Journey to the West/ Xijou ji; - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Title: Journey to the West/ Xijou ji;


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Journey to the West/ Xijou ji The Jin Ping
Mei
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Outline
  • I. Novels from the Last Century of the Ming
    Dynasty
  • II. Journey to the West
  • III. The Jin Ping Mui

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I. Novels from the Last Century of the Ming
Dynasty
  • This period (1573-1620) saw a marked upsurge in
    the activities of commercial publishers.
  • Old novels were repeatedly reprinted, and many
    new novels were published.
  • The longer new novels often borrow their main
    plot lines from older works, but show much
    greater freedom in their treatment of the
    material as compared with the older novels, which
    had really been more in the nature of
    compilations.

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I. Novels from the Last Century of the
Ming?Dynasty
  • The most important development of the traditional
    novel are Journey to the West???/ Xiyou ji and
    the Jin Ping Mei??? (an untranslatable title,
    based on the names of characters).
  • The original novel of this period is
    characterized by the element of reversal.
  • In the long run everything changes to its own
    opposite.
  • E.g. unity is followed by division, prosperity by
    ruin, or vice versa.

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Novels from the Last Century of the Ming Dynasty
  • The reversal of fortunes can usually be explained
    by the process of retribution which operates in
    all that exists.
  • Retribution is an old Buddhist concept every act
    performed by a human being carries a certain
    moral valence and sooner or later is rewarded or
    punished accordingly.
  • Typical popular presentations emphasize the power
    of supernatural beings, such as the King of Hell,
    to dispense these rewards and punishments.
  • The punishment of ones sin and the rewards for
    ones virtues are supposed to follow in the next
    incarnation.

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Novels from the Last Century of the Ming Dynasty
  • But during the period from 1550-1650, retribution
    is seen more as an automatic process, inherent in
    life and in the ethical quality of actions,
    requiring for its effects no intervention by gods
    or demons.
  • The emphasis shifts from retribution in some
    future existence to retribution in the course of
    ones present life.
  • Concretely, this means that every good deed
    involving sacrifice of ones self-interest will
    eventually be rewarded self-seeking at others
    expense will be punished.

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Novels from the Last Century of the Ming Dynasty
  • A person is never confronted with a choice
    between two evils or two positive values.
  • The choice is always a straightforward one
    between good and evil, and the persons future
    well-being is determined by his own choice.
  • The retribution process applies even to the most
    apparently trivial actions, and the Chinese
    novelist of this period pays detailed attention
    to everyday life and the multitude of petty sins
    it involves.
  • Greed and lust are featured prominently.

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Novels from the Last Century of the Ming Dynasty
  • The ethical aspects of individuals behavior are
    described in much more detail than the actual
    physical punishment or setting.
  • It is entirely clear what is done, but not
    necessary where or how.
  • The author presents the events not as unique
    happenings but as noteworthy, unexpected
    variations on general patterns.
  • The concrete descriptions are often followed by
    poems or couplets that give a sort of summing-up,
    often by means of a familiar proverb or saying.

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Novels from the Last Century of the Ming Dynasty
  • The effect is to bring the initially unexpected
    back within the context of what is familiar and
    general.
  • At times, there is a certain interest in personal
    mental processes.
  • The authors are sometimes concerned with why some
    people yield to temptation while others cling to
    the good in the face of all difficulties.
  • But the action remain the thing, and the authors
    show nothing but contempt for those who are so
    weak, for whatever reason, as to make the wrong
    ethical choice.

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Novels from the Last Century of the Ming Dynasty
  • Man is regarded as personally responsible for the
    course of his life, although certainly not in any
    modern existential sense.
  • The norms of good and evil are regarded as
    clearly drawn, and actions have inevitable
    consequences which emerge visibly in the course
    of the novel.
  • Usually the process of retribution runs through
    to its consequences within the space of a single
    lifetime.

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Novels from the Last Century of the Ming Dynasty
  • Toward the end of this second period (early 17th
    century), there was a real bloom in the
    production of baihua??(of modern Chinese
    language) novellas.
  • These novellas typically consist of 2 stories (a
    short opening story and a longer main story),
    both of which illustrate the workings of one and
    the same explicitly formulated moral law.
  • The opening story is usually one familiar to
    readers, while the main story deals with a more
    detailed, more recent example of the same moral.

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Novels from the Last Century of the Ming Dynasty
  • Hardly a single novel or story from this period
    represents a product of its authors imagination.
  • The authors intention is not to write fiction
    but to present the truth so that his fellow
    citizens will awake from their benighted state of
    folly and better their ways.
  • The truth means the historical truth what is
    narrated must really have happened, and the
    author often explicitly names his sources,
    claiming only to have tried to make their truths
    more generally available.
  • The author does not seek to add much personal
    comments of his own such commentary he gives
    must be authentic and objective.

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Novels from the Last Century of the Ming Dynasty
  • To achieve a successful combination of these two
    elements, the author assumes the persona of a
    professional storyteller, full of folksy
    innocence and homespun virtue, who punctuates the
    story with his commonplaces.
  • In comparison to the novels of the first period,
    those of the second show a much wider range of
    characters from a broader scale of social
    background.
  • They also give more attention to the problems of
    ordinary folk.

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Novels from the Last Century of the Ming Dynasty
  • However, the authors strong concern with moral
    issues, together with their black--white
    characterization and mechanically simplistic
    ethics, has earned them a reputation for facile
    moralism.
  • Though the accusation is not just in all cases,
    it is true that the novels and novellas of this
    second period lack the concept of the tragic.
  • There is no place in them for fate or for the
    dilemma.

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Novels from the Last Century of the Ming Dynasty
  • Though the presence of the storyteller lends a
    certain liveliness to these texts, its effect is
    limited by the authors determination to stick to
    true, or at any rate well-known stories.
  • Anything else, it seems, was rejected as being an
    insufficiently reliable basis for the didactic
    function of the written word.

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II. Journey to the West???/ The Xiyou ji
  • This book is supposed to have been written by Wu
    Chengen???(ca.1500-ca.1582), probably between
    1570-1580.
  • The oldest survival edition dates from 1592.
  • Wu Chengen was a member of the literati who
    never passed higher-level examinations and held
    but modest office in his later years.

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Journey to the West / The Xiyou ji
  • This novel takes its material from a very old
    popular story cycle.
  • Historical Truth
  • During the years 629-645 (in earlyTong Dynasty),
    the Chinese monk Xuanzang??(600-664) undertook a
    pilgrimage to India for the purpose of collecting
    sutras. Upon his return he was given the
    honorific name Sanzang??(Tripitaka), with the
    surname of Tong?.
  • Tong Sanzang recorded his story in official
    records when he returned back to China.

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Overview of the Novel
  • Influences of Chinese folk reglion, Chinese
    mythology, Daosim and Buddhism are present.
  • Adventure story-type, spiritual insight, allegory
    about religious journey to find
    self/enlightenment.

