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The Analysis of The Story "Diary of a Madman" by Lu Xun

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The Analysis of The Story "Diary of a Madman" by Lu Xun essay
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Lu Xun (1881-1936), a leading figure in the modern literature, had a great impact on the New Culture Movement between the 1910s and 1920s. He published numerous works like short stories, essays, and poems. His essays often contain socialist ideas in order to persuade and encourage the public, and his portrayal of characters in short stories reflected the reality of the society, showing his criticism and sympathetic to the state. For instance, ‘A Madman’s Diary’ exposed the fact that the ideology of family system ethics in traditional Chinese society should be abandoned.

“Diary of a Madman” is a story about a Madman who writes in a journal over a period of time; explaining the people in his town and how obscured they were. When you start to dive into the story the people believe he’s a madman because, he will not concede to the hellacious idea of eating people around him and being a cannibal. As he fights to explains to his family that cannibalism is something that can be stopped. Which in turn would make people in the town not feel like they are always someone else’s meal. At the end of the story the narrator tells the reader that the madman is now awaiting a government position.

In this story, the reader is able to engage with all the emotions and feel disorientated from the madman’s journals by the tone, format of the story, and the dramatic irony giving sympathy to the madman.Author Lu Xun wrote this story as a journal and changed the normal format of the story affecting the way the reader normally reads a story. Being able to hear the madman’s thoughts through writing really shows how he feels and his emotions to certain things. The use of having it in a journal format is being able to write in the first person.

When the author is able to write in first person it allows the reader to feel more connected with the character. Also, the reader is able to feel like the story is nonfiction. Which this story is not; it is clearly fiction. This is because of the use of her writing format. When you have journal entries of the madman, it makes the reader feel as if he’s real. The use of this is to make the reader picture what’s happening around the madman. The reader is able to feel how it is to be in the madman’s body, and to be able to see what he sees throughout his journey. A key example on why writing the madman’s stories as journal entries is how you feel as if you are in the madman’s head. You are able to think like the madman and understand what his thought process is throughout his experiences. This helps the reader grow a connection with the madman and not see him as crazy like everyone else does.

The author does a good job of not really giving away why the madman is not liked and why everyone is staring at him. It allows the reader to form their own opinion about the madman before you find out everything else about him. When the author first talks about the madman describing why everyone thinks he’s mad it allows the reader to become emotionally attached to the madman before knowing what everyone else thought of him. This allowed the reader to feel sad or mad when someone else talked bad about the madman. Many times the reader could infer how crazy the madman was because we were able to see his erratic thought process.As the madman tells his story through his journals he conveys to the audience a very serious tone.

As the madman makes these entries his interaction with these people are very serious to him. The madman even writes about how the dog was looking at him. The madman points out how the dog must hate him at the end of each journal for about two journal entries.The madman focuses so much on how much the dog does not like him. The madman even goes so far as saying since his owner is a cannibal the dog is a cannibal too. The madman tends to focus more on the little things that doesn’t matter to anyone, but he is very affected by the small things. The madman has a long conversation with his brother and people in the house about how they can stop being cannibals. The madman goes on to say that everyone can be different with different beliefs. He also says the people in the town can eat other things instead of eating people. This would cause the people in the town to stop thinking others are food and actually treat people as friends. The madman is also very worried about saving the children. The last sentence of the story says “Save The children”(Puncher 1246).

The madman was so worried about saving the children because of his little sister who died, and all the other little kids who are going to grow up like their parents.The use of descriptive diction affects the tone of the madman portrayed throughout the story making the reader understand how mad the madman actually is. The way the madman describes these people makes you feel as if these people are animal like. For example, he writes “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 tip of my toes, for I realized that meant they already had there henchman well deployed, and were ready to strike”.

