"Diary of a Madman"
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This paper analyzes Lu Xun's, "Diary of a Madman", written in 1918 response to China's feudalistic society that was still hanging on since ancient times despite the Revolution of 1911. In particular, the paper discusses Lu Xun's use of cannibalism as a symbol for the ancient ways because the history of China was filled with it. The paper relates that Lu Xun's story exposes the cannibalistic feudal society of pre-revolutionary China and concludes that Lu Xun felt that if the people of China could get past tradition and fear, there could be hope for a new social norm.
From the Paper:"China was filled with it. He tells of a traditional ceremony where a son of an ill parent "should slice off a piece of his own flesh, boil it, and let (the parent) eat it" (41). There were also passages about eating human flesh in ancient medical texts and historical books (34). One ancient "medical" cure for tuberculosis was to eat a bread roll that had been soaked in human blood (38), a treatment that yielded few survivors. In one historical text the meat of a human infant was mentioned as being a delicacy (38). Also, stories have been documented in that famines in China have caused villages to resort to cannibalism in order to survive. Just prior to the revolution, a fellow member of Lu Xun's hometown of Shaoxing, Xu Xilin, was executed for a revolutionary-based murder of a Qing official. When he was captured the bodyguards of the official cut out Xu Xilin's heart and liver and ate them (38). "
Cite this Book Review:
"Diary of a Madman" (2008, August 06) Retrieved August 29, 2014, from http://www.academon.com/book-review/diary-of-a-madman-106439/
""Diary of a Madman"" 06 August 2008. Web. 29 August. 2014. <http://www.academon.com/book-review/diary-of-a-madman-106439/>