This historical and Chinese novel Journey to the West, which is also known as the Monkey, is the most popular book in East Asia. Originally written by Wu Ch’eng-en in the sixteenth century, which consisted of one hundred chapters but was traditionally cut-down to various lengths to suit different audiences. Then was translated into the words of David Kherdian who wrote the book that was chosen for our class. David Kherdian only based the Monkey on two complete translations, which takes a more traditional approach, including many more of the original episodes, in an abbreviated form. Monkey who is the main character is sent on a journey where he encounters lots of problems but through this time he makes many friends and faces many enemies.
The characters that Monkey must face represent universal qualities of human nature. Husuantsang represents “everyman” the ordinary nature of all human beings. Pigsy symbolizes uncontrollable sensuality and pure appetite while also representing energy when needed on the spiritual path and Sandy who Chinese commentators identify with the qualities of sincerity or whole heartiness. These are Monkeys companions in the Journey to the West. Then there is Monkey who has the “monkey mind” which must be tamed by discipline before the spiritual journey can begin. Monkey and his companions face many demons and monsters along the way can be seen as projections of the mind. Monkey is set forth on the spiritual path.
Monkey than goes on to search for his immortality than is lead to getting weapons where he turns the weapons into a hatpin which helps lead him to his immortality. Throughout the novel. Keeps trying to find the Western paradise he faces many obstacles he ends up going back where he started and try for a second time. Where the second time he than he succeeds in the Journey to the West and has faced many obstacles in trying to get there. They than arrive to the Western Paradise where the pilgrims went back to China and Tripitaka brought his disciples to the emperor who than treated them as servants. When the emperor had the Grand Ceremony the true scriptures were read for the first time with the result that the lost souls were saved from darkness and true teaching was promulgated throughout the empire.