Book Review of The True Story of Ah Q
For this reason, Xun Lu decided to devoted himself to the literary and artistic work. He attempted to lead people start to think and change through his sharp criticism towards the Chinese society in his works. The Opium War left a heavy and long-lasting impact on China. From the Opium War in 1840, China suffered the colonialist aggression for almost 110 years, which was a hard time for China. In ‘The True Story of Ah Q”, Xun Lu displayed a Chinese society around 1911 , when a series of Chinese Revolutions were taking place.
The contradiction between lasses in rural areas was fairly intense then. This book profoundly reveals it and criticizes the lack of thorough ness of the revolution. Ah Q, a farm laborer, was oppressed by the landowner for a long time. As for him, the only living way of the spirit is ‘spiritual victory. He positioned in the lowest class the real world, but he is not willing to face the truth. Self-deception and arrogance are methods he uses to comfort himself. At last , he wants to resist, but was killed by reactionary forces.
Xun Lu expressed his sympathy to the class of farm labors because of their oppressed situation. At the same ime, he also pointed out that this situation is also resulted from their own unwillingness to revolt. Xun Lu tried to wake up their desire to promote revolution. As farm laborers is the biggest class in Chinese society, only when they realized they are supposed to change, China would be able to get the opportu nity to change. First of all, Xun Lu highlights the impact the current situation on the characters thoughts. It is reflected through the change of Ah Q’s attitude toward revolution. It had occurred to him that the revolutionaries Were rebels and that a rebellion would make things difficult or him, he had always detested and kept away from them. ” 1 However, when he realized revolutionary could frighten a successful provincial candidate, Ah Q thought “Revolution is not a bad thing. ” 2 He becomes delightful and “would like to go over to the revolutionaries”3. When the revolutionary situation tends to ebb, Ah Q becomes easily losing his temper and always feels too frustrated. He become extremely disappointed when he fails to meet ‘the successful county candidate and the Imitation Foreign Devil” at Tutelary God’s Temple.
Every change of Ah Q’s thoughts is all deeply nfluenced by the change of current situation, which reflects that even though Ah Q’s behaviors seems like he requires “revolution” urgently, he never figures out the truth of revolution. In social life, the current situation is the most sensitive issue. Describing impacts of current situation on mental activities of characters better reveals the nature of the characters and enriches the connotation of character psychology of the times. In this way, “Story of Ah Q” has become a mirror reflecting the Revolution.
Ah Q never understands the truth of revolution. Through showing Ah Q’s nconsciousness towards revolution, Xun Lu criticizes that Xinhai revolution has not been conducted thoroughly. After the revolution, some feudal ideas and traditional values have not been cleared. In view of the large number of farm labor in old China, a successful revolution is supposed to reach this class and arouse them to revolt. Ah Q’s character is full of contradictions. On the one hand, he is a simple and stupid farmer labor. Ah Q impacted by feudalistic for a long time, kept in line with some of the “Bible Yin Chuan”.
Thus he did not alter the narrow conservative characteristics Of small roducers. On the other hand, Ah Q is a bankrupt farmer. He lost his land and wandered around all day. He was forced to become a thief once. He did not admire Zhao Taiye and Qian magistrate. Ah Q had some certain features of is the Chinese character which countryside ordinary farm labors did not have. After the foreign capitalist forces invaded China, China becme semi-colonial and semi-feudal society. As far as I am concerned, this contradictory characteristic reflects the complex social nature in China at time.
Secondly, Xun Lu revealed more universal social problems in this book. As entioned before, Ah Q is a representative character of the numerous farm labors. The strong desire to change the poverty he has also widely represented the wish of Chinese then. It could be said as the common aspiration of old China’s vast poor farmers. Another brilliant point in this novel is “spiritual victory”. After Ah Q was hit by someone else, “Ah Q would stand there for a second, thinking to himself, “It is as if were beaten by my son. What is the world coming to nowadays… 1w4 This is his “spiritual victory”, which made him cannot face the tragic position of being oppressed. Nevertheless, for the weakness, he uses the “bully” to prove his strength. For example, after being hit by imitation foreign devil, Ah Q went to bully little nun. He felt proud of himself in other people’s appreciation and laughing. Basically, Ah Qs “spiritual victory” reflects the worst instinct of the entire old Chinese. They desired to get rid of poverty urgently, but they did not know how to do and what they can do. Therefore, they could barely use self- deception in order to obtain a psychological relief.
Apart from what has been mentioned before, Conservative and paranoia are the common problem f people as well. “For instance, a bench made of a wooden plank three feet by three inches the Weichuang villagers called a “long bench. ” Ah Q called it a “long bench’ as well, but the townspeople called it a “straight bench,” Ah Q thought, “This is wrong. How ridiculous! “5 Ah Q lives in a closed rural village and did not know the wider world out there. Thus he feels self-conceit since he has went to town several times. As he is used to village life, he considers the slightly difference in the town lifestyle is wrong and ridiculous.