Madman’s Diary by Lu Xun


Lu Xun was a tremendous short writer; his famous contributions to the modern Chinese literature are well known across the different realms of study. His life experiences led him from the streets of China to the corners of Japan in search of education. His skills as a Chinese resident in the early 19th century have exhibited a significant influence in how the author analyses and expresses contemporary perspectives. In his short story the Madman’s Diary, Lu Xun accounts a spectacular if not a direct approach to understanding and reflecting on various contemporary issues revolving around the community (Xun, 2005). In the text, the author begins by describing his high school friendship with two brothers. He reflects on the long separation after graduation as crucial elements that contributed to the gradual decline of the association after High School. When he gets news that his old time friend has succumbed to a form of sickness, he sets the journey to go back to his former home to check on his friend. His visit drives to the realization that his friend got well and moved to occupy an official post in another place.

The brother gives Lu Xun a diary written during the period of illness, the log reflects on the most profound thoughts of the friend during his term of ailment. Through the text, Lu Xun reports the actual delusional beliefs of the friend. In the diary, Lu Xun’s unnamed friend exhibits developed persecutory delusions (Xun, 2005). He believes that the community aims at eating his flesh, every thought and every rationality leads to the realization that the people around him are after his flesh. It is acute that the author compiles a profound manner of emphasizing the different perceptive in the study, by leaving the reader to develop their scholarly analysis of the short story. Equally important, the paper attempts an integrated analysis of the short story to projects the different perspectives involved and displayed by the tale. The article will also try to gain an insight of what the author had in mind when developing the story.

Persecution Complex

A persecution complex is a psychological approach in explaining the complex nature of behaviors that deal with the actual perception of being persecuted. It is important to note that under the mental attitude, individuals experiencing a persecution complex may attribute possible and imagined reasons as the leading cause of the mode of behavior. The Madman’s Diary entails the actual thoughts of a persona under the persecution complex (Xun, 2005). Through the text, the individual proclaims an excellent evaluation of the possible reasons that the people around him for wanting to eat his flesh. In his understanding, people have eaten other people as delicious meals and moved on. He fears that the entire community is mainly plotting his persecution, he supports this by the remedial repetition of the type of glances that he gets from the people and even the family’dog Mr. Chao. The individual develops a set of delusional conditions that make him believe that each encounter with other people is a step further in identifying the people after his life. In chapter three, the individual begins by accounting for the thirty years of sleep; we can almost assume that the individual is over thirty years old. Nevertheless, his fear of persecution is directed by the type of beliefs that the individual formulates through his perception.

According to the story, the individual’s encounter with people in the community delivers a great trigger to his perception of persecution, especially from others. Accordingly, the individual assumes that a significant harm (man-eating habits) is already occurring to people and will occur on him. In a particular section, he reflects on the woman who spanked her son and said “Little devil! I’d like to bite several mouthfuls out of you to work on my feelings!” His reflection extends to the type of stare that the woman gave her as well as the hysterical laughter portrayed by the green-faced, long-toothed people (Xun, 2005). The individual’s lunatic confusion drives him to have a great deal of paranoia, from barking dogs to the type of glances that people around him possess, from a brother’s caring to the appointment by the doctor; the individual is equally convinced that the people have a regime to eat him. A psychoanalytic approach diagnoses the presence of psychological disorders such as paranoid schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder as suggested by DSM-IV-TR. The individual’s mental disorders may highly be associated with cognitive development during most parts of his early years. Under the approach, the study assumes that the individual may become a victim of depressive traumatic experiences that are related to bipolar disorders. The study analyses the presence of the story as an example of psychological complications that may develop due to past depressing skills and the entire process of cognitive development. The approach explains the behavior of the individual and emphasizes the implementation of effective cognitive therapy as a form of treating the disorder. According to the story, the individual was placed in an official post expressing a rational and upright behavior of the individual.

Symbolic Realism

In a secondary approach, the study assumes that Lu Xun utilizes realistic characterization to outline his obvious concern of the moral concern over the four hundred years of the Chinese civilization. The study raises a symbolic representation of the man eats man society where the social and economic realm is controlled by the governing ideologies and ethics. The study assumes that the term eat flesh’is a symbolic alliteration of directing focus a moral concern on the nature of the capitalist community where people exploit other people for individual benefit. The diary provides a symbolic emphasis on how people take part in the eating process; the study assumes that the process of eating depicts the process of exploitation and expectations that the objects of the community hold towards one individual.

The study reflects on the cannibalistic nature of the society by analyzing the encounter of the individual with the outer world. The severe glances held by people shows the great relation exhibited between the parts of the community and the process of exploitation as a whole. The title of the story gives a symbolic explanation of the original storyteller, it reflects on the lunatic as a madman who does not concede to the high expectations of the community. His evaluation f everyone being against him shows the considerable tension between the expectations of the city and the actual layout of the latter (Xun, 2005). The study has also considered the doctors and the process of treatment as the primary process of getting the individual into the system. The study supports this claim by reflecting the where the brother laughs and informs Lu Xun that his friend got well and is already working on an official post. The report confirms the story as an excellent source of various perceptions and initiatives that have different implications for the contemporary society.


Xun, L. (2005, April April). A Madman’s Diary. Retrieved Dec 13, 2017, from A Madman’s Diary:

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