An Analysis Of “Diary Of A Madman” Critical Thinking Samples
The “Diary of a Madman” presents a gory picture of man eating man. A man lived in fear of being eaten by fleash eaters like his own brother. The idea of flesh eating which is a reality in some culture can easily lead the readers into interpreting the text in similar context, that the madman was indeed disturbed about the concept of humans eating another person’s flesh and that he worries for the children’s future. However, a closer look at China’s history reveals an alternative in interpreting the story.
China has lived in the dark shadows of feudalism and the practice of eating human flesh can be an embodiment of its abusive and oppressive nature. The madman represents the emerging generation of Chinese people who, through education, saw the flaws in the social system. Like the power of feudalism to cast fear among people and suppress their voices, the madman also lived in fear of being eaten, afraid of confronting his own brother who he thought was also doing the same, but later on took the courage to do so. The madman wanted change, the same way that the opressed poor people wanted democracy and freedom from the feudal lords. He worried that the children will also live in the same fear the way their parents and their ancestors before them did. If that happens, the next generation of Chinese people will continue to be powerless. In the end, he pleads for the children to be saved, and this can be done when feudalism ceases to exist.
Hsun, Lu. “Diary of a Madman.” Selected Stories of Lu Hsun.