reading response

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Lu Xun’s articles play an important role in modern Chinese Literature. Only by taking close reading, readers would be able to understand the deep meaning of his articles. “A Madman’s Diary” was the first vernacular fiction Lu Xun published, as well as the first Chinese vernacular story. The article includes preface and main body. The preface mainly uses classical Chinese to introduce background and cause of the story. The main body has thirteen pieces of Madman’s diary written in vernacular. The main character and the writer of diary both were “Madman”. Lu Xun used his poignant pen to reveal a variety of deep-seated social contradictions, also to dissect and deny the old Chinese system and concepts of stereotypes. He expressed a strong sense of urgency for national survival and a strong desire for social reform. From article’s words, character “I” was truly a person with mental problem. His brain was filled with suspicion and fear of others, thinking others would harm him all the time. The symptoms are represented in three aspects. Firstly, it reflects on Madman’s abnormal psychology. Since he viewed that the regular association between people was a part of “cannibalism”. As in his second piece of diary, “all up and down the street people acted the same way. The meanest looking one of all spread his lips out wide and actually smiled at me! A shiver ran from the top of my head clear down to the tips of my toes, for I realized that meant they already had their henchmen well deployed, and were ready to strike”, Madman viewed others’ kind smile as spite and conspiracy. His mind was totally opposite to the healthy and normal psychological thinking. Secondly, his thinking was without logic. Under his abnormal psychology, his normal logi... ... middle of paper ... was the lyric. So, Madman’s unclear psychological logic was set off by the contrast between classical Chinese and vernacular. To conclude, “A Madman’s Diary” is not only a representation as modernism, but also as realism. The article has a strong practical criticism. It directed at the core of Chinese feudal culture and the dark of the social reality. The article demonstrates Lu Xun’s excellent writing ability, for combining realism and implication, and detailing the psychological description of a Madman. So this piece of writing is a typical modernist work. Also, it laid the foundation for modern Chinese literary(fiction) creation. Its deep theme and thought highly summarized the idea of Chinese Modern Enlightenment. As a result, the article had a profound impact on the Chinese literature, history and Chinese intellectual history in the twentieth century.
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