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The Diary of A madman

"Synopsis

A Madmans Diary begins with an introduction from the narrator: he says he had heard a
childhood friend was sick and went to visit him, but upon arriving found his friend was better
and had taken up a government post in another town. The narrator says his friends brother
gave him his friends journal that details his friends thoughts during his illness (which was
most likely a case of schizophrenia). He makes a point of mentioning that the title "A
Madmans Diary was the diarists idea after his madness had ceased.

From this point on, the story is written as the diary of the madman. It contains his random
thoughts and fears, his obsessions and paranoia. He begins to see the words Eat people!
between the lines of his history books. He reveals that he feels that the villagers, his doctor,
and even his own brother are conspiring to eat him. He comes to the conclusion that his older
brother ate his younger sister when she was a child, that perhaps he himself unknowingly
consumed her as well, and that his mother either did not know or would not speak of the
cannibalism because it was inappropriate to speak of such things. He wonders whether or not
anyone, save perhaps children, have not eaten men, and his last plea is that someone can
Save the children

Analysis

Narrators Introduction

The story begins with an introduction from someone other than the madman someone the
reader assumes is sane, lending authenticity to the diary's contents. The introduction is written
in classical Chinese, while the diary entries are written in vernacular Chinese, which makes
the diary seem more realistic. The narrator's explicit statement that the excerpt contains the
friends exact text, similarly makes the diarist's insanity more believable.

Cannibalism As A Metaphor For Feudalism

Cannibalism is a metaphor for the oppressive feudalistic society of China at the time. Those at
the top of the feudalistic society fed off of the work of the individuals below them, chipping
away at the souls of those at the bottom of the society. By using cannibalism, Lu Xun
illuminates the problems of the society without an outright expository assault on the concept
of feudalism or its practice in China. He illustrates the nature of feudalism in terms that the
masses could understand.

Interpretations of Insanity

There are several possible interpretations of insanity, which include:

The breakdown of the spirit in a feudalistic system. The madmans insanity may be a
result of the lack of individuality and the frustration resulting from living in a
backward society.

Insanity as a way to reality. The fact that the madman is only able to recognize the
truth of the feudalistic society (that the core of feudalism is some men consuming the
work and individuality of other men) through his insanity makes the critique even
harsher. The sane people are unable to see the truth, even though they are convinced
that they are the ones in touch with reality. It is only an insane man who is able to
realize the degenerative nature of the feudal system.

Forgiving the wise fool. Following the Shakespearean tradition of the wise fool, Lu
Xun criticizes the feudalistic system from the perspective of an insane person because
it gives him license to speak his mind with fewer consequences. It also lowers the
readers guard in some ways the ranting of a lunatic can be ignored or written off. If
the reader approaches the story thinking that the writer is insane, he is more likely to
read the story with an attitude toward forgiving the madman for his insane thoughts,
while the message of the story slips into the readers consciousness while their guard
is down.

A Return to Sanity (Or Insanity?)

The narrator emphasizes at the beginning of the story that the diarist is eventually cured and
takes up a government post in another region. So, despite the truth that the narrator found
through his descent into madness, he ultimately turns his back on that truth and takes a
position at the top level of the feudalist system, which he discovered during his madness to be
akin to cannibalism. This could perhaps be considered a return to sanity in that his
schizophrenia was cured, or it may be that Lu Xun has reversed sanity on us when the
diarist is cured of his schizophrenic insanity, he is actually returning to insanity in the feudal
system. Thus, the entries within the diary represent the only period of sanity in the diarists
life: before and after his schizophrenic episode, the diarist is a madman, but he is sane during
his schizophrenic episode.
MOMENT IN PEKING