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Overview of the Novel
  • 100 chapters
  • Part I ch.1-7 prelude
  • Part II ch.8-12biography and background
  • Part III ch.13-99adventures stories
  • Part IV ch.100 return journey

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Overview of the Novel
  • Monk Xuanzangs journey made a tremendous
    impression on his contemporaries and soon became
    a fertile source of legends, in which Xuanzangs
    journey was as a peril-fraught pilgrimage to the
    Western Paradise.
  • To aid him in overcoming the attendant dangers,
    such as repeated attacks by supernatural
    monsters, he was provided with supernatural
    helpers (his disciples) in the form of a horse, a
    monk, a pig, and a monkey.
  • Various early written versions of this story
    cycle have survived.

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Overview of the Novel
  • Whereas earlier versions of the legend featured
    the wise monk Xuanzang as their hero and started
    their narrative with his departure from China for
    faraway lands, Wu Chengans 100 chapter novel
    has its main character the monkey, Sun Wukong???.
  • The novel starts out with the birth of Sun
    Wukong.
  • Chapter 1-7 describe his quest for eternity and
    magic powers and his rebellion against the
    reigning authorities in heaven, for which he is
    eventually imprisoned under a mountain.
  • Chapter 9-100 deal with Xuanzangs birth and his
    pilgrimage.

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The Story of Journey to the West / The Xiyou ji
  • Soon after Xuanzangs departure from China, he
    loses his original retinue (human followers),
    instead he is accompanied by the best fighter,
    Sun Wukong,???who is allowed to undertake this
    task as penance for his rebellion.
  • Other traveling companions are the pig Zhu
    Bajie???and the Sha monk??.
  • Xuanzang also gets a new white horse.
  • The monkey, the pig, the Sha monk and the horse
    are all gods in Heaven in the past but they
    commit certain mistakes. After the journey to the
    West and successfully get the sutras, they can
    return back to Heaven and become gods again.

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The Story of Journey to the West / The Xiyou ji
  • Together, the new company goes through 81 perils
    of all sorts, most of them involving encounters
    with monsters seeking to eat Xuanzang.
  • 80 of the perils are met on the journey to The
    Western Paradise and one on the way home.

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Story of Journey to the West / The Xiyou ji
  • Why do the monsters want to eat Xuanzang? For
    they would attain immortality if they could have
    the flesh of Xuanzang.
  • An extremely interesting book for those who
    retain a kids mind.
  • Monsters adventure devil tiger general, the
    cunning bony-woman, the seductive spider-girl,
    the angry cow-king, the troublesome
    woman-kingdom, the strong big-bird

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Character AnalysisI. Tang Sanzang???
  • Other names
  • Tripitaka, Tang Monk, Master, Jin Chan Zi (name
    of his previous life, was a Buddhas disciple
    banished to reincarnation for disobedience to
    Buddhas teaching)
  • Personality
  • A kind and passionate monk
  • Very obedient to the rules of Buddhism
  • Strongly opposed to violence and killing
  • Never tempted by worldly desires
  • Gullible, very religious
  • Shows stupidity and human flaws throughout the
    journey

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Character AnalysisI. Tang Sanzang???
  • Abilities
  • Can memorize scriptures after one reading
  • Can mediate for long periods of time
  • Can recite Tight-Fillet Spell (Band-Tightening
    Curse) in order to control Monkey King
  • Flesh is said to hold immortality, thus all
    demons wish to eat him

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Character AnalysisI. Tang Sanzang???
  • He is tricked by various demons during the
    journey.
  • He mistakes Monkey Kings good intentions as
    savage killing (include driving the Monkey away 2
    times) and listens to the Pig, Pa-chiehs words.
  • Requires saving by Monkey King time after time.
  • At the journeys end, he attains Buddha status
    and is named Golden Lohan (Zheng Guo).

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Character AnalysisII. Monkey King, Sun Wukong???
  • Other names
  • Mei Houwang(Beautiful Monkey), Stone Monkey,
    Qitian Dasheng (he named himself as, Saint as
    Great as Heaven)
  • Abilities
  • 72 transformations
  • Somersault
  • Fiery Golden Eyes
  • Magic Golden-clasped Rod
  • Various spells such as commanding wind, freezing
    humans, demons, and gods alike with one word

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Character AnalysisII. Monkey King, Sun Wukong???
  • Personality
  • Bravery and fearlessness
  • Confident
  • The main fighter throughout the journey
  • Loyal to the Master and steadfast in his promise
    to bring the group to India
  • Clever, witty, and always playful. Often plays
    jokes on Pa-Chieh and the devils
  • Strong sense of dignity, honor, and pride
  • Temperamental when these elements are threatened
  • Main flaw is overconfidence and arrogant
  • Selfishly wishes to be immortal and achieves his
    goal
  • Does demonstrates maturity and growth during the
    journey

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Character AnalysisII. Monkey King, Sun Wukong???
  • He was born from a rock on the summit of Flower
    Fruit Mountain.
  • Worried about death, so determined to find
    immoral beings and learn their ways.
  • After equipping with his abilities, he wants to
    get a post in Heaven. They make him to be the
    stable-keeper.

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Character AnalysisII. Monkey King, Sun Wukong???
  • He later finds out that it is an unimportant post
    so he fights with a number of gods.
  • Eventually, he loses the battle with the Buddha
    and is imprisoned for five centuries until he
    agrees to help Tripitaka throughout the journey.
  • At the journeys end, he attains Buddha status
    and is named Fighting Buddha.

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Character AnalysisIII. The Pig, Pa-Chieh???
  • Pa-chieh (means to get rid of the 8 Buddhist
    sins)
  • He was the Altar Warrior God in Heaven, yet he
    flirted the Moon goddess. Thus, he is punished to
    become human again.
  • Abilities
  • Nine-Toothed Rake (which he used to carry in
    Heaven)
  • 36 Transformations
  • Cloud Riding
  • Water Abilities once in charge of the Heavenly
    River. Extremely useful because some perils
    involve water activities. (The Monkey cannot
    wield much power in water. )

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Character AnalysisIII. The Pig, Pa-Chieh???
  • Personality
  • His characters represents human shortcomings
  • His lustfulness often puts the group in danger,
    as he is always blinded by the beauty of woman.
  • He is lazy. Falls asleep in crucial moments when
    other are depending on him.
  • Greedy and gluttonous
  • Provides comic relief for the story
  • A foil to the Monkey

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Character AnalysisIV. Sha Monk??
  • Other names Sha Wu Jung, Sha Seng
  • Abilities
  • underwater battle
  • Cloud riding (flying)
  • Skilled alchemist
  • Carries small gourd which can enlarge, enabling
    the group to cross rivers

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Character AnalysisIV. Sha Monk??
  • Personality
  • Dedicated disciple
  • Extremely loyal to Tong Sanzang/Tripitaka
  • Patient, logical and polite
  • The mediator between the Monkey-King and the Pig.
  • Background and personality is the least developed
    among the three disciples
  • At the end of journey, he is transformed into an
    arhat (luohan) by Buddha.

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Character AnalysisV. Bodhisattva
  • Other names
  • Guanyin
  • Goddess of Mercy
  • Chineses favorite divine being
  • Her name means heeding the cry and she hears
    and helps all those who cry out to her when in
    need.
  • During the journey, she constantly appears to
    convey important messages or help the group.

