1、 Reflect the real society through the world of gods and demons, and expose the darkness and corruption of the Ming society
The heavenly palace represented by the Jade Emperor in the novel, including the underworld, the Western Heaven and other theocracy institutions, is not only similar to the world in administrative settings, but also has the same behavior and behavior. Its fatuity and corruption are the same. After the Monkey King's trouble, the ruling group of the Heavenly Palace not only exposed its weakness in strength, but also revealed the Jade Emperor's indistinct wisdom, the generals' weak and incompetent Confucianism, the tricks of the gods and the whole heaven's jealousy of the sages. The Western Heaven claimed to be the Blissful World, but openly demanded bribes. Two venerable persons, A Nuo and Gaye, were not able to cheat others with fake sutras because they demanded bribes. They were so angry that even the merciful and generous Tang Monk said, "In this Blissful World, there is also the Evil Devil's Jelly!" As for the local government, it is also a place to hide evils and corrupt practices. Among the nine kingdoms on earth that Tang Monk and his disciples experienced, most of the kings were also fatuous monarchs, causing evil spirits to run rampant. In a word, all of the palaces in heaven, hell, the Western Paradise and the kingdoms on earth described in the works are full of dirt and ugliness, symbolically reflecting the infatuation of the emperors on earth, the corruption of the imperial court and the darkness of the world.
Most of the monsters and ghosts described in the novel alluded to the illegal power and power at that time, and they were the symbols of the social evil forces that harmed the people. For example, Red Boy, the king of the Holy Child, has no limits in his plundering, the slavish nature of the scale snake monster in Tuoluo Village, the speculation of Ruyi Immortals, and the extortion of the goldfish demon. All these are obviously closely linked with reality. A vivid painting of a hundred ugly figures in the middle of the Ming Dynasty deeply reflects the social reality of the Ming Dynasty, which was stripped by the government and run amok, and the profound disaster brought to the people by various taxes and servitude. Many of the demons in the novel are closely related to gods and Buddhas. These images, such as the roc in the Lion Came Ridge and the rat spirit in the bottomless hole, imply that the rulers connived at hawks and dogs to make trouble, and even colluded with each other, implying the social reality that corrupt officials in the Ming Dynasty colluded in collusion.
"Journey to the West" is against the Ming Dynasty's policy of "worshiping the Buddha and killing the Buddha". The novel adopts the attitude of "worshiping the Buddha and suppressing the Tao", and makes extreme sarcasm and ridicule of Taoism, which has a clear practical relevance. In the novel, there are many Taoists who commit many crimes, such as Chechi, the Three Immortals, Luli and Yangli, and the national abbot of the state of bhikkhu. They sometimes talk about disorderly politics or plot evil deeds, but they are trusted by the king and act recklessly, which implies that Shizong is good. It is reported that the Emperor Shizong of the Ming Dynasty was an excellent Taoist, and he also named Taoist priests Shao Yuanjie and Tao Zhongwen as "real people", and the official position was to minister to the Ministry of Rites. These Taoists make the government a mess. The book also tries to describe that the monarch of Chechi Kingdom believed in evil ways and wantonly captured monks. In this description, there is a shadow of the rule of factory guards and spies. The objects revealed and satirized in the novel can be found in the real life of the Ming Dynasty.
2、 Praise the rebellious spirit and heroic behavior that dare to challenge the feudal authority
First of all, Monkey King is a fearless man who dares to make trouble in heaven and dare to break into the underworld; Secondly, the Monkey King is a righteous sword with wisdom and courage that sweeps away the demons. Fearlessness and wisdom make this character shine, which is also the value and essence of this book. Because of their fearlessness, they did not obey the rule of the unicorn, the rule of the phoenix, or the constraints of the laws of the kings of the world; Dare to go to the heaven and shout, "The emperor will take turns and come to my house next year", which makes the heavenly troops and heavenly beings fall into pieces and frighten the Jade Emperor's immortals into panic; Dare to intrude into the underworld and draw a thin picture of life and death, so that the hell king bows and does not dare to provoke; If he dares to disturb the Dragon Palace, the old Dragon King has to welcome him and see him off; Dare to disrespect Guanyin; Dare to scold the Tathagata for unfairness; He never paid attention to the earthly king. The dauntless spirit of daring to challenge all authorities and defy all sacred things is the basic feature of the image of the Monkey King, which is also the personality spirit that the author tries to praise. Sun Wukong is intelligent and brave, so he can see through all disguise and insight into all the truth. The author tries to describe Sun Wukong's outstanding talents, extraordinary wisdom, bright eyes and wise and clear minds, which is actually a praise of wisdom and courage. If Zhuge Liang is the embodiment of the wisdom of the ancient people, Sun Wukong can be regarded as the embodiment of the courage of the ancient people.
