My old Home

My old Home

Lu Xun

Summary

This short personal narrative story written by the Chinese writer Lu Xun deals with conflict between childhood memories and present realities. It carries the subject of friendship and trustship. The main narrator of this story is the writer himself who has presented his childhood memories and present realities.

According to the narrator, he returned to his hometown after more than twenty years travelling more than six hundred miles. He was heartily connected with his hometown. He had a deep longing for his old home. But when he saw his hometown under the clouds at his arrival, he started feeling depressed to find its unprogressive, desolate and scattered state. For him, his old home was quite beautiful in the past and many people of his clan used to live there. He even added that his attitude towards his hometown changed as he came to his hometown in an unhappy mood. He returned to his hometown with the sole purpose to say “Goodbye” that time.

When he arrived at his old home, his mother welcomed him. He saw his nephew Hong’er for the first time. He informed his mother about a rented house in his working place where they were going to migrate soon. He wanted to sell old furniture items of the house to buy some items for his rented house. His mother informed him about Runtu and his curiosity to meet him. The narrator had a deep longing to meet his childhood friend Runtu too. The narrator started recalling his childhood memories . He remembered  Runtu with a silver necklet and pitchfork in his hand. Once Runtu was trying to thrust zha( hen like animal) with his full might. But the cunning and fast creature zha dodged his blow and escaped between his legs. He remembered working-class people and their divisions’ as full times, dailies and part-timers. In his memories, the narrator saw himself and Runtu playing on a sandy bank and guarding watermelons against zha. He remembered all the strange things which Runtu taught him.

 After his childhood memories, many relatives, as well as people, came to his old home. Mrs. Yang, the one of the women who was so talkative and funny lady was described by narrator quite humorously. He described her as a compass of a geometry box. Mrs. Yang surprised the narrator with her act. She held the narrator with her arms. The narrator remembered about her later on. In his childhood, Mrs. Yang used to sit in her bean curd shop powdering herself and was quite famous by her name “A Beancurd Beauty”. Mrs. Yang threw her words related to miserliness when she knew the narrator’s intention of selling his old home’s furniture.

Later, the narrator met Runtu after many years. He didn’t feel good to hear the word “Master” from his mouth. Both, the narrator and his mother knew about Runtu’s poverty and hardships in his life along with many children. Runtu had been squeezed by various factors as responsibilities, high taxes, soldiers, bandits, government officials, landed gentry, social differences etc. These various factors led him to poverty throughout his life. The narrator and his mother decided to help Runtu by providing him with some old items of the house of his need. Runtu selected few items from the old house. He even laughed behind Runtu’s back in his selection.

After nine days, when the narrator departed he became quite nostalgic. He thought about Runtu and his act of worshipping superstitious idols. He realized the hope which people always desired. He expected his nephew Hong’er and Runtu’s son Shuisheng to have a fine relationship in the future. He realized his present realities against his memories. He left his memories in his past and moved towards his new destination.

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