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81 Perils
  • The perils of Tong Sanzang??? starts from his
    previous life, to birth, through to the end of
    his journey of collecting sutras and back home.
  • 81 9x9, meaning endless perils. (9 meaning
    endless in Chinese)
  • However, the actual perils of the journey were
    less than 81

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Examples of Perils
  • E.g. fifth and sixth perils actually belong to a
    single incidence
  • On the beginning of the journey, Tong Sanzang is
    accompanied by 2 human servants and 1 horse
  • They meet a Devil Tiger General and all except
    Sanzang are eaten, whereas Sanzang is saved by a
    god from Heaven.

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Examples of Perils
  • Some perils are not life threatening but related
    to the taming of all his 4 disciples - the monkey
    (chapter 13, 7 8 perils), the pig (chapter 18
    19, 12 perils), the Sha monk (Ch 22, 15 16
    perils) and the horse (Ch 15, 9 perils).
  • The perils of Tong Sanzang???, thus, are also the
    perils of the whole team Master?? and his
    disciples, the monkey, the pig, the Sha monk and
    the horse.

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Examples of Perils
  • E.g. Following the expel of Sun Wukong (he is
    expelled by Sanzang who is ignorant and
    erroneously misled by the cunning bony-woman),
    Sanzang?? asks the pig Zhu Bajieto go to find
    food but Bajie fells into asleep. Sanzang?? then
    asks the Sha monk to find Bajie. Sanzang?? is
    left unprotected and he is abducted by a Yellow
    devil.
  • The Yellow devil turns Sanzang?? into a tiger as
    if he is a monster under disguise.
  • Finally, Bajie?? goes to seek help from Wukong??
    who finally comes back to save the life of his
    Master Sanzang?? (Perils 21-23)

41
Examples of Perils
  • E.g. The group arrives the Women Kingdom. The
    queen wants Sanzang?? to be her wife and makes
    him King. Sanzang pretends to agree and go out
    the city to say farewell to his disciples. The
    Monkey King then quickly carries the Master away
    (perils 43).
  • E.g. There are two Monkey Kings and even Sanzang
    cannot distinguish which is the real one. They
    ask a number of gods in Heaven and nobody knows
    the truth, because both of them can perform all
    the abilities. Eventually, the Buddha recognizes
    the real Sun Wukong and the pretending one is
    killed by Sun (perils 57-58)

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Examples of Perils
  • E.g. The whole team goes through the Hot Firing
    Basin.
  • They can only get through the mountain with the
    help of a big magic banana leaves fan from the
    Princess Iron Fan.
  • However, both the princess and her husband, the
    Cow-king do not agree.
  • They fight 3 fierce battles and ultimately with
    the help of heaven guards, the team finally wins
    the battle and successfully borrows the magic fan
    and goes through the mountain (perils 47-49).

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Stories behind the Perils
  • All these perils are successive training of the
    team from the Master Sanzang?? to his disciples,
    Wukong??, Zhu Bajie??, the Sha monk?? and the
    horse.
  • It is only through all these perils and
    struggles, mistrust and reconciliation,
    life-threatening disasters and temptation to quit
    that the whole team becomes mature and finally
    successfully achieves the purpose of collecting
    sutras from India (West Paradise) back to China.

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Stories behind the Perils
  • All characters were full of human weakness
    Kind but ignorant Master Sanzang??, smart but
    rebellious Wukong??, lazy and lustful Zhu
    Bajie??, simple monk Sandy??.
  • It was through these perils each individual
    became stronger and more determined, the whole
    team became more harmonious and unified, their
    bonding became stronger that they finally
    achieved their Mission.

45
Analysis of Journey to the West / The Xiyou ji
  • The characterization follows the same lines Zhu
    Bajie (the pig) is an unintelligent and lusty
    glutton Sun Wukong (the monkey) is ingenious but
    overconfident Sandy (the monk) is diligent but
    conservative Sanzang is kind-hearted but
    ignorant.
  • In the allegorical interpretation, the various
    dangers and monsters are the illusions that stand
    between man and Enlightenment, though it is
    usually difficult to specify which illusion is
    associated with which monster.

46
Analysis of Journey to the West / The Xiyou ji
  • The foibles of human nature, social ills in
    Chinese society, absurd features of the Chinese
    pantheonall are subjected to scrutiny, giving
    rise to numerous comic passages.

47
III. The Jin Ping Mei???
  • The title of the Jin Ping Mei (Plum Bloosom in
    golden vase) is actually untranslatable it is
    composed characters taken from the names of the
    three main female characters (Poon Jinling, Li
    Pingyee, Zhunmei ???,???,??).
  • It is an anonymous novel in 100 chapters, thought
    to been written in the 1580s, but first printed
    in the last year of the Wanli period under the
    title Jin Ping Mei Chiua.?????

48
III. The Jin Ping Mei
  • The idea for the novel is taken from the story of
    Wu Song??in the Shuihu zhuan (Water Margin).
  • The Jin Ping Mei described in great detail the
    life of the apothecary Ximen Qing???and his
    household in a provincial town in Shandong??.
  • The novel is supposedly set in the early 12th
    century (Song Dynasty) but the social setting as
    described is clearly that of the 16th century
    (Ming Dynasty).

49
The Story of the Jin Ping Mei
  • The story is about Ximen Qings economic and
    political machinations, his relationships with
    his various wives (eventually six), the womens
    mutual relationships, and Ximen Qings family
    (and sexual) affairs and shady business dealings.
  • Ximen Qings ethical misconduct results in his
    early and horrible death, after which his
    household is broken up.

50
The Story of the Jin Ping Mei
  • The subsequent life of the other characters is
    keeping with their former behavior earlier good
    and evil meet with later reward and punishment.
  • In other words, a prominent theme is the working
    of retribution within a single lifetime.

51
Analysis of the Characters Ximen Qing
  • He is the boss of the familyhis parents were
    death.
  • He inherited a herbal-medicine store from his
    father.
  • He gathered his wealth quickly and became one of
    the richest in the region (Shandong).
  • He had a lot of assets. e.g. a big house with a
    hugh garden, a pawn-shop, a cloth-shop, a
    silk-shop, a herbal-medicine shop
  • He later became the godson of a high official,
    and was given an official post.

52
Analysis of the Characters Ximen Qing
  • He loved women (sex) a lot and had sexual
    relationship with his maids, his employees
    wives, and prostitutes. Those women listened to
    him for different reasons (his status, power,
    money, sexual ability).
  • He was very calculative and clever in spending
    money on women.
  • Sudden death in his early 30s, because of
    over-dosed of sex-medication

53
Analysis of the Characters Why Ximen Qing
became so rich?
  • 1. A good businessmen. His theory Money is
    something that enjoys mobility
  • 2. His wives brought in a lot of assets. e.g. His
    3rd sixth wife were extremely rich widows.
  • 3. He ordered his employees to buy silk directly
    from the farmers (so as to keep the cost low)
    he gave black-money to officials to avoid heavy
    tax across the provinces.
  • 4. He had cash in hand. When a trader was in need
    of money, Ximen bought a ship of cloth in good
    price.
  • 5. He was a loan-shark. (30 interest _at_month)
  • 6. Much of his money came from corruption and
    bribery (after he became an official).