ased on a well-known novel by Lin Yutang, Moment in Peking, also known as "Jing Hua Yan
Yun," is a relatively new Mainland adaptation. Some highlights of this series include its
strong historical background, introspective storyline, famous characters, and interesting
casting. All of these factors have led to its high ratings in China, although viewers have often
compared it to a previous Taiwanese adaptation. Before watching the series, I heard some
negative reviews from people comparing it to the previous adaptation. I had some
reservations before watching the series, but after reading about the storyline, I became
intrigued. After completing the series, I definitely did not regret watching it.
Initially, I wanted to watch this series for Vicki Zhao Wei, who at the time was one of my
favourite actresses. However, I later found other factors of this series to be equally if not more
engrossing, such as how it examines the meaning of life and history. In his original novel, Lin
Yutang painted some very distinct characters, which retain their interesting personalities in
this adaptation. None of them are perfect, none of them are completely evil. In his preface,
Lin Yutang himself described the novel as "a story of how men and woman in the
contemporary era grow up and learn to live with one another, how they love and hate and
quarrel and forgive and suffer and enjoy, how certain habits of living and ways of thinking are
found, and how, above all, they adjust themselves to the circumstances in this earthly life
where men strive but the gods rule." As a result of these multifaceted characters, an absorbing
and well-crafted story is created...

SYNOPSIS
"Moment in Peking" focuses on the lives of several different families and people, along with
their interactions during a tumultuous time in China. The three main families in the story are
the Yao family, Zeng family, and Niu family, but several other characters turn out to be
important. Each of these three families is wealthy, but the relationships between them often
cause problems, especially for the younger generation.

The story begins when the protagonist, Yao Mulan, is still a young girl. While traveling with
her family, Mulan loses her kite. When Mulan goes to chase after her kite, she is kidnapped
by bandits. Later, Mulan is saved by the Zeng family, who recognizes her because of her
talent to read jia gu wen, or oracle bones. Since then, the Yao and Zeng families became close
friends.

Afterwards, the story shifts to when Mulan (played by Zhao Wei) is all grown up. Mulan is an
extremely intelligent, gentle, and responsible young lady, admired by many others. As a child,
her father, Yao Si'an (Chen Baoguo), encouraged Mulan to explore unusual interests, such as
reading jia gu wen and singing Chinese opera. Eventually, Mulan catches the eye of Kong
Lifu (Victor Huang Weide), a scholar who admires Mulan's intelligence and kind heart.
Because of Mulan's many positive attributes, Mrs. Zeng (Pan Hong) wants Mulan to marry
one of her sons, either Pingya, Jinya, or Sunya. When Mrs. Zeng's son Pingya (Wang Ya'nan)
is sick and the doctor recommends a wedding to cure him, Mrs. Zeng tries to persuade Mulan
to marry Pingya. Mulan feels grateful for how the Zeng family saved her and wants to help
Pingya, but still feels apprehensive about giving up her future as she has developed feelings
for Kong Lifu. Further, Pingya already had a lover named Sun Manni (Sun Ning), who has
been gone for several years. Mulan is about to marry Pingya when Manni returns, saving
Mulan from her predicament.

However, more troubles await Mulan, as Mrs. Zeng desparately wants Mulan as her
daughter-in-law. Mrs. Zeng attempts to pair Mulan with Zeng Sunya (Pan Yueming), her
youngest son. As children, Sunya and Mulan got along well. However, Mulan's younger sister,
Yao Mochou (Qiu Qiwen) had feelings for Sunya; also, Mulan likes Lifu. Mulan manages to
persuade Mrs. Zeng to allow Sunya and Mochou to marry. Thus, the Zeng family plans three
marriages for their three sons - Pingya to Manni, Jinya to the spoiled daughter of the Niu
family, Suyun (Hu Ke), and Sunya to Mochou.

The wedding day does not go as planned. Before the wedding, Mochou sees Sunya with a
female student. Because of her anger, Mochou no longer wants to marry Sunya, so she runs
away and hides on the wedding day. The Zeng family is expecting a bride from the Yao
family, however. When Mulan sees her parents on their knees in front of the Zeng family,
Mulan reluctantly decides to take Mochou's place as the bride. A drunk Sunya does not notice
that Mulan is his bride, but is upset when he discovers the surprise. Eventually, this leads him
to have an affair with an art student named Cao Lihua (Fu Miao). Further, Pingya dies on his
wedding day, although the doctors said marriage was supposed to cure his illness. Jinya and
Suyun do not get along well either, due to Suyun's irritating and spoiled nature. Niu Huaiyu,
the younger son of the infamous Niu family, starts pursuing Mochou, who eventually returns
his feelings.

