Biographical Study on Lu Xun, Literary Essay Sample

Published: 2022-06-02
Biographical Study on Lu Xun, Literary Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Biography
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1312 words
11 min read

Lu Xun was born in 25th of September, 1881, in Shaoxing in Zhejiang. In the pre-modern China, many people happen to have so many nicknames; mainly if they are celebrities (Lee 3). For Lu Xun, he was known all over the country and some of the nicknames he had included Lu Xun, Shuren, and Yucai. His real birth name is Zhou Zhangshou. He attended Jiangnan Naval Academy in 1898 where he obtained his education and even changed his name to Yucai. People started referring him as Lu Xun when he released some of his literary works, and up to date, so many people still refer to him as Lu Xun. His grandfather worked in a school known as Imperial Hamlin Academy, and this meant that his family was well off.

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However, his family lost all of its wealth after his father was caught participating in bribe incidences. As a child, Lu Xun grew in a wealthy family whereby he had access to all resources and things he needed. This led him to have a happy childhood because he did not lack anything at all. Later, Lu Xun's father lost hope after they could not manage to pay hefty bribes to maintain his grandfather in position and therefore, in the end, he opted to drink alcohol irresponsibly, and this contributed to their downfall (Lee 6). This, however, caused his health issues, and eventually, he passed on. After that Lu Xun's family perished and therefore he had to put more effort into restoring the right image they had before. For instance in 1899, Lu Xun decided to undertake a civil exam to make a difference, but unfortunately, he was not successful. He did it for the need of becoming a traditional Confucian scholar. Later, he realized that Jiangnan Naval Academy would only offer him skills to secure a degrading job and therefore he had to quit because he had bigger dreams.

He obtained his motivation to quit from the fact that his father died out of lack of access to proper medicine and therefore he decided to undertake a degree in Western medicine so that he would be of help to the improvement in the Chinese medicine. He consequently pursued this degree in Sendai Medical Academy located in Sendai, Japan. However, he encountered a challenge in his studies through the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese war (Lee 7). His school at that time was surrounded by nothing but awful pictures of people being executed and others being killed. This discouraged him highly and eventually decided to quit and follow his passion in literary works. He, therefore, used his skills to write up texts and other literary works in which he believed would help solve the current problem that China had.

His Famous Works (Fiction)

Lu Xun's occupation was a writer, essayist, and a critic. He is well famous for his literary works which involved several books, fiction, drama, and poems. Amongst the most famous works include "A Madman's Diary," (1918) "Kong Yiji," (1919) and "Medicine" (1919). His major works revolved around themes like politics and their revolutions and also encompassed styles such as symbolism, use of metaphors, fiction and satire. Therefore, his works have been known to make great impacts on the readers across the globe. Hence, examples of his fiction stories include "A Madman's Diary," (1918) "Kong Yiji," (1919) and "Medicine" (1919).

"A Madman's Diary" is a story told of the expressions of delusions of a madman who has completed his madness stage and is now sane to realize that he is in the real society. Lu Xun brings in fiction through this story by informing the reader the difference between a real and unreal situation of life (Xun 40). This is clearer when he completes the thoughts of the madman to be illusions and however not real but fictions.

On the second story, "Kong Yiji," Lu Xun presents fiction by explaining that there was a man known as Kong who is imagined to have undergone through the traditional Chinese system of education whose goal is to raise more intellectuals in the society (Xun 4). The story leaves many people in questions over the destiny of Kong after he receives a beating which leaves him crawling for his future.

Finally, Lu Xun uses the third story "Medicine" (1919) to illustrate fiction. The story presents the illusions people have about medicine and its capabilities to either ruin or mend their lives. In this case, medicine is treated as fiction because it is believed to either cure someone or make their life worse (Xun 300). Based on the primary arguments, medicine is referred to as the psychological construction of receiving the cure.

Influence on China and the World

As a modern writer in China, Lu Xun used his opportunity to change the perspective of China on significant issues such as education, wealth, medicine and politics. These were substantial concerns which were brought about or inspired by the war that broke out in China and disintegrated many families and other relevant economic factors (Lee 3). For instance, many people were affected by violence both psychologically and physically whereby some lost their loved ones to execution while others could not view the awful pictures that were being shared in universities. Hence, Lu Xun decided to use this chance to write his literary works as a way of improving the state of China as well as the entire world.

So far, some of his most significant works like "Medicine" (1919) have been an inspirational piece to most people as they are now more educated on the importance of medicine regarding the provision of cure to many people. Lu Xun was able to influence the Chinese culture to transition from traditional medicine and adopt the modern western medicine which was more effective. Hence, many people are now able to access quality health services and attain their cure in a more effective manner (Lee 5).

Also, adoption of the western medicine created stronger international ties between the two regions, and now they can also relate to other pressing matters which are helpful to the society. Additionally, the Chinese people seem to be peaceful, and nowadays only fewer violence incidences are witnessed. This is because Lu Xun used his literary pieces to manifest peace amongst the Chinese culture as well as better opportunities for many throughout the world.

Literary Criticism

A major literary criticism of Lu Xun's work is based on his "Kong Yiji" story. Many scholars claim that Lu Xun used this story to create the impression that the traditional Chinese system of education was quite prominent in the Chinese culture of learning. This is because many people were brought up under this system and so far they have been quite successful (Lee 4). Therefore, many scholars commend Lu Xun for his great works especially in creating awareness on the importance of the Chinese culture both to the Chinese community and the dire world in general.


In conclusion, Lu Xun was a determined literary writer, and therefore through his efforts, many people have benefited. Research shows that his stories have created a significant impact in the way Chinese culture is currently. Many people are now aware of their beliefs as well as their obligations when it comes to their goals and objectives of life. The primary and greatest works f Lu Xun include "A Madman's Diary," (1918) "Kong Yiji," (1919) and "Medicine" (1919). These stories offer a source of information based on the issues that faced China in the olden days, and therefore they followed their advice to reach the current position they are in right now. His stories have also brought peace throughout China as well as other parts of the country, and this is a great achievement.

Works Cited

Lee, Leo Ou-fan. "Voices from the Iron House: A Study of Lu Xun." Indiana Univ Pr, 1987.Xun, Lu, Julia Lovell, and Yiyun Li. "Kong Yiji." Proquest LLC, 2011.Xun, Lu. ""A Madman's Diary." Selected Works 1 (1918):40.

Xun, Lu. "Yao: Medicine." Xin Qingnian (1919): 298-310.

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