> Publications > China Social Science Review > 2021 > no.4(December 2021)

A New Interpretation of the Images of Lu Xun and Ah Q: In the Light of the Two Opposing Poles of Don Quixote

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China Social Science Review

No.4, 2021

 

A New Interpretation of the Images of Lu Xun and Ah Q: In the Light of the Two Opposing Poles of Don Quixote

(Abstract)

 

Fang Weibao

 

The image of Don Quixote created by Cervantes in Don Quixote has mutated into two opposing poles in the modern Chinese context. The first comes from the self- and other-referentiality of their theory and creation. In it, Lu Xun is positively portrayed as a Chinese-style Don Quixote, the image of a tragic warrior. The second image is that of Ah Q in The True Story of Ah Q. Lu Xun portrays Ah Q negatively, as a Chinese-style Don Quixote whose image is that of a penniless rural ne’er-do-well. This is the consequence of the polarization in the local context of the positive and negative values attached to Don Quixote’s character. A comparative reading shows that the images of Lu Xun and Ah Q display th=e whole national personality through the tragic combination of the two poles of negative and positive value. Not only are the two images a projection of modern Chinese cultural psychology and aesthetic tastes; they also offer an important perspective and technique for observing and illustrating modern Chinese society and culture.