What was Lu Xun trying to tell China?

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osurpless eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lun Xun was a Chinese writer who lived in the middle of the revolutions that ended the Qing Dynasty. He was trying to tell China that he did not feel confident that total social change would occur in China, unlike many of his fellow authors who repeated the revolutionary call through their characters, themes, and stories. Their stories were more propaganda than anything else, lacking stories or realistic characters. Xun’s style was unique, neither idealistic nor totally sensitive to the suffering of the Chinese.

His writing was not only calculated to last by not appealing to the literal flavor of the moment, it was marked by the difficulties of his childhood. He endured both the Sino-Japanese War and the Boxer Rebellion, two events which greatly weakened and exposed the flawed traditions of the current Chinese state. The corruption within the state was made clear to him when his family had to pay yearly bribes to keep his grandfather from being executed. Xun also traveled to Japan in 1904 to study medicine, during which he realized that China itself needed medicine for its mental state even more than for physical problems. Returning, he dedicated his life to educating Chinese youth through his writing:

“From this time until his death in 1936, Lu Xun supported political change through overt action and “pen warfare": He was a prolific writer of short, biting essays attacking social injustice and political corruption."

In this, we can see that Lu Xun was an active supporter of the need for a revolution, encouraging young people to act.

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