Friday, March 28, 2008

The sane "madman"

In Lu Xun’s story Diary of a Madman, the “madman” plays a very controversial role. The issue I was addressed with is whether or not the madman truly is insane. Personally, I do not think he is. I came to this conclusion by comparing some of the background information on the writer with some of the details he places in his stories. Looking at his background I found at that, even at a young age, he was very against the demands of his culture. He also says how ironic his life seemed to be and that he enjoys incorporating irony into his stories. Sanity is defined as a legal term denotes that an individual is of sound mind and therefore can bear legal responsibility for his or her actions. So in the case of the madman, I would say that he is sane. In the story it is apparent that he seems to isolate himself from others. In the very beginning of the story the madman says how he has not seen the moon in over thirty years. Then after all this time of separation, he places himself in an uncomfortable environment. In this encounter, he feels very paranoid and has a feeling that everyone is watching his every move. He then talks how the people are ready to strike against him. In the defense of the madman, I would say he is very sane. I think if anyone would isolate themselves for that long, that they would be in the same position as the so called “madman.”

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