54
Analysis of the CharactersXimens 1st wife
Wu???
  • Ximens first wife died before the story (had a
    daughter, got married in the beginning).
  • Enjoyed all privileges of the official wife,
    being the head of the wives. e.g in making new
    clothes, triple the amount of others.
  • Father a mid-level official
  • Traditional (under Confucian influence),
    conservative, good family background
  • Very religious, believed in Buddhism and Daoism.
  • In charged of the family assets e.g. Ximen kept
    all his money in her rooms.
  • Never being the favorite of Ximen but did take it
    for granted. Rarely jealous of other wives.

55
Analysis of the CharactersXimens 1st wife
Wu???
  • --- At first, she loved Poon (5th wife) very
    much and thought that Poon was very good. Later
    she found out that Poon was selfish and cruel.
    This showed that she was not very smart.
  • Pregnant when Ximen died but her son had to
    become a monk.
  • After that, she had to adopt one of Ximens close
    servant as her adopted son to inherit the family
    name and business (because there was no male in
    the family).
  • Lived till 70 year-old.
  • By the end, the only wife left in Ximens house

56
Analysis of the CharactersXimens 2nd wife
Li???
  • A prostitute before marriage
  • The only wife who was fat
  • Ximen rarely stayed in her room.
  • Was the familys financial controller but later
    her maid stole a gold-bracelet and she had to
    give up the post.
  • Not very important throughout the text
  • Became a prostitute again after Ximens death,
    then became another rich mans concubine.

57
Analysis of the CharactersXimens 3rd wife
Meng???
  • First married to a rich merchant of cloth
  • Remarried Ximen when she was 30
  • She remarried with all the assets (cash and
    cloth) left by the first husband
  • The 2nd richest wife of Ximen, e.g. she had two
    luxurious and beautiful beds
  • Ximen rarely slept in her room except for the
    first two weeks of marriage
  • Accepted the fact that she was not the beloved
    wife
  • She and Poon formed a group
  • After Ximens death, she chose a good man to be
    her husband and remarried. Had a happy life
    eventually.

58
Analysis of the CharactersXimens 4th wife
Sun???
  • Was the close maid of the first official wife of
    Ximen.
  • Of the lowest status among all wives
  • Sometimes hardly beated by Ximen
  • More like a servant than a wife, for she was
    always in the kitchen and preparing food for the
    family.
  • Throughout the story, Ximen slept only a few
    times in her room.

59
Analysis of the CharactersXimens 4th wife
Sun???
  • Always had quarrels with Poon
  • Had an affair with one of the main servants
  • After Ximens death, she wanted to run away with
    that servant with Ximens money. Both were
    caught.
  • Later sold by court and became the maid of
    Zhunmei.

60
Analysis of the CharactersXimens 5th wife
Poon???
  • One of the three most important female
    characters.
  • Very beautiful and sexy (loved by Ximen at first
    sight)
  • Came from a poor faimly. Father a tailor (lower
    class)
  • Sold to a rich family and became a maid when she
    was nine.
  • Resold to another rich family when 15, and then
    she learned to play music.

61
Analysis of the CharactersXimens 5th wife
Poon???
  • Had an affair with the Master at 18, but his wife
    was very tough.
  • The wife deliberately married Poon to the ugliest
    man in town (the one who sold cakes in the
    market).
  • After marriage, Poon still had sexual
    relationship with the old Master and the husband
    knew and allowed that (for the Master gave them
    money for doing small business and renting a
    house).
  • Tried to seduce her brother-in-law (Wuzhung) but
    failed.

62
Analysis of the CharactersXimens 5th wife
Poon???
  • Met and was seduced by Ximen when she was 27.
  • She poisoned her husband and remarried Ximen.
  • Xiemn gave her a close maid, Zhunmei (one of the
    three most important characters in the book, who
    later had sexual relationship with Ximen).
    Zhunmei and Poon were very close.
  • She was very possessive and would be very angry
    if Ximen slept in any other wives rooms
    (especially after Li Pingyee gave birth to a
    son).
  • A lot of sexual descriptions between Poon Ximen

63
Analysis of the CharactersXimens 5th wife
Poon???
  • Had an affair with Ximens son-in-law after the
    death of Ximen.
  • Therefore, she was sold by Wu (1st wife) and
    bought by Wuzhung (brother-in-law of her first
    husband), for Wuzhung found out that she poisoned
    her first husband.
  • Though she thought that Wuzhung was going to
    marry her, she was killed.

64
Ximens 6th wife Li Pingyee???
  • One of the three most important female characters
  • Very beautiful (loved by Ximen at the first
    sight), sexy, and snow-white like skin
  • First marriage a concubine of a high official,
    who was murdered. Left her a lot of money.
  • Second marriage to the nephew of the Kings
    servant (had an affair with the Kings servant,
    who later died and left her a great deal of
    wealth). This husband loved to stayed with the
    prostitutes and rarely went home.

65
Ximens 6th wife Li Pingyee???
  • Met Ximen at 25 and was seduced by him. Let her
    husband died of illness (refused to get a doctor)
  • Devoted to Ximen for he could sexually satisfy
    her.
  • A lot of sexual descriptions between her Ximen.
  • She married Ximen and brought in a lot of money
    and assets to the family.
  • Was the richest wife and was very generous.
  • Kind to the maids and servants and they all loved
    her.

66
Ximens 6th wife Li Pingyee???
  • Ximens favorite wife, especially after the birth
    of a son.
  • Became a lovely and good wife after marrying
    Ximen.
  • Poon was very jealous of her status and favor,
    and said a lot of wicked things about Li. Li was
    very unhappy.
  • The son died after 1 year-old, as he was
    frightened by Poons cat. (Poon trained her cat
    to scratch packages in red for the son always
    dressed in red).
  • Li was very depressed and died in a few months.
  • Had an elaborative, luxurious funeral.

67
Analysis of the Characters Zhunmei??
  • One of the three most important female figures.
  • At first, a maid of Wu(1st wife), then a close
    maid of Poon (whom allowed Ximen to have sexual
    relationship with Mei).
  • Arrogant and proud of herself
  • The most important character after Ximens death
  • After Ximens death, sold by Wu to become
    Official Zhous concubinebecause Wu found out
    that she had an affair with Ximens son-in-law.
  • She gave birth to a son and became the official
    wife of Zhou(after the death of the first wife).
  • Met and seduced by Ximens son-in-law (Chan)
    again
  • After her husbands death, she was with always
    with Chan and eventually exhausted to death(at
    the age of 29).

68
Analysis of the Jin Ping Mei
  • In this novel, we also see the increased
    importance attributed to the life of ordinary
    people as examples of the process of retribution.
  • But these ordinary characters are important not
    so much for their unique individuality as for
    their aptness in embodying certain types.

