Journey to the West with the Stone Monkey

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Birth of the Magic Monkey
Chapter 2: The Stone Monkey Becomes King
Chapter 3: Monkey King is Struck by the Notion of Mortality
Chapter 4: The Monkey King Seeks Immortality .
Chapter 5: Sun Wukong Learns Immortality
Chapter 6: Sun Wukong Reestablishes his Kingdom
Chapter 7: Sun Wukong's Kingdom Thrives
Chapter 8: Sun Wukong Acquires the Weapon of his Choice
Chapter 9: Sun Wukong Raids the Underworld
Chapter 10: Sun Wukong Gets a Job in Heaven
Chapter 11"" Sun Gets his Title of Heavenly Grand Fairy
Chapter 12"" Sun Steals the Heavenly Peach and Longevity Pills
Chapter 13: Heavenly Army Attacks Sun
Chapter 14: The Buddha Vanquishes Sun Wukong
Chapter 15: The Buddha Wishes to Save the Souls of Mankind
Chapter 16; Kuanyin's Recruitment Tour
Chapter 17: Birth of the Holy Monk
Chapter 18: Chinese Emperor Tours the Underworld
Chapter 19: Monk Chen Volunteers to Go West
Chapter 20"" Sanzang's (Monk Chen) Journey Starts
Chapter 21: Sun WukongJoins Sanzang
Chapter 22: Sanzang Collects More Disciples
Chapter 23: The Theft of the Robe and the Submission of the
Black Bear
Chapter 24: Zhu Bajie (Di Baggai)Joins
Sample Pages Preview
Sample pages of Journey to the West with the Stone Monkey (ISBN:9787508517292)
Sample pages of Journey to the West with the Stone Monkey (ISBN:9787508517292)
Sample pages of Journey to the West with the Stone Monkey (ISBN:9787508517292)
Sample pages of Journey to the West with the Stone Monkey (ISBN:9787508517292)



“Journey to West” is considered one of China’s greatest masterpieces in its popular literature. It is interesting to see why this book of fantasy gained such stature in Chinese popular culture.

It appeals to young and old because of the fantastic adventures, and because of the personalities of the protagonists: the Master for being upright if somewhat stiff and humorless; the monkey for being imaginative and loyal if rebellious; the pig for his sense of humor and cynicism; and Sandy for his stolid nature but solid loyalty.

But it is also a vivid description of Chinese society where there was no rule of law.

While I was delighted that my children enjoyed it in their childhood and later, it was not without some trepidation that I provide this retelling.

Even if one suspends one’s disbelief, the stories in this book are full of contradictions. As I was reading it for the first time some sixty years ago, I would find the story curiously unsatisfying when the monkey snuck into a demon’s cave, stealthily and unobtrusively. Naturally rooting for him, I would say to myself, “Now you are in the demon’s cave and he is asleep. Take out your magic stick and crush him into a meatball!” When the monkey failed to do so, I found it frustrating.

Also, when the monkey said he could not carry his Master across the river because the Master was flesh and blood, I wondered how demons could carry him so easily to kidnap him.

I must confess that I judged the ethically objectionable behavior of the characters from the perspective of Western values. I was deeply offended by the way laws were so arbitrarily ignored or bent for the convenience of the powerful.

How come the Dragon King had to be beheaded for altering the amount of rainfall, while the underworld minister could get away with altering the length of life for Emperor Taizong?

The punishments meted out for some minor offenses were vastly out of proportion, while in some cases the offenses might have been very serious but were simply forgiven because the offenders were connected to powerful gods.

The society described in the book is the Chinese society of the Ming Dynasty, where corruption and an arbitrary ‘justice’ system made the lives of ordinary Chinese a living hell. In some measure, this arbitrariness and corruption continues today.

Perhaps this vivid description of Ming China is one of the book’s hidden virtues. The reactions of our children were interesting. They enjoyed the stories for their action, and considered the rest as ‘silly and childish’ without any sociological or moralistic wisdom. Perhaps that is the best reaction and the soundest critique of the story, and this book.

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