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Monkey King - Book Report/Review Example

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The Chinese love story. Early philosophical and historical books are enlivened by fictitious narratives. In the T'ang period it was fashionable for scholars to write stories. Some were based on tradition, some where inventions and some were drawn from personal experience…
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Download file to see previous pages Journey to the west portrays the main protagonist, the Monkey king who is a rebel hero and a troublemaker. It is a story of bravery, cleverness and injustice. Enormous were the sins of Monkey King as he created devastation in heaven and fair was the punishment imposed on him at the foot of Five-Finger Mountain. The Jade Emperor sent his armies to capture the Monkey King, but the devious Monkey escapes and ends up with Buddha himself. They made a deal: if Monkey wins, he can rule heaven and earth. If not - he does whatever Buddha tells him to do. He lost, and there began his adventures on earth.
As part of the plan, the Buddha sends the Monkey King on a mission. He met Monk Tang, the leader of the expedition. Monk Tang christens the Monkey King, Sun Wu-kong, and together they set off on their journey. On their journey, they met Ba-jie (a pig immortal), and a carp, Sha-sen (a former sea monster), both of whom have been sent down to earth after causing trouble in the Heavenly kingdom. Together they successfully pass through many dangers - bandits, greedy monks, a hungry skeleton, a land of women where no boys allowed, and a burning mountain and arrive at the Spirit Hill where the Sacred Scrolls are kept. Having proved worthy companions to Monk Tang, Buddha welcomes Ba jie and Sha-sen back into the Heavenly Realm. Sun Wu Kong is armed now not only with superpowers but also with maturity and wisdom, accompanies his master, Monk Tang, into the Golden Temple to claim the Sacred Scrolls. At the end of the story, all of them attained buddahhood.

This story portrays china's historical legends. It is a whirlwind tour of Chinese history. It is taken from the real story of Xuan Zang, a monk who lived during the Tang Dynasty, into India to bring back Buddhism scriptures to China. Sanzang-or Tripitaka, by his Buddhist name-was a real seventh-century monk who made a perilous journey to India to study with Buddhist masters and to gather scriptures.

Gender relations are being depicted in the principle of Taoism. It explains the concept of yin/yang. It shows the images of Chinese women-seducer, fighter, brave, demon, etc. The Taoist symbol of yin/yang is depicted in the story. According to Taoism, yin (female) is symbolized as passive and yang (male) as active. Chinese women were regarded as weak. Nevertheless, in the story, their roles are far different since most of the women characters are empress and warriors having an image of being brave. Some women characters are demons that kill and destroy. Being yin, it is a symbol of darkness. The yang (male) characters are depicted also as brave. That is very true in the concept of yang as active. Ancient China's highest goddess, Hsi Huang Mu (Queen Mother of the West), found in the story, also expresses aspects of yin/yang beliefs. As yin, this goddess is compassionate, promising immortality; as yang, she is a force who had the power to disrupt the cosmic yin/yang harmony. This pervasive fear that women could bring chaos by upsetting the cosmic harmony was an obstacle for women who aspired to male political leadership. Those who succeeded were accused of breaking one of nature's laws, of becoming "like a hen crowing" (Reese, 2003). In Confucianism principle, it is said, "A woman ruler is like a hen crowing." It is true that in the story, women were being discriminated. It is shown that yin ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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