The rest of the series is spent unraveling these messy relationships. Meanwhile, infamous
historical events such as the tensions between the Nationalists and Communists, the
Sino-Japanese war, and other highlights in China's 20th century history serve as a backdrop
for the challenging obstacles the characters face.

PLOT ANALYSIS
My introduction section implies a lot about how I feel about the storyline in this series.
Although this is indeed an adaptation, I cannot help but praise the story it is based off of. Lin
Yutang received a Nobel Prize nomination for this novel, and I feel that it is strongly justified.
Somehow, in a storyline with numerous characters, a meaningful central plot is maintained.
Further, its important message about regrets is extremely profound. Throughout this storyline,
there are so many regrets, such as Lifu's failure to admit his feelings to Mulan, or Mochou's
decision to run away on her wedding day. It gives a profound look on life; there are so many
"what if's," but in the end, one decision can change the entire course of one's life. I found the
main character Mulan particularly well-developed. Although Mulan is what people would
consider "perfect" - gentle, considerate, intelligent - she struggles to find the most important
thing in life: a happy marriage. Mulan acts kindly towards everyone, yet she suffers through
turmoil. Her efforts to improve her marriage with Sunya are futile, yet when she finally
decides to divorce Sunya, he suddenly starts playing his role as her husband. This leads
viewers to question: what exactly results in happiness? Is it possible to be nice to everyone
and still be happy yourself?

In terms of how well this series served as an adaptation, I was hoping it would be a bit more
faithful to the original novel, which I felt was excellent. However, the series has a plot that is
able to sustain itself as a good storyline too. Some scenes were rushed, while others were
dragged out too much. For example, the romance between Sunya and Cao Lihua were
extremely elaborated on, yet upon Lihua's death, their storyline comes to an abrupt close. At
one moment, Sunya is carrying Lihua in his arms, yet an episode later, he returns as the
perfect husband for Mulan. Further, some of the relationships felt forced. In particular,
Mochou's marriage to Kong Lifu seemed unrealistic, perhaps because of a lack of scenes
building up to this relationship. Another possible factor could have been that the viewer was
rooting for Lifu and Mulan during the entire series, only to suddenly discover a relationship
between Mochou and Lifu.

While the timing could have been better, the overall quality of the storyline was definitely
high. I particularly enjoyed the clash between history and romance, as these are two of my
favourite genres. Although this series is over 40 episodes long, it kept my attention
throughout. Because of the large amount of characters, I never got bored watching the same
people over and over. The ending is probably the most interesting part of the series, as well as
the most historical; the ending is when the effects of the Sino-Japanese war on the main
characters becomes evident.

ROMANCE OF THE 3 KINGDOM

The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. Thus it has ever been." With
this characterization of the inevitable cycle of Chinese history, the monumental tale Three
Kingdoms begins. As important for Chinese culture as the Homeric epics have been for the
West, this Ming Dynasty masterpiece continues to be read and loved throughout China as
well as in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. The novel offers a startling and unsparing view of how
power is wielded, how diplomacy is conducted, and how wars are planned and fought; it has
influenced the ways that Chinese think about power, diplomacy, and war even to this day.

Three Kingdoms portrays a fateful moment at the end of the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220)
when the future of the Chinese empire lay in the balance. Writing more than a millennium
later, Luo Guanzhong drew on often told tales of this turbulent period to fashion a
sophisticated compelling narrative, whose characters display vivid individuality and epic
grandeur.

The story begins when the emperor, fearing uprisings by peasant rebels known as the Yellow
Scarves, sends an urgent appeal to the provinces for popular support. In response, three young
men - the aristocratic Liu Xuande, the fugitive Lord Guan, and the pig-butcher Zhang Fei -
meet to pledge eternal brotherhood and fealty to their beleaguered government. From these
events comes a chain of cause and consequence that leads ultimately to the collapse of the
Han.