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Thread: A Tale of Two Protagonists: Luk Siu Fung and Lee Chum Foon

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Sep 2002

    Default A Tale of Two Protagonists: Luk Siu Fung and Lee Chum Foon

    Whether it's Jin Yong, Gu Long, Shakespeare, Dickens, or Stan Lee, the characters that they create are all different. These great writers would not be remembered as such if their stories all featured monotonous characters with the same cardboard cutout personalities. A contrast I find particularly sharp in wuxia is Luk Siu Fung and Lee Chum Foon, who are both memorable Gu Long protagonists, but could not be more different in personality.

    Luk Siu Fung is an exuberant extrovert who lives carefree and wears crises lightly and with a robust sense of humor. NOTHING ever seems to get Luk Siu Fung down for long. He never loses his optimism or sense of joie de vivre , and treats life as the greatest gift rather than an irksome burden. He is frequently seen smiling and heard heartily laughing, even in the face of mortal danger, and lives it up with wine, women, and song between adventures.

    Lee Chum Foon, in contrast, is a melancholy introvert who seems to have the weight of the world on his shoulders. Even his name, "Chum Foon," suggests that he is unable to find true happiness. Though he possesses a wit as sharp as his dagger, his humor is rare, dry, and sarcastic, unlike the whimsical, lighthearted humor of Luk Siu Fung. Naturally, Lee Chum Foon's life circumstances are very different from Luk Siu Fung's. Perhaps if LSF were burdened with LCF's situation, the former would find it difficult to maintain his light demeanor.

    In spite of these differences, the two heroes do have qualities in common: naturally, both are brave men willing to endanger themselves for the good of others, particularly their friends and loved ones. Both put justice and friendship ahead of their own personal interests, and neither one is willing to allow evil or injustice to prevail.

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