69
Analysis of the Jin Ping Mei
  • Accordingly, the author is not interested in
    describing individual psychological processes as
    such, but in questioning how it came about that
    certain persons, under certain circumstances in a
    morally unambiguous world, allowed themselves to
    be enticed into doing evil.
  • Sex being one of the most obvious of human
    inclinations, the author gives much attention to
    failings and misdeeds in this area, and there are
    a number of very explicit erotic passages, such
    as detailed description of sexual intercourse and
    sex-postures.
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Journey to the West/ Xijou ji;

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Title: Journey to the West/ Xijou ji;


1
Journey to the West/ Xijou ji The Jin Ping
Mei
2
Outline
  • I. Novels from the Last Century of the Ming
    Dynasty
  • II. Journey to the West
  • III. The Jin Ping Mui

3
I. Novels from the Last Century of the Ming
Dynasty
  • This period (1573-1620) saw a marked upsurge in
    the activities of commercial publishers.
  • Old novels were repeatedly reprinted, and many
    new novels were published.
  • The longer new novels often borrow their main
    plot lines from older works, but show much
    greater freedom in their treatment of the
    material as compared with the older novels, which
    had really been more in the nature of
    compilations.

4
I. Novels from the Last Century of the
Ming?Dynasty
  • The most important development of the traditional
    novel are Journey to the West???/ Xiyou ji and
    the Jin Ping Mei??? (an untranslatable title,
    based on the names of characters).
  • The original novel of this period is
    characterized by the element of reversal.
  • In the long run everything changes to its own
    opposite.
  • E.g. unity is followed by division, prosperity by
    ruin, or vice versa.

5
Novels from the Last Century of the Ming Dynasty
  • The reversal of fortunes can usually be explained
    by the process of retribution which operates in
    all that exists.
  • Retribution is an old Buddhist concept every act
    performed by a human being carries a certain
    moral valence and sooner or later is rewarded or
    punished accordingly.
  • Typical popular presentations emphasize the power
    of supernatural beings, such as the King of Hell,
    to dispense these rewards and punishments.
  • The punishment of ones sin and the rewards for
    ones virtues are supposed to follow in the next
    incarnation.

6
Novels from the Last Century of the Ming Dynasty
  • But during the period from 1550-1650, retribution
    is seen more as an automatic process, inherent in
    life and in the ethical quality of actions,
    requiring for its effects no intervention by gods
    or demons.
  • The emphasis shifts from retribution in some
    future existence to retribution in the course of
    ones present life.
  • Concretely, this means that every good deed
    involving sacrifice of ones self-interest will
    eventually be rewarded self-seeking at others
    expense will be punished.

7
Novels from the Last Century of the Ming Dynasty
  • A person is never confronted with a choice
    between two evils or two positive values.
  • The choice is always a straightforward one
    between good and evil, and the persons future
    well-being is determined by his own choice.
  • The retribution process applies even to the most
    apparently trivial actions, and the Chinese
    novelist of this period pays detailed attention
    to everyday life and the multitude of petty sins
    it involves.
  • Greed and lust are featured prominently.

8
Novels from the Last Century of the Ming Dynasty
  • The ethical aspects of individuals behavior are
    described in much more detail than the actual
    physical punishment or setting.
  • It is entirely clear what is done, but not
    necessary where or how.
  • The author presents the events not as unique
    happenings but as noteworthy, unexpected
    variations on general patterns.
  • The concrete descriptions are often followed by
    poems or couplets that give a sort of summing-up,
    often by means of a familiar proverb or saying.

9
Novels from the Last Century of the Ming Dynasty
  • The effect is to bring the initially unexpected
    back within the context of what is familiar and
    general.
  • At times, there is a certain interest in personal
    mental processes.
  • The authors are sometimes concerned with why some
    people yield to temptation while others cling to
    the good in the face of all difficulties.
  • But the action remain the thing, and the authors
    show nothing but contempt for those who are so
    weak, for whatever reason, as to make the wrong
    ethical choice.

10
Novels from the Last Century of the Ming Dynasty
  • Man is regarded as personally responsible for the
    course of his life, although certainly not in any
    modern existential sense.
  • The norms of good and evil are regarded as
    clearly drawn, and actions have inevitable
    consequences which emerge visibly in the course
    of the novel.
  • Usually the process of retribution runs through
    to its consequences within the space of a single
    lifetime.

11
Novels from the Last Century of the Ming Dynasty
  • Toward the end of this second period (early 17th
    century), there was a real bloom in the
    production of baihua??(of modern Chinese
    language) novellas.
  • These novellas typically consist of 2 stories (a
    short opening story and a longer main story),
    both of which illustrate the workings of one and
    the same explicitly formulated moral law.
  • The opening story is usually one familiar to
    readers, while the main story deals with a more
    detailed, more recent example of the same moral.

12
Novels from the Last Century of the Ming Dynasty
  • Hardly a single novel or story from this period
    represents a product of its authors imagination.
  • The authors intention is not to write fiction
    but to present the truth so that his fellow
    citizens will awake from their benighted state of
    folly and better their ways.
  • The truth means the historical truth what is
    narrated must really have happened, and the
    author often explicitly names his sources,
    claiming only to have tried to make their truths
    more generally available.
  • The author does not seek to add much personal
    comments of his own such commentary he gives
    must be authentic and objective.

13
Novels from the Last Century of the Ming Dynasty
  • To achieve a successful combination of these two
    elements, the author assumes the persona of a
    professional storyteller, full of folksy
    innocence and homespun virtue, who punctuates the
    story with his commonplaces.
  • In comparison to the novels of the first period,
    those of the second show a much wider range of
    characters from a broader scale of social
    background.
  • They also give more attention to the problems of
    ordinary folk.

14
Novels from the Last Century of the Ming Dynasty
  • However, the authors strong concern with moral
    issues, together with their black--white
    characterization and mechanically simplistic
    ethics, has earned them a reputation for facile
    moralism.
  • Though the accusation is not just in all cases,
    it is true that the novels and novellas of this
    second period lack the concept of the tragic.
  • There is no place in them for fate or for the
    dilemma.

15
Novels from the Last Century of the Ming Dynasty
  • Though the presence of the storyteller lends a
    certain liveliness to these texts, its effect is
    limited by the authors determination to stick to
    true, or at any rate well-known stories.
  • Anything else, it seems, was rejected as being an
    insufficiently reliable basis for the didactic
    function of the written word.

16
II. Journey to the West???/ The Xiyou ji
  • This book is supposed to have been written by Wu
    Chengen???(ca.1500-ca.1582), probably between
    1570-1580.
  • The oldest survival edition dates from 1592.
  • Wu Chengen was a member of the literati who
    never passed higher-level examinations and held
    but modest office in his later years.

17
Journey to the West / The Xiyou ji
  • This novel takes its material from a very old
    popular story cycle.
  • Historical Truth
  • During the years 629-645 (in earlyTong Dynasty),
    the Chinese monk Xuanzang??(600-664) undertook a
    pilgrimage to India for the purpose of collecting
    sutras. Upon his return he was given the
    honorific name Sanzang??(Tripitaka), with the
    surname of Tong?.
  • Tong Sanzang recorded his story in official
    records when he returned back to China.

18
Overview of the Novel
  • Influences of Chinese folk reglion, Chinese
    mythology, Daosim and Buddhism are present.
  • Adventure story-type, spiritual insight, allegory
    about religious journey to find
    self/enlightenment.

