Create a 4 page essay paper that discusses Ah Q and Hsiang Tzu: Two Symbols of a Society in Transition.Download file to see previous pages… The two characters in question transcend their fiction and

Create a 4 page essay paper that discusses Ah Q and Hsiang Tzu: Two Symbols of a Society in Transition.

Download file to see previous pages…

The two characters in question transcend their fiction and represent the society at large during this period. They stand for two contrasted Chinese identities that speak of the good and evil in the Chinese character. This essay will elaborate on how Ah Q and Hsiang Tzu symbolically represent a nation, culture and society that was in transition.

Ah Q is a powerful yet critical portrayal of young Chinese men at the turn of the twentieth century. As the novelist Lu Xun introduces him, he is full of folly and vainglory. He is also shown to possess the vice of sloth and lack meaningful goals in life. Lu Xun’s main concern with the novella is not the moral dimension but the social and political ones. In this view, Ah Q is the product of an uprooted socio-political milieu rather than vice versa. He is a squatter who finds refuge in an empty temple even as he manages to get into trouble frequently. One of the literary devices through which Lu Xun depicts the foolish behavior of Ah Q is euphemism. Ah Q tries to look at every defeat and humiliation suffered by him as a ‘spiritual victory’, meaning though he is defeated at hand he has somehow gained a moral superiority to that of his victor. But the significance of this characterization lies in how the author is hinting at a broader Chinese trait through the acts of the story’s protagonist. …

77) Hsiang Tzu makes a sharp contrast to the character of Ah Q and yet he too is an authentic face of late-modern China. While Ah Q was marked by his vanity in the face of abject disgrace, the former is valorous and heroic. Hsiang Tzu’s heroism is one found on his dignity and ambition. He may lead to hand-to-mouth daily existence but he would not relinquish his independence. He would rather prefer to die due to the arduousness of rickshaw pulling work rather than work under a master’s command. Hsiang Tzu’s independence is marked by its individualism. He does not attempt to distinguish his personal identity from that of the Chinese masses through idiosyncrasies or through exclusion. Rather, his brand of individualism is one founded on one man’s relation to the other. He refuses to accept any interpersonal relationship that is not based on equality and dignity. Such a world view is also symbolic of the brewing socio-political changes witnessed in early twentieth century China. There are strong political overtones to both the stories. Author Lao She portrays Hsiang Tzu to be a victim of the old feudalistic order. The dire economic condition in which Tzu perpetually lives is an indictment of the anachronistic political system. Despite being very industrious, Tzu finds it tough to make ends meet. For all his efforts he cannot even claim ownership to his rickshaw – which was leased out to him till he is able to purchase it. Lao She’s message is that the Chinese people deserved a better standard of life than this. At the time of publication of the novel, Communist ideologies were being propagated subversively through literature. Rickshaw Boy is a classic example of such propaganda.

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