Construction, Dissolving and Converting—The Transition in the Ideology of Hero in Modern Chinese

This essay focuses on a Chinese vocabulary “hero⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚” in “the Database for the Study of Modern Chinese Thoughts and Literature (1830-1930)” ⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚1830-1930⬚⬚, in which we can see there are four division of the usage of “hero⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚:” “the traditional thoughts of hero,” “brewing discussion of hero (1830-1895),” “examining the definition of hero (1895-1912),” and “the turning of ideal hero (1912-).” Surveying the hundred-year-crossing data, the idea of hero was commonly used in official document at first step; later on, “hero” was found generally in political discussion; at last, in cultural discussion. Traditional hero generally means an elite person necessarily outshining others especially in political or war prospect, and new ideal hero includes much more prospects, such as unsung heroes or normal people with greater personality. Traditional conception of hero was acknowledged in classical novels, such as “zhong yi ying xiong pu”⬚⬚ name list of brave and righteous heros, ⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚. However, from Sino-japanese war of 1895 to the foundation of Republic of China in 1912, a new way of hero definition tried to contain east and west, old and new thoughts, being so eager to find heroes. Finally, public discourse started to take real people (ex. Dr. Sun Yat-sen) to build a name list of hero to cheer up the war-suffering citizens. After the foundation of the Republic of China, although the heat of hero gradually went down, the definition of hero became broader, while there was a branch asking for male hero only. The ups and downs displayed a passage of Chinese ideology of hero, of which the conception constructed and then dissolved. However dissolving does not mean disappearing. With the change of times, it is a symbol of the rising value of individual person. Keywords: hero, ideology of hero, elite, keyword, Modern Chinese
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