Lu Xun, as one of the leaders and supporter of the New Cultural Movement of China, is the most popular and studied among our young generation. He is a great litterateur, thinker and revolutionist in modern China. He left so many immortal and educational writings. “Lu Xun hated the Confucian legacy and attacked it with bitter satire” (Spence, 294). He denounced the corruption and decadence of the old society in his own way. He wrote his hatred and discontent of the society. His words are encouraging. The most famous collections of Lu Xun are Call to Arms/Na Han and Wandering/Pang Huang, including the stories of “True Sroty of Ah Q”, “A Madman’s Diary” and “Medicine” and so on. Most of the stories in Na Han are taught in our Chinese classes in China today. Lu Xun rouse Chinese people’s thinking in 1900s. Lu Xun is Chinese people’s spine. His stories are full of compassion. After witnessing the sadness of losing their relatives in war, Lu Xun decided to be a doctor when he was young. He thought that Chinese people need his health care. He showed great compassion on peoples’ suffering and loss in war. However, latter, he realized that the most important thing that Chinese need was thinking rather than medicine.
The movie “The Interview with Zhou Lingfei”, is very helpful to get to know Lu Xun. The foreign journalist raised the first question–“Why should today’s young Chinese still read Lu Xun?” (Movie). Zhou Lingfei discussed his opinions from two aspects. “From a historical point of view, it is generally recognized that Lu Xun is the most famous, most representative icon of the modern Chinese literature. This is the consensus of the whole society. So far the Chinese people who are learning Chinese language, they must learn the history, including the history its culture and the history of its literature” (Movie). Lu Xun’s works represent modern China’s literature to a large extent. Lu Xun’s works told the truth instead of fantasies. It is good way to learn Chinese history of 1900s and the reality of Chinese society and people of that time. “The second reason is Lu Xun’s spirit, Lu Xun’s spirit is still needed by today’s Chinese people, to today’s China as well as today’s world” (Movie). According to Chairman Mao’s remarks, Lu Xun’s spirit includes three aspects. Lu Xun’s spirit are his political foresight, spirit of sacrifice and spirit of struggling. Lu Xun awakened the new Chinese generation, which had been bounded by the traditional and feudal thoughts and authorities for more than 2000 years.
Lu Xun’s stories broaden the minds of those who chose to read his writings. In his short story “Medicine”, Lu Xun wrote that people spend a lot of money purchasing “the steamed bun with blood” to cure their diseases, to reflect people’s pedantic and fatuous thoughts in feudal society. People read Lu Xun could realize how stupid their likely behaviors were in that time. Lu Xun’s stories encourage us to look forward and critically. Lu Xun’s writings were created in a certain period with a specific historical background; however, Lu Xun’s spirit is immortal.
As far as why foreigners are recommended to read Lu Xun, Zhou gave his own opinion too. “For a foreigner who tries to understand China, you have to read Lu Xun” (Movie). “Lu Xun told the truth. He criticized society and Chinese national traits. His criticism was heartfelt and solid” (Movie). The most significant contribution of Lu Xun to China is that he thought that the Chinese people should have to think independently. Chinese people could be satisfied by being obedient to the emperors and slaves. He wanted the Chinese people to become modern individuals. Modern individuals are owners of themselves. They have their own dignity, and the value as an individual and they are valued as human beings for their own thinking. He wanted to liberate the apathetic Chinese people. Lu Xun liberated Chinese tackled thoughts. Foreigners should read Lu Xun to understand the history of Modern China better. Furthermore, as Zhou said, Ah Q, those people who are self-deceived, self-satisfied and arrogant, still exist in China and the world.
Lu Xun’s spirit is still needed by today’s Chinese people. Lu Xun attacked the apathy of the people in the society in his writings. Today, as China develops rapidly, I feel so sad since I realize that people are getting to be apathetic and distant in China. People are working in a rash, while less time is used to spend with their friends and families. People are blinded again, but this time, not by traditions and dogmas, by the rapacious pursuit of wealth and social status.