Journey to the West is composed of two stories with different ideological meanings: "Monkey King makes trouble in the Heavenly Palace" and "Western Heaven takes Buddhist scriptures". Therefore, out of the need of plot development, the novel describes the failure of Monkey King to make trouble in the Heavenly Palace and his ultimate conversion to Buddhism. The hero tragedy of Monkey King is the reflection of the author's feudal orthodoxy in the work. In terms of image creation, although the Monkey King is highly skilled, with a hundred and eight thousand li of somersault, he cannot escape from the palm of the Buddha, which is the tragedy of Monkey King as a rebel; Five hundred years later, Monkey King was enlightened by Guanyin and escorted Tang Monk to take Buddhist scriptures. Although he did not change his heroic character, he was gradually driven to his heart after being put on a tight hoop. He "changed his evil ways and followed the good", turned his heart to Buddhism, and finally converted to Buddhism. This is the tragedy of Monkey King as a submitter. The two contradictory aspects embodied in Sun Wukong reflect the complexity and contradiction of the author's ideas, as well as the confusion and limitation of his understanding. However, as an artistic image itself, Sun Wukong's character of daring to fight, fearing violence, tenacity, cheerfulness, harmony and optimism is consistent. The whole book connects the two stories with its clues, showing a common ideological tendency: exposing social darkness and denying unreasonable social order; Sing praises of the people's indomitable resistance and struggle.
3、 Publicize the mind learning thought of "three religions in one" through the image of Sun Wukong
As a supernatural novel, Journey to the West does not directly describe the real life, nor is it similar to the prehistoric primitive myth. In its supernatural and fantastic stories, beyond the humorous and funny writing, it contains some profound meaning and theme. In this regard, critics throughout the history have made various discussions, from roughly believing that "there is reason in illusion" to emphasizing that "there is interest in illusion" and "there is reality in illusion", which has a tortuous course. It should be said that the novel itself does have some basis to support a certain tendency. However, from the perspective of its most important and characteristic spirit, it should be said that "there is a secret meaning in the game" (Li Zhuowu's review of the General Commentary on Journey to the West), which contains philosophy in magic and humor. This philosophy is the psychology that was impacted and reformed by the personality trend of thought in the Ming Dynasty. Therefore, subjectively, the writer wanted to promote "insight" and maintain the normal order of the feudal society by shaping the artistic image of Sun Wukong, but objectively, he publicized people's self-worth and the pursuit of human beauty.
