"The True Story of Ah Q," has more meaning in its small amount of pages than many other stories of much longer length. Not only is the character of Ah Q a blend between fiction and reality, but he is also a symbol of the political situation in China at the turn of the century. The author, Li Xun, starts the story with a blunt introduction of Ah Q giving the reader background information for the story. Throughout the entire story, Li Xun's voice can be heard coming in and going out, leaving the idea of Ah Q's confused perception of reality. At first the glance the story seems to just be a recollection of the tales of the town drunk. Ah Q often gets drunk, gets into fights, has a terrible attitude towards women, and views himself as superior to nearly everyone. He eventually tries to join a revolutionary group just to get rid of the people in town he doesn't like and steal from the rich people. However, within every one of these actions the author shows a problem with the classical Chinese culture that he thinks needs to be modernized. Ah Q is a representation of the social customs of Chinese culture that needed to be changed in the clash between modernization and Chinese tradition. .
The life Ah Q lives in his mind is his fantasy as opposed to his life in reality, changing things around in his head so much so that he even went to his own death thinking things were ok. The True Story of Ah Q at first is confusing because it appears to be lacking a main point. The central character is always motivated by his own self-interest and is always twisting his story to make him seem like the victim. He makes it seem so that none of the people he is hurting are good people, and the ending of the story is tragic, but ironic. China had just gone through a democratic revolution in 1911, where the last imperial dynasty was overthrown and a republican government was set up the next year. However, the new government could not hold off foreign domination or bring about reforms needed to improve the population and make them happy.