19
Overview of the Novel
  • 100 chapters
  • Part I ch.1-7 prelude
  • Part II ch.8-12biography and background
  • Part III ch.13-99adventures stories
  • Part IV ch.100 return journey

20
Overview of the Novel
  • Monk Xuanzangs journey made a tremendous
    impression on his contemporaries and soon became
    a fertile source of legends, in which Xuanzangs
    journey was as a peril-fraught pilgrimage to the
    Western Paradise.
  • To aid him in overcoming the attendant dangers,
    such as repeated attacks by supernatural
    monsters, he was provided with supernatural
    helpers (his disciples) in the form of a horse, a
    monk, a pig, and a monkey.
  • Various early written versions of this story
    cycle have survived.

21
Overview of the Novel
  • Whereas earlier versions of the legend featured
    the wise monk Xuanzang as their hero and started
    their narrative with his departure from China for
    faraway lands, Wu Chengans 100 chapter novel
    has its main character the monkey, Sun Wukong???.
  • The novel starts out with the birth of Sun
    Wukong.
  • Chapter 1-7 describe his quest for eternity and
    magic powers and his rebellion against the
    reigning authorities in heaven, for which he is
    eventually imprisoned under a mountain.
  • Chapter 9-100 deal with Xuanzangs birth and his
    pilgrimage.

22
The Story of Journey to the West / The Xiyou ji
  • Soon after Xuanzangs departure from China, he
    loses his original retinue (human followers),
    instead he is accompanied by the best fighter,
    Sun Wukong,???who is allowed to undertake this
    task as penance for his rebellion.
  • Other traveling companions are the pig Zhu
    Bajie???and the Sha monk??.
  • Xuanzang also gets a new white horse.
  • The monkey, the pig, the Sha monk and the horse
    are all gods in Heaven in the past but they
    commit certain mistakes. After the journey to the
    West and successfully get the sutras, they can
    return back to Heaven and become gods again.

23
The Story of Journey to the West / The Xiyou ji
  • Together, the new company goes through 81 perils
    of all sorts, most of them involving encounters
    with monsters seeking to eat Xuanzang.
  • 80 of the perils are met on the journey to The
    Western Paradise and one on the way home.

24
Story of Journey to the West / The Xiyou ji
  • Why do the monsters want to eat Xuanzang? For
    they would attain immortality if they could have
    the flesh of Xuanzang.
  • An extremely interesting book for those who
    retain a kids mind.
  • Monsters adventure devil tiger general, the
    cunning bony-woman, the seductive spider-girl,
    the angry cow-king, the troublesome
    woman-kingdom, the strong big-bird

25
Character AnalysisI. Tang Sanzang???
  • Other names
  • Tripitaka, Tang Monk, Master, Jin Chan Zi (name
    of his previous life, was a Buddhas disciple
    banished to reincarnation for disobedience to
    Buddhas teaching)
  • Personality
  • A kind and passionate monk
  • Very obedient to the rules of Buddhism
  • Strongly opposed to violence and killing
  • Never tempted by worldly desires
  • Gullible, very religious
  • Shows stupidity and human flaws throughout the
    journey

26
Character AnalysisI. Tang Sanzang???
  • Abilities
  • Can memorize scriptures after one reading
  • Can mediate for long periods of time
  • Can recite Tight-Fillet Spell (Band-Tightening
    Curse) in order to control Monkey King
  • Flesh is said to hold immortality, thus all
    demons wish to eat him

27
Character AnalysisI. Tang Sanzang???
  • He is tricked by various demons during the
    journey.
  • He mistakes Monkey Kings good intentions as
    savage killing (include driving the Monkey away 2
    times) and listens to the Pig, Pa-chiehs words.
  • Requires saving by Monkey King time after time.
  • At the journeys end, he attains Buddha status
    and is named Golden Lohan (Zheng Guo).

28
Character AnalysisII. Monkey King, Sun Wukong???
  • Other names
  • Mei Houwang(Beautiful Monkey), Stone Monkey,
    Qitian Dasheng (he named himself as, Saint as
    Great as Heaven)
  • Abilities
  • 72 transformations
  • Somersault
  • Fiery Golden Eyes
  • Magic Golden-clasped Rod
  • Various spells such as commanding wind, freezing
    humans, demons, and gods alike with one word

29
Character AnalysisII. Monkey King, Sun Wukong???
  • Personality
  • Bravery and fearlessness
  • Confident
  • The main fighter throughout the journey
  • Loyal to the Master and steadfast in his promise
    to bring the group to India
  • Clever, witty, and always playful. Often plays
    jokes on Pa-Chieh and the devils
  • Strong sense of dignity, honor, and pride
  • Temperamental when these elements are threatened
  • Main flaw is overconfidence and arrogant
  • Selfishly wishes to be immortal and achieves his
    goal
  • Does demonstrates maturity and growth during the
    journey

30
Character AnalysisII. Monkey King, Sun Wukong???
  • He was born from a rock on the summit of Flower
    Fruit Mountain.
  • Worried about death, so determined to find
    immoral beings and learn their ways.
  • After equipping with his abilities, he wants to
    get a post in Heaven. They make him to be the
    stable-keeper.

31
Character AnalysisII. Monkey King, Sun Wukong???
  • He later finds out that it is an unimportant post
    so he fights with a number of gods.
  • Eventually, he loses the battle with the Buddha
    and is imprisoned for five centuries until he
    agrees to help Tripitaka throughout the journey.
  • At the journeys end, he attains Buddha status
    and is named Fighting Buddha.

32
Character AnalysisIII. The Pig, Pa-Chieh???
  • Pa-chieh (means to get rid of the 8 Buddhist
    sins)
  • He was the Altar Warrior God in Heaven, yet he
    flirted the Moon goddess. Thus, he is punished to
    become human again.
  • Abilities
  • Nine-Toothed Rake (which he used to carry in
    Heaven)
  • 36 Transformations
  • Cloud Riding
  • Water Abilities once in charge of the Heavenly
    River. Extremely useful because some perils
    involve water activities. (The Monkey cannot
    wield much power in water. )

33
Character AnalysisIII. The Pig, Pa-Chieh???
  • Personality
  • His characters represents human shortcomings
  • His lustfulness often puts the group in danger,
    as he is always blinded by the beauty of woman.
  • He is lazy. Falls asleep in crucial moments when
    other are depending on him.
  • Greedy and gluttonous
  • Provides comic relief for the story
  • A foil to the Monkey

34
Character AnalysisIV. Sha Monk??
  • Other names Sha Wu Jung, Sha Seng
  • Abilities
  • underwater battle
  • Cloud riding (flying)
  • Skilled alchemist
  • Carries small gourd which can enlarge, enabling
    the group to cross rivers

35
Character AnalysisIV. Sha Monk??
  • Personality
  • Dedicated disciple
  • Extremely loyal to Tong Sanzang/Tripitaka
  • Patient, logical and polite
  • The mediator between the Monkey-King and the Pig.
  • Background and personality is the least developed
    among the three disciples
  • At the end of journey, he is transformed into an
    arhat (luohan) by Buddha.

36
Character AnalysisV. Bodhisattva
  • Other names
  • Guanyin
  • Goddess of Mercy
  • Chineses favorite divine being
  • Her name means heeding the cry and she hears
    and helps all those who cry out to her when in
    need.
  • During the journey, she constantly appears to
    convey important messages or help the group.

