The Comparison of Monkeys: the Study of Hanuman from the Ramayana and Wu-K’Ung from the Journey to the West
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Because of the geographical conditions and the history of cultural communication between India and China in religion, philosophy, and even literature and art. It is very possible that the image of Hanuman influenced Ch’eng en Wu when he was writing The Journey to the Western and creating Wu-K’ung. As the first deity based on the picture of Monkey, the characterization of Hanuman was so perfect that it was not flexible enough. But it doesn’t stop the Indian to adore and worship this mighty monkey. Wu-K’ung produced by Ch’eng en Wu is a very mature image in the traditional Chinese literature. It is not only a typical synthesis of both native and exotic culture, but also individual model contained the personal thought and creativity of the author. The complexity of Wu-K’ung can be interpreted from different perspectives and recreated under different cultural backgrounds.
Hanuman, Wu-kung, Ramayana, Journey to the west, Cultural transformation, Hinduism