In Journey to the West, the image of Sun Wukong is intended to publicize that the mind learning of "three religions in one" is clear and unambiguous. The basic idea of mind learning is to "seek peace of mind" and "be considerate", that is, to return the uninhibited mind confused by foreign objects to the conscious state of conscience. In particular, the novel chooses the typical religious term "heart ape", which is used to describe the restless mind, as the nickname of Monkey King. Some retrospectives and poems also express this moral directly and clearly. For example, "spiritual root nurtures the source of pregnancy, and the mind cultivates the life of the great" (the first chapter), "the devil is destroyed after the ninety-nine count, and three or three lines are filled with the root of the Tao" (the ninety-nine chapter), and many others are formed by the terms of cultivating the mind. In the poem praise, it is said that the beautiful monkey king's way: "Take the egg to turn the monkey into the road, and give him the name of Dan Cheng. The inner view does not know why he has no appearance, and the outer view clearly knows that he is visible" (the first time); "The body of the ape matches the human heart, and the heart means that the ape has a deep meaning.... The horse ape cooperates with the heart and mind, and is tightly tied and tied." (Chapter 7), which clearly shows that the author has long portrayed Monkey King as the illusion of the human heart. From the perspective of the structure of the whole book, it is roughly composed of three parts: First, the Monkey King caused a great disturbance in the Heavenly Palace; 2、 Under the Five Elements Mountain; 3、 Go west to learn scriptures and become fruit. This is actually a metaphor for the whole process of reassurance, concentration and spiritual cultivation. In order to show the overall design of the "mind ape return", the work also allows Sun Wukong to directly promote the idea of "insight" to Tang Monk from time to time. For example, the 24th time Tang Monk asked Wukong when he could get to the thunder in the west. Wukong replied, "If you see the sincerity of your nature, you can remember that it is the Holy Mountain." In the eighty fifth turn, Wukong also reminded Tang Monk with Wu Chao's Multi Mind Sutra: "Don't ask for the Buddha far away from Lingshan Mountain. Lingshan Mountain is only in your heart. Everyone has a Lingshan Tower, which is easy to build under." The Tang Monk knew: "A thousand scriptures and ten thousand scriptures are just for cultivating the mind." It is precisely because Journey to the West, on the whole, clearly publicizes the philosophy of mind integrated with Taoist "cultivating mind and nature" and Buddhist "insight", so it is no wonder that early critics agreed that Journey to the West implied the ideological theme of "devil is born with mind, and mind is also absorbed", and even when Lu Xun emphasized that the novel "is out of play", He also said: "If we must ask him about his general purpose, I think the words' Journey to the West ', which was said by Xie Zhaoqi of the Ming Dynasty,' The ape is the god of mind, the pig is the gallop of mind, and it was indulgent at the beginning until he died. Gai also asked for relief: 'These words have been enough to say." (The Historical Changes of Chinese Novels, Lesson 5)
When the author of Journey to the West reformed and processed the traditional stories of making trouble in heaven and learning from scriptures, he incorporated the framework of fashionable psychology. However, the psychology itself has different tendencies to promote personality and moral perfection in its development, which is combined with the will of the broad masses of the people precipitated in the long-term spread of the story of Journey to the West, so that the spirit embodied in the specific description of Journey to the West is obviously broken through It transcends this preset rational framework and inclines towards affirmation of self value and pursuit of human perfection. To be specific, if the first seven chapters subjectively wanted to condemn the harm of "rest assured", but objectively praised freedom and individuality, then taking the seventh chapter of "centering" as a turning point, the process of learning the sutra "cultivating the mind" in the future is to repeatedly explain that the four masters and apprentices have completed the sublimation of human nature while constantly sweeping away external evil, and the Monkey King has finally become a symbol of the beauty of human nature with personality, ideals and abilities.
Soon after Sun Wukong was born, he did not want to be "under the influence of heaven", "alone and powerful" or "happy and innocent" in Huaguo Mountain. On the surface, he was "free and unfettered from the rule of the unicorn, the phoenix and the throne". But when he thought that there was still a "hell king Laozi in charge" in the dark, he felt uncomfortable and "suddenly worried and shed tears". So he tried every means to beat the hell division, checked off all the names of monkeys on the life and death book, and declared to the Ten Hall Hell King, "I won't give you a hand today!" When the author specifically describes the Monkey King's behavior of pursuing freedom without any control, he does not directly explain that this is the image footnote of the "rest assured" behavior, nor even shows much derogatory meaning between the lines. Therefore, the impression left to the reader is that he can only dare to act for the sake of freedom. Like Ye Ri of the Ming Dynasty when commenting on Wukong's removal from the underworld, he