The True Story of Ah Q

by Lu Xun

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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

The book The True Story of Ah Q by Xun Lun is actually a series of stories that was told in serial format originally, one piece at a time. The only real main character in the story is Ah Q himself.

Since these stories are highly symbolic in nature, Ah Q is a representation of the people who lived in China before and during the 1911 revolution. The word “Ah” is a friendly greeting, and “Q” refers to the hairstyle at the time. Ah Q himself is a poor peasant with no particular profession. He is obsessed with never admitting defeat, again as a kind of symbolic representation of the people of China who also twisted things around so they never lost, according to the depiction of the author.

When you’re writing your assignment, you can mention how the other characters are also highly symbolic, such as Mr. Zhao. The phrase “Zhao family” was an early twentieth-century expression in China that referred to the ruling class in China, including the richest families.

There are many characters that are mostly faceless or just part of a mob, and the metaphorical nature of some of the others are seen in how, for example, one of them is just referred to as “Imitation Foreign Devil,” which refers to a rich Chinese person who is copying the West.

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