The madman was scared of the people because they smiled at him. The madman took it as a threat instead of a nice gesture. The way the madman described this person’s smile in such a descriptive way makes it easier to envision the person in the readers head. The way he describes people makes the reader feel as if the reader is in the story witnessing the people alongside the madman. It allows the reader to feel more involved with the story. This helps them understand the story as if it was really happening. It allows them to not have to imagine the chapters but puts a very descriptive demeanor to them so every reader imagines the same thing going on.

However; the dramatic irony shows how irrational the madman is, and how far fetched his beliefs and conspiracies actually were. The madman talked about how his brother has most likely eaten his little sister. When these journals were written in the early nineteen hundreds many children had a low life expectancy rate. The reader can conclude that the sister died because of her health and how little she was. Highly likely that the little sister was not killed by the brother, but by the poor health of that century. The health in the nineteen hundreds was very poor and many people were uneducated about the health field. Doctor’s didn’t know how to treat illnesses.

The germ theory was just emerging and physicians and doctors were just starting to grasp that idea. Many women would have children who died at a young age causing women to give birth many times in their life. Dramatic irony is a literary device that allows the reader to develop a whole other meaning of a concept rather than just what the character understands and is saying in the story. This concept goes along very well with this story. The madman is explaining to the reader how sane and normal he is. As the reader, you are able to find out though the narrator notes and experience who really is the crazy one. Another good example is when the madman is intent on how his sister was eaten by his brother when they were younger. We can conclude with the time period that was false.The notes written by the narrator affects the outcome of the whole story of the madman, and also what the madman had fought for through his journal’s.

The narrators notes that the madman is now awaiting a government position. This is a huge deal for this story’s plot. This means the whole story shifted. If the madman is now awaiting his government position that means he conceded to be a cannibal. Which also means everything he has said about his town and his brother doesn’t matter now because he is the same way. Even though they think he was a madman before getting a government position. Now he’s cured and perfect. Even though we all know something is wrong with the madman. All the town wanted him to do is be like them and that’s what they received. The biggest symbol in the story is the government. When the madman talks about how he doesn’t believe how people could just be cannibals just to fit in or because they didn’t want to be different. When you think about the government you think order, following the law and many other things.

The madman was someone who didn’t follow the law. He tried and persuaded the people in his house. Saying the problem was he did not want his family and friends to concede and be cannibals for the rest of their lives. The madman wanted to be different and not be a cannibal. Many times, in his journals he talks about how people could eat plants and things other than people. So, people in his town didn’t have to be on the lookout for someone trying to eat them. So, the madman taking this government position is one of the biggest plot twists of this whole story.In this story, the reader is able to engage with all the emotions and feel disorientated from the madman’s journals by the tone, format of the story, and the dramatic irony giving sympathy to the madman.

Lu Xun wrote the story “Diary of a Madman” of a Madman who writes in a journal over a period of time. The madman goes on explaining how the people in his town and how crazy they were. When the reader starts to dive into the story the people believe he’s a madman because of the idea of him not wanting to be a cannibal like everyone else. He fights to explains to his family that cannibalism is something that can be stopped. Which in turn would make people in the town not feel like they are always someone else’s meal. At the end of the story the narrator tells the reader that the madman is now awaiting a government position which becomes a giant plot twist.

Work Cited:

  1. Puchner, Martin. The Norton Anthology of World Literature: Volume 2. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013. Print.

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The Analysis of the Story “Diary of a Madman” by Lu Xun. (2022, Jun 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 11, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-analysis-of-the-story-diary-of-a-madman-by-lu-xun/
“The Analysis of the Story “Diary of a Madman” by Lu Xun.” GradesFixer, 29 Jun. 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-analysis-of-the-story-diary-of-a-madman-by-lu-xun/
The Analysis of the Story “Diary of a Madman” by Lu Xun. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-analysis-of-the-story-diary-of-a-madman-by-lu-xun/> [Accessed 11 Aug. 2022].
The Analysis of the Story “Diary of a Madman” by Lu Xun [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Jun 29 [cited 2022 Aug 11]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-analysis-of-the-story-diary-of-a-madman-by-lu-xun/
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