Free Essay Example - Lu Xun and Borges

Published: 2023-01-25
Free Essay Example - Lu Xun and Borges
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Writers Comparative literature
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1003 words
9 min read

Literature works are as a result of the interconnectivity of different writers' ideas. Despite the diversity aspects that affect the production of content, writers find one way or another to relate to another based on how they present their points. Notably, this paper seeks to establish the source of this connection by analyzing and synthesizing two famous literature authors from two different periods, which are Modernism and Post Modernism. From the Modern Period, the evaluation focuses on Lu Xun, whereas Jorge Luis Borges for the Post Modern era. The analysis will be through their works, Diary of a Mad Man and The Garden of Forking Paths, respectively.

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Brief History of Xun and Borges

Lu Xun (1881-1936) was a Chinese writer who was gifted in a wide range of types of literature which included essays, poems, short stories, and literary critics (Pollard 10). His works introduced modernism in Chinese literature as they represented the Chinese culture in a classical manner (Pollard 100). Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) was an Argentine writer in the Post Modern period who majored in poems, short stories, essays, fiction, and translations (Williamson 10). Notably, his works promoted universal culturalism as they touched on a wide range of themes and genres.

Brief Summary of Diary of a Mad Man and The Garden of Forking Paths

The Diary of a Mad Man

In this short story, Xun expresses the struggle between Realism and Confucianism. It is a narrative of a man who is considered as mad, but, ironically, reasons more correctly than his sane colleagues. The most significant part of this piece is portrayed as the "mad" man's diary, which is being read by the narrator. It is important to note that the "mad" man and the narrator are good friends. Through the diary, Xun manages to express his theme of neo-colonialism, which he argued was beneficial to the Chinese culture. More so, Xun used the aspects of symbolism and irony to criticize the culture which was oppressive to minority, a move that encouraged the birth of the New Chinese Culture.

The Garden of Forking Paths

This story was originally written in Spanish before Borges translated it into English thanks to its high demand. Its events center the main character, Dr. Yu Tsun, a Chinese professor, and they happen during the period of World War I. Dr. Tsun lives in the UK a spy for the German military. Notably, Borges' central theme in this piece is a crime. Dr. Tsun depicts quality detective skills that help the reader understand the intelligence that is required in solving criminal situations.

Similarities between Xun and Borges' Writing Styles Based on the Works


Both writers narrate their stories in a unique way that make their works enjoyable to read. The standard exposition structure of stories take the linear form in that events are told in chronological order based on how they occurred. This style makes a narrative to be monotonous since it becomes less interactive. Xun did not use this plain arrangement as he explains a story within a story. For instance, there is the narrator's narration as well as the "mad" man's in the diary. Borges begins the story with the events that happened before the actual description. Also, he incorporated the use of flashbacks.


Both writers loved to write about ideas that concern politics and the rule of law. The topics they write about are meant to better the community during the period that the stories were written. In Diary of a Mad Man, Xun was a critic of the Chinese rule that was against Western Culture. The Chinese's hatred for other nationals made them prosecute non-Chinese, act that Xun labeled as mad. In The Garden of Forking Paths, Borges wrote against spying, a trend that was popular during the war. The events in the story show that spying brings more harm than good, particularly, to the participant who becomes a betrayer.


The authors are connected through how they choose protagonists characters whose traits and status are a bit counterpart to their personality. They did so to the significance of such characteristics in societal development. For Xun, he was as knowledgeable as the "mad" man in Diary of a Mad Man. Xun was an active writer during the modern period when Chinese were rejecting modernism from Western culture (Pollard, 100). Despite a massive influence from other Chineses, Xun was knowledgeable enough to support westernization like the mad man in his story.

Similarly, Xun was against the oppression of any kind, a trait that s reflected by the mad man's imagination of human cannibalism (Pollard, 100). Notably, this character suffered from paranoia since he was afraid of being eaten by his village mates. This aspect can be translated to the situations in which people mistreat others to benefit themselves only. Another behavior that connects Xun and his protagonist are that they both believed in expressing themselves through ideas (Pollard, 100). Xun used his writing to ensure that the Chinese culture was moral upright regarding humanity aspects. The mad too shared his knowledge, fears, and condition in a diary.

On the other hand, Borges and his protagonist, Dr. Tsun, have a lot in common. First, they are both lovers of literature and language. Borges authored many books and was fluent in various languages (Williamson, 20). Similarly, Dr. Tsun is a professor of English who has authored many kinds of literary works. Moreover, they all against societal betrayal as they do not support the strategies of spying during a war.

The Connection's Evolution to an Essay

The relationship of writers as established by this paper helps us understand the impact of literature in shaping society. It shows how writers can use their works to influence positive change in the community's development.

Direction to an Interpretive Essay's Thesis

The observations of the two writers would help me come with a claim that literature plays an essential role in society's well-being.

Works Cited

Pollard, David E. The true story of Lu Xun. Chinese University Press, 2002.

Williamson, Edwin. Borges: A life. New York: Viking, 2004.

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