Ah Q, Lu Xun's portraiture of Chinese national character figured in a rural rogue, has been an enigma in its representations. Lu Xun's text presents an interesting allegorical irony: while the experience of Ah Q reveals a mentality which makes his otherwise trivial anecdotes interesting, he, as Leo Ou- fan Lee observes, "is a body without an interior self, a face in the crowd, and the crowd’s summary mirror-image”. From the visual sense, we may illustrate this irony by taking Ah Q as both a voyeur and a spectacle - by constantly visualizing spectacles which he may victimize, Ah Q often makes himself the spectacle for the others, as their laughingstock. What he sees only shows his blindness to reality. Vacillating between a masochist (in a spectacle) and a sadist (in victimizing voyeurism), Ah Q makes his voyeurism (sadistic victimizing) and his role in spectacles (masochist victim) an inseparable whole, a pleasing circle which shuts off pain and vision. When a vision is finally revealed in the narrative with a wolfs eyes image elaborated later in this study, it is a reference to this circle in another sense - Ah Q’s execution is watched by a crowd of which Ah Q is the “summary mirror-image.”
Copyright © 1999 by Lingnan College. Also available on Artiti: http://www.airitilibrary.com/Publication/alDetailedMesh?DocID=10265120-199901-201008040020-201008040020-1-35 (Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.)
Kuoshu, H. H. (1999). Visualizing Ah Q: An allegory's resistance to representation. Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese, 2(2), 1-35.
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