The Confucian Ideas as a Baseline of Chinese, From Kong I-chi to The Man Awaken from Dreams.
China in 1919 to 1949 is a period of changing in mind, lots of revolutionists and scholars in China had introduced the Marx ideas to the Chinese people. And the change of value directly led to the rise of the New Culture Movement, under the influence of western cultures, traditional Chinese ideas were challenged by the new generation of scholars. The short story Kong I-chi was written in this changing period (Lu Xun, 1918). During this period, the old traditional ideas were challenged, but a lot of old scholars were fallen behind the new ideas. Kong, I-chi is one of the best representation of those old scholars, he took and passed the examination system, but he could not find a decent job. Although he could not even afford for his drink, he still used lots of quotations from Confucians when people made fun of him. Liu dapeng was the main character in The Man Awakened from Dreams, he born in 1857 in China (The Man Awakened from Dreams, p45), and one thing that he and Kong I-chi had in common is that they all deeply believed in Confucian ideas and insisted to be a pure Confucian gentleman in their life. As we can see, ideas change through generations in China, but main Confucian ideas such as benevolence, righteousness and filial piety still play an important role as time goes by. These Confucian ideas also served as a baseline for Liu Dapeng and Kong I-chi in the 19th century.
Confucian ideas firstly started by Confucian in early Zhou dynasty. Then it became the fundamental idea for Chinese people for centuries. Lots of scholars added their new thoughts in Confucian ideas, however, the main value remains the same in the Confucian ideas such as benevolence, filial piety, and five bonds in the society (China’s Intellectual Culture and the Confucian Legacy, 01/31). Kangxi emperor was the second emperor in Qing dynasty. He highly promoted Confucian ideas in order to win respect from educated Han Chinese. He also collected the imperial encyclopedia which is a collection of the world from Confucian’s point of view. Moreover, he established the Boxue examination system which is a series of examinations to test how people broadly study in Confucianism (The High Qing: Yongzheng and Qianlong, 01/24). By his broad promotion, mostly officials in Qing dynasty are required to understand Confucianism and be a pure Confucian gentleman. Even people who want to be an official has to study in Confucian ideas for years and take the examination system. Furthermore, learning is one important thing to do in one’s life from Confucian’s point of view (China’s Intellectual Culture and the Confucian Legacy, 01/31). This idea highly influenced Chinese people not only in the Qing dynasty but also Kong I-chi and Liu dapeng in 1919.
Lu Xun was one of the most famous pioneers in the New Culture Movement. in that period of China, new scholars began to think that Confucian ideas are ...