37
81 Perils
  • The perils of Tong Sanzang??? starts from his
    previous life, to birth, through to the end of
    his journey of collecting sutras and back home.
  • 81 9x9, meaning endless perils. (9 meaning
    endless in Chinese)
  • However, the actual perils of the journey were
    less than 81

38
Examples of Perils
  • E.g. fifth and sixth perils actually belong to a
    single incidence
  • On the beginning of the journey, Tong Sanzang is
    accompanied by 2 human servants and 1 horse
  • They meet a Devil Tiger General and all except
    Sanzang are eaten, whereas Sanzang is saved by a
    god from Heaven.

39
Examples of Perils
  • Some perils are not life threatening but related
    to the taming of all his 4 disciples - the monkey
    (chapter 13, 7 8 perils), the pig (chapter 18
    19, 12 perils), the Sha monk (Ch 22, 15 16
    perils) and the horse (Ch 15, 9 perils).
  • The perils of Tong Sanzang???, thus, are also the
    perils of the whole team Master?? and his
    disciples, the monkey, the pig, the Sha monk and
    the horse.

40
Examples of Perils
  • E.g. Following the expel of Sun Wukong (he is
    expelled by Sanzang who is ignorant and
    erroneously misled by the cunning bony-woman),
    Sanzang?? asks the pig Zhu Bajieto go to find
    food but Bajie fells into asleep. Sanzang?? then
    asks the Sha monk to find Bajie. Sanzang?? is
    left unprotected and he is abducted by a Yellow
    devil.
  • The Yellow devil turns Sanzang?? into a tiger as
    if he is a monster under disguise.
  • Finally, Bajie?? goes to seek help from Wukong??
    who finally comes back to save the life of his
    Master Sanzang?? (Perils 21-23)

41
Examples of Perils
  • E.g. The group arrives the Women Kingdom. The
    queen wants Sanzang?? to be her wife and makes
    him King. Sanzang pretends to agree and go out
    the city to say farewell to his disciples. The
    Monkey King then quickly carries the Master away
    (perils 43).
  • E.g. There are two Monkey Kings and even Sanzang
    cannot distinguish which is the real one. They
    ask a number of gods in Heaven and nobody knows
    the truth, because both of them can perform all
    the abilities. Eventually, the Buddha recognizes
    the real Sun Wukong and the pretending one is
    killed by Sun (perils 57-58)

42
Examples of Perils
  • E.g. The whole team goes through the Hot Firing
    Basin.
  • They can only get through the mountain with the
    help of a big magic banana leaves fan from the
    Princess Iron Fan.
  • However, both the princess and her husband, the
    Cow-king do not agree.
  • They fight 3 fierce battles and ultimately with
    the help of heaven guards, the team finally wins
    the battle and successfully borrows the magic fan
    and goes through the mountain (perils 47-49).

43
Stories behind the Perils
  • All these perils are successive training of the
    team from the Master Sanzang?? to his disciples,
    Wukong??, Zhu Bajie??, the Sha monk?? and the
    horse.
  • It is only through all these perils and
    struggles, mistrust and reconciliation,
    life-threatening disasters and temptation to quit
    that the whole team becomes mature and finally
    successfully achieves the purpose of collecting
    sutras from India (West Paradise) back to China.

44
Stories behind the Perils
  • All characters were full of human weakness
    Kind but ignorant Master Sanzang??, smart but
    rebellious Wukong??, lazy and lustful Zhu
    Bajie??, simple monk Sandy??.
  • It was through these perils each individual
    became stronger and more determined, the whole
    team became more harmonious and unified, their
    bonding became stronger that they finally
    achieved their Mission.

45
Analysis of Journey to the West / The Xiyou ji
  • The characterization follows the same lines Zhu
    Bajie (the pig) is an unintelligent and lusty
    glutton Sun Wukong (the monkey) is ingenious but
    overconfident Sandy (the monk) is diligent but
    conservative Sanzang is kind-hearted but
    ignorant.
  • In the allegorical interpretation, the various
    dangers and monsters are the illusions that stand
    between man and Enlightenment, though it is
    usually difficult to specify which illusion is
    associated with which monster.

46
Analysis of Journey to the West / The Xiyou ji
  • The foibles of human nature, social ills in
    Chinese society, absurd features of the Chinese
    pantheonall are subjected to scrutiny, giving
    rise to numerous comic passages.

47
III. The Jin Ping Mei???
  • The title of the Jin Ping Mei (Plum Bloosom in
    golden vase) is actually untranslatable it is
    composed characters taken from the names of the
    three main female characters (Poon Jinling, Li
    Pingyee, Zhunmei ???,???,??).
  • It is an anonymous novel in 100 chapters, thought
    to been written in the 1580s, but first printed
    in the last year of the Wanli period under the
    title Jin Ping Mei Chiua.?????

48
III. The Jin Ping Mei
  • The idea for the novel is taken from the story of
    Wu Song??in the Shuihu zhuan (Water Margin).
  • The Jin Ping Mei described in great detail the
    life of the apothecary Ximen Qing???and his
    household in a provincial town in Shandong??.
  • The novel is supposedly set in the early 12th
    century (Song Dynasty) but the social setting as
    described is clearly that of the 16th century
    (Ming Dynasty).

49
The Story of the Jin Ping Mei
  • The story is about Ximen Qings economic and
    political machinations, his relationships with
    his various wives (eventually six), the womens
    mutual relationships, and Ximen Qings family
    (and sexual) affairs and shady business dealings.
  • Ximen Qings ethical misconduct results in his
    early and horrible death, after which his
    household is broken up.

50
The Story of the Jin Ping Mei
  • The subsequent life of the other characters is
    keeping with their former behavior earlier good
    and evil meet with later reward and punishment.
  • In other words, a prominent theme is the working
    of retribution within a single lifetime.

51
Analysis of the Characters Ximen Qing
  • He is the boss of the familyhis parents were
    death.
  • He inherited a herbal-medicine store from his
    father.
  • He gathered his wealth quickly and became one of
    the richest in the region (Shandong).
  • He had a lot of assets. e.g. a big house with a
    hugh garden, a pawn-shop, a cloth-shop, a
    silk-shop, a herbal-medicine shop
  • He later became the godson of a high official,
    and was given an official post.

52
Analysis of the Characters Ximen Qing
  • He loved women (sex) a lot and had sexual
    relationship with his maids, his employees
    wives, and prostitutes. Those women listened to
    him for different reasons (his status, power,
    money, sexual ability).
  • He was very calculative and clever in spending
    money on women.
  • Sudden death in his early 30s, because of
    over-dosed of sex-medication

53
Analysis of the Characters Why Ximen Qing
became so rich?
  • 1. A good businessmen. His theory Money is
    something that enjoys mobility
  • 2. His wives brought in a lot of assets. e.g. His
    3rd sixth wife were extremely rich widows.
  • 3. He ordered his employees to buy silk directly
    from the farmers (so as to keep the cost low)
    he gave black-money to officials to avoid heavy
    tax across the provinces.
  • 4. He had cash in hand. When a trader was in need
    of money, Ximen bought a ship of cloth in good
    price.
  • 5. He was a loan-shark. (30 interest _at_month)
  • 6. Much of his money came from corruption and
    bribery (after he became an official).

