Monkey and "The Journey to the West" Analytical Essay by academic

Monkey and "The Journey to the West"
A discussion of the character and the spirit of Monkey in the Chinese story, "The Journey to the West".
# 46235 | 1,025 words | 12 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Dec 18, 2003 in Literature (World) , English (Analysis)

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This paper looks at how the story of Monkey, or Sun Wukung, and his journey west has fascinated and delighted readers for hundreds of years. "The Journey to the West" was compiled and polished by Wu Cheng'en in the 16th century, but the legend existed long before that and is based on the true story of Xuan Zang (602-664), a Buddhist monk and his journey to India in search of sutras. In particular, it focuses on the character of Monkey, who is born from a rock, and eventually makes trouble for the Gods. It analyzes how the character and spirit of Monkey is extremely free and unrestrained, playful, and impetuous, and how the story of Monkey parallels the growth of man and the growth of a religion at the same time.

From the Paper:

"Monkey is a simple creature really (Hanabakate, 2003). The fact that he is seemingly unaffected by the little annoyances that the world offers up seems, however, too good to be true (Hanabakate, 2003). Later he goes on to say that he has no last name (Hanabakate, 2003). Lai (1994) points out: "Monkey's first answer makes him seem a nitwit: that monkey of a description of himself is his being himself. But when he further clarifies the situation with his second answer, he truly shows his "naturalness." He is, to use an American expression that the Taoists would applaud, "a natural." This child of nature is as nameless as nature itself"."

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