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The Short-Stories of Lu Xun

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  1. Introduction
  2. The most famous and influential of the May Fourth writers
  3. Lu Xun's early writings
    1. The four short stories
    2. The most powerful criticism by Li Xun
  4. The second most attacked group by Lu Xun: The upper class gentry
  5. The character that best personifies his views in his stories
  6. The one character that serves as the perfect medium for Lu Xun
  7. Conclusion

"Down with Confucianism!" "We want Mr. S and Mr. D!" These were some of the cries that could be heard in the streets of China on May 4, 1919. This date marked the high point of the student movement known as the May Fourth Movement. Following the humiliation at the Paris Peace Conference after the end of the First World War, Chinese students and intellectuals began to voice their opinions on where they thought their country should be headed. These members of society realized a change was needed in order for China to survive in the changing world. Confucianism, the secular philosophy which the Chinese had followed for centuries, was singled out as the main culprit for the current demise of China.

[...] One of the main successes of the May Fourth Movement was improving the lives of women throughout society, and Lu Xun was at the heart of this accomplishment. His heart-wrenching tale of Xianglin's Wife showed his fellow countrymen that changes needed to be made. After the movement came to a close, the practice of foot binding had been ended and women had gained more freedom and equality. Throughout much of Chinese history, the education system was centered around the studying of the Confucian doctrine. [...]


[...] If only the people of China, Lu Xun believes, can see as the madman does, then the country has a chance to change and begin a new chapter in its long and proud history. When Mao Zedong came to power following the Communist Revolution, he praised Lu Xun, hailing him as the ?commander of China's cultural revolution?. Mao understood Lu Xun's enormous impact on both the May Fourth Movement and Chinese thought in general. The characters found in Lu Xun's short stories allow the author to voice his opinions and feelings in the only way he knew how; his writing. [...]


[...] In his critique of society, Lu Xun took no prisoners as he included the children in his satirical stories. The narrator of ?Kong Yiji? is actually a young boy who works at the local tavern and it is through him that we hear the voices of all the children of China. Though he clearly states that he does not dislike the scholar, the boy nonetheless looks down upon him and treats with him disrespect numerous times. In one instance the boy says, did this beggar think he was, testing me! [...]

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