praised: "What is cool is wonderful!" Later, he made a scene in the Heavenly Palace for the following reasons: "The Jade Emperor is a light hearted man", "He looks down upon Lao Sun like this!" The first time he invited him to heaven, he only arranged him to be an unofficial "Bi Ma Wen". He felt deeply that the value of his "born sage" had not been recognized as it should be, and his personal dignity was insulted: "Lao Sun has infinite ability, why do you teach me to raise horses for him?" "Live shame to kill!" So he went out of the South Heavenly Gate. The second time he was invited to heaven, although he gave him the empty title of "Qi Great Sage", he was "an official without salary", which did not get respect fundamentally. So he "stole peaches first, then wine, which upset the Peach Panning Meeting, and stole Lao Jun's elixir", and went out of heaven. He said that "the strong should let me be respected, and heroes dare to compete", and even said that "the emperor will take turns to do, and next year will be my family", which is a relatively rare and extreme voice along the way of emphasizing self; This strong desire to freely realize self value by virtue of personal ability is a vivid reflection of the surging trend of personality thoughts and the change of life values in the Ming Dynasty. However, the author does not agree with Sun Wukong that he "only wants to be ambitious and reckless, regardless of the rules and regulations", and does not want to deny the whole patriarchal hierarchy. When Sun Wukong "bullies God on God" and cries "Give me the Heavenly Palace", the author lets the Tathagata Buddha easily suppress him at the foot of the Five Elements Mountain, which vividly reflects that the feudal hierarchical society is still unshakable, and the idea of maintaining this society is also deep-rooted. Whether you shout "respect the strong" or pursue "freedom", you can only do it within a moderate range. In a word, from the birth of the Monkey King to the chaos in the Heavenly Palace, the work depicts a "saint" who is free to "rest assured", and praises a spirit of pursuing individuality and freedom that is in harmony with the cultural trend of the Ming Dynasty.
The main space of the novel is to describe the Monkey King who went to the Western Heaven to learn from the 81 Difficulties of Tang Monk's Sutra. Many of these 81 are of the same pattern, and it is difficult to find some internal logical connection before and after, thus giving people a sense of cycle. These repeated dangers and demons are used as symbols of obstacles in the process of heart cultivation. The seventeenth time of the novel once pointed out: "Bodhisattvas and goblins are always a thought." In other words, the demon was born in a moment's thought. The so-called "mind is born, all kinds of demons are born; heart is destroyed, all kinds of demons are destroyed". The novel describes the trials of the eighty-one dilemma, which is nothing more than a metaphor of a long and hard process of "gradual realization" of insight. However, when the author specifically describes the actions of Sun Wukong and others who went through hardships and dangers to sweep away the demons, he often "fades out" the framework of "meaning first" and highlights the artistic images of flesh and blood. Among these images, Sun Wukong is particularly full of the author's ideal and the spirit of the times.
Sun Wukong still maintained a distinctive rebellious personality in the process of learning scriptures, just as Zhu Bajie commented on him in the 23rd chapter: "I know your respect is arrogant." He didn't want to be in the position of "slave" (the 71st time), and never paid homage to people easily. "Even when I saw the Jade Emperor and the Supreme Lord, I just sang a song" (the 15th time). As for ordinary gods, they didn't pay attention to them. If they were not satisfied, they would "stretch out their arms, play five sticks to meet each other, and relax with the old sun"! (Same as above) As a monk who converted to Buddhism, he also boasted about the glorious history of breaking into the hell and making trouble in the heaven. For those who were specially used to "restrain" and "control" him, and not let him "play freely", he always wanted to "get off and smash, and never call that bodhisattva to play tricks on others" (the hundredth round). This shows that the Monkey King on the way of learning scriptures still opposes bondage, respects himself and yearns for freedom, and has a strong personality spirit; However, the Monkey King at this time was different from the previous Great Sage, who had already undertaken the lofty mission of assisting Tang Monk to go to the West to obtain the scriptures. Learning from experience, which was originally a career, has actually become a symbol of the ideal that he pursued unswervingly. In order to realize this ideal, he crossed mountains and mountains, captured demons and monsters, endured countless hardships, eliminated many difficulties, never considered personal interests, and focused on career. Even when he was misunderstood, unfairly treated, and even chased back to Huaguo Mountain by Tang Monk, he still "went back to the water curtain cave with his body, followed the Buddhist monk with his heart" (the 30th round). This spirit of dedication to the ideal has become an obvious character feature of Sun Wukong on the way to learn scriptures.
Of course, Sun Wukong and others appeared in front of the readers as heroes who solved the 81 Difficulties. In his eyes, there is no insurmountable danger, and there is no demon that can not be stopped. With his tenacious struggle