorts of social, economic, or political practices may be associated with cannibalism? Is modern capitalism any better? What about the experience of Chinese and Russian communism? What sort of a society was Lu Xun striving to bring about? How is it possible to "save the children"? The first entry in the diary reads, "Tonight the moon is very bright. I begin to realize that during the past thirty-odd years I have been in the dark.

Does it occur elsewhere in the story? What does it suggest or stand for? What is the madman able to see under the moonlight? Does the moon have anything to do with his "madness"? What is hidden in the darkness? Why is daylight, when there is no moon, depressing to the madman? Are there elements of or allusions to the supernatural in the story? What is their meaning? How do they function in the story or contribute toward its purposes? What does the madman learn by reading history books?

What does he find there? How does he interpret the words "benevolence, righteousness, and morality"? What does he claim is hiding under those words?

How do such references address the problems of Confucianism? Are there other situations in the story referring to Confucianism and its problems?

What does the madman think of the doctor who comes to examine him? Is it significant that he is a doctor? Can a doctor be a cannibal? Is it relevant that Lu Xun abandoned a career in medicine to become a writer?

In Section 9, what makes people reluctant to take "that one little step"? What is the symbolic meaning of that step? What does Lu Xun want for people to do? What prevents them from doing it? What does Elder Brother fail to do in Section 10 that upsets the madman? How does that explain the meaning of cannibalism? Why is Elder Brother blamed for her death? Is she a symbol? What issues are addressed by it? What does it mean to suggest that she was eaten? Is the last line, "Save the children ," an optimistic or pessimistic ending?

Who will save them? From what? What does it mean to be saved from becoming a cannibal? What is suggested when his brother says that the madman got better and went on to wait for an official appointment? Is the brother telling the truth? What may have happened to the madman? What is the difference between being eaten and getting cured of his madness? Is he "eaten" either way?

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Diary of a Madman

Despite his fleeting uprising, which was dismissed as insanity, he will never be truly human. As a child, he ate his little sister: the reader discovers that the madman himself is a cannibal. It was during his altruistic soliloquy at the climax of the story, gripping the reader as they prepare for his downfall, that the story ceased to be fiction for me. These islands, once a bulwark, have now been superseded by cross-country trains and bridges, forcing Hong Kong open like a stale clam. This sinister pattern continued until , when the Umbrella Movement awakened in the city.

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Xun's Diary of a Madman: Analysis & Interpretation

As was common in pre-modern China, Lu Xun had many names. His paternal grandfather, Zhou Fuqing, was appointed to the Imperial Hanlin Academy in Beijing: the highest position possible for aspiring civil servants at that time. Instead, he enjoyed folk stories and traditions: local operas, the mythological creatures and stories in the Classic of Mountains and Seas , and the ghost stories told to him by an illiterate servant who raised him, Ah Chang whom he called "Mother Chang". Because formal education was not considered socially appropriate for girls,[ citation needed ] she did not receive any, but she still taught herself how to read and write.

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A Madman's Diary

You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Two brothers, whose names I need not mention here, were both good friends of mine in high school; but after a separation of many years we gradually lost touch. Some time ago I happened to hear that one of them was seriously ill, and since I was going back to my old home I broke my journey to call on them, I saw only one, however, who told me that the invalid was his younger brother. I took the diary away, read it through, and found that he had suffered from a form of persecution complex.

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