54
Analysis of the CharactersXimens 1st wife
Wu???
  • Ximens first wife died before the story (had a
    daughter, got married in the beginning).
  • Enjoyed all privileges of the official wife,
    being the head of the wives. e.g in making new
    clothes, triple the amount of others.
  • Father a mid-level official
  • Traditional (under Confucian influence),
    conservative, good family background
  • Very religious, believed in Buddhism and Daoism.
  • In charged of the family assets e.g. Ximen kept
    all his money in her rooms.
  • Never being the favorite of Ximen but did take it
    for granted. Rarely jealous of other wives.

55
Analysis of the CharactersXimens 1st wife
Wu???
  • --- At first, she loved Poon (5th wife) very
    much and thought that Poon was very good. Later
    she found out that Poon was selfish and cruel.
    This showed that she was not very smart.
  • Pregnant when Ximen died but her son had to
    become a monk.
  • After that, she had to adopt one of Ximens close
    servant as her adopted son to inherit the family
    name and business (because there was no male in
    the family).
  • Lived till 70 year-old.
  • By the end, the only wife left in Ximens house

56
Analysis of the CharactersXimens 2nd wife
Li???
  • A prostitute before marriage
  • The only wife who was fat
  • Ximen rarely stayed in her room.
  • Was the familys financial controller but later
    her maid stole a gold-bracelet and she had to
    give up the post.
  • Not very important throughout the text
  • Became a prostitute again after Ximens death,
    then became another rich mans concubine.

57
Analysis of the CharactersXimens 3rd wife
Meng???
  • First married to a rich merchant of cloth
  • Remarried Ximen when she was 30
  • She remarried with all the assets (cash and
    cloth) left by the first husband
  • The 2nd richest wife of Ximen, e.g. she had two
    luxurious and beautiful beds
  • Ximen rarely slept in her room except for the
    first two weeks of marriage
  • Accepted the fact that she was not the beloved
    wife
  • She and Poon formed a group
  • After Ximens death, she chose a good man to be
    her husband and remarried. Had a happy life
    eventually.

58
Analysis of the CharactersXimens 4th wife
Sun???
  • Was the close maid of the first official wife of
    Ximen.
  • Of the lowest status among all wives
  • Sometimes hardly beated by Ximen
  • More like a servant than a wife, for she was
    always in the kitchen and preparing food for the
    family.
  • Throughout the story, Ximen slept only a few
    times in her room.

59
Analysis of the CharactersXimens 4th wife
Sun???
  • Always had quarrels with Poon
  • Had an affair with one of the main servants
  • After Ximens death, she wanted to run away with
    that servant with Ximens money. Both were
    caught.
  • Later sold by court and became the maid of
    Zhunmei.

60
Analysis of the CharactersXimens 5th wife
Poon???
  • One of the three most important female
    characters.
  • Very beautiful and sexy (loved by Ximen at first
    sight)
  • Came from a poor faimly. Father a tailor (lower
    class)
  • Sold to a rich family and became a maid when she
    was nine.
  • Resold to another rich family when 15, and then
    she learned to play music.

61
Analysis of the CharactersXimens 5th wife
Poon???
  • Had an affair with the Master at 18, but his wife
    was very tough.
  • The wife deliberately married Poon to the ugliest
    man in town (the one who sold cakes in the
    market).
  • After marriage, Poon still had sexual
    relationship with the old Master and the husband
    knew and allowed that (for the Master gave them
    money for doing small business and renting a
    house).
  • Tried to seduce her brother-in-law (Wuzhung) but
    failed.

62
Analysis of the CharactersXimens 5th wife
Poon???
  • Met and was seduced by Ximen when she was 27.
  • She poisoned her husband and remarried Ximen.
  • Xiemn gave her a close maid, Zhunmei (one of the
    three most important characters in the book, who
    later had sexual relationship with Ximen).
    Zhunmei and Poon were very close.
  • She was very possessive and would be very angry
    if Ximen slept in any other wives rooms
    (especially after Li Pingyee gave birth to a
    son).
  • A lot of sexual descriptions between Poon Ximen

63
Analysis of the CharactersXimens 5th wife
Poon???
  • Had an affair with Ximens son-in-law after the
    death of Ximen.
  • Therefore, she was sold by Wu (1st wife) and
    bought by Wuzhung (brother-in-law of her first
    husband), for Wuzhung found out that she poisoned
    her first husband.
  • Though she thought that Wuzhung was going to
    marry her, she was killed.

64
Ximens 6th wife Li Pingyee???
  • One of the three most important female characters
  • Very beautiful (loved by Ximen at the first
    sight), sexy, and snow-white like skin
  • First marriage a concubine of a high official,
    who was murdered. Left her a lot of money.
  • Second marriage to the nephew of the Kings
    servant (had an affair with the Kings servant,
    who later died and left her a great deal of
    wealth). This husband loved to stayed with the
    prostitutes and rarely went home.

65
Ximens 6th wife Li Pingyee???
  • Met Ximen at 25 and was seduced by him. Let her
    husband died of illness (refused to get a doctor)
  • Devoted to Ximen for he could sexually satisfy
    her.
  • A lot of sexual descriptions between her Ximen.
  • She married Ximen and brought in a lot of money
    and assets to the family.
  • Was the richest wife and was very generous.
  • Kind to the maids and servants and they all loved
    her.

66
Ximens 6th wife Li Pingyee???
  • Ximens favorite wife, especially after the birth
    of a son.
  • Became a lovely and good wife after marrying
    Ximen.
  • Poon was very jealous of her status and favor,
    and said a lot of wicked things about Li. Li was
    very unhappy.
  • The son died after 1 year-old, as he was
    frightened by Poons cat. (Poon trained her cat
    to scratch packages in red for the son always
    dressed in red).
  • Li was very depressed and died in a few months.
  • Had an elaborative, luxurious funeral.

67
Analysis of the Characters Zhunmei??
  • One of the three most important female figures.
  • At first, a maid of Wu(1st wife), then a close
    maid of Poon (whom allowed Ximen to have sexual
    relationship with Mei).
  • Arrogant and proud of herself
  • The most important character after Ximens death
  • After Ximens death, sold by Wu to become
    Official Zhous concubinebecause Wu found out
    that she had an affair with Ximens son-in-law.
  • She gave birth to a son and became the official
    wife of Zhou(after the death of the first wife).
  • Met and seduced by Ximens son-in-law (Chan)
    again
  • After her husbands death, she was with always
    with Chan and eventually exhausted to death(at
    the age of 29).

68
Analysis of the Jin Ping Mei
  • In this novel, we also see the increased
    importance attributed to the life of ordinary
    people as examples of the process of retribution.
  • But these ordinary characters are important not
    so much for their unique individuality as for
    their aptness in embodying certain types.

69
Analysis of the Jin Ping Mei
  • Accordingly, the author is not interested in
    describing individual psychological processes as
    such, but in questioning how it came about that
    certain persons, under certain circumstances in a
    morally unambiguous world, allowed themselves to
    be enticed into doing evil.
  • Sex being one of the most obvious of human
    inclinations, the author gives much attention to
    failings and misdeeds in this area, and there are
    a number of very explicit erotic passages, such
    as detailed description of sexual intercourse and
    sex-postures.
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