The Monkey King

Description: “There’s a very like kung fu king like he’s called like Monkey King. He’s either a monkey but he’s also very skillful at Kung Fu but he’s so naughty like. He didn’t want to become a servant of the like in the most superior king in the paradise so he did some war against the king of the paradise. But he didn’t manage to do so and he was put into the prison in the paradise. He suffered lots of things but he finally redempted like he proved that he was a very valuable person through sufferings. He was able to get out by reproving himself. He made some achievements or the lost of the paradise because he did some loss to the paradise.”

2. My informant told me that this is a story typically told to children. He heard it growing up and will eventually tell his own children.

3. I walked into his dorm and asked if he could tell me some Chinese folklore. He started a little slower at first but once he really got his mind going he had story after story after story. There is some broken English here but I thought it was best to transcribe as close as possible to the actual performance.

4. The story of the Monkey King is one that reveals interesting elements to the culture it’s told in. For instance, this culture obviously holds the powers of other creatures very highly. In this case, the Monkey’s flexibility has given him enough power to war against the goodness of paradise. In some senses this could be compared to Satan in the Garden of Eden. He took the form of a serpent, who is considered a crafty creature, and the Monkey King is also considered a ‘naughty’ creature. These two beings are able to disrupt Paradise and were punished afterward. However, the Monkey King had a change of heart and was forgiven at the end. The serpent wasn’t so lucky.