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Culture and Literature Essay

Humans are generally described as unique, not one of us are ever exactly the same to another person. If we put a little logic, unique individuals make up societies, thus societies are also somehow unique to each other. Uniqueness is commonly regarded as a positive trait simply because it makes something interesting. In many respects, the societies of the world would never run out of interesting things to share with each other. And among these interesting things, stories are seemingly the medium of communication that is enjoyed by all cultures.

Moreover, listening to stories of a different culture make us learn something about that particular culture. This paper will feature the Chinese classic story “Journey to the West” by Wu Cheng-en. The story is about an epic adventure of a monkey with superhuman strength able to withstand the 100,000-man army of the heavens. However, the monkey uses his superhuman strength for mischievous acts. As a punishment, Buddha had put a mountain on top of him.

After so many years, the monkey fatefully meets a monk. The story teaches us how the Chinese views the aspects of loyalty, responsibility, spirituality, and many other aspects about the Chinese culture. Other cultures could learn many lessons from this Chinese classic such as discipline. Since the monkey was still behaving wildly even though he is freed, the monk had put a headband spell that would contract each time the monkey would act in an undisciplined manner.

(Cheng-en 342) All in all “Journey to the West” by Wu Cheng-en is an action packed epic adventure that is also packed with valuable lessons. It could also be said that he popularity of this particular story had introduced China to the western world. In many respects, this classic of literature is China’s gift to the world that the country is proud and willing to share with other cultures. Work Cited Cheng-en, Wu. Monkey: Folk Novel of China. TN: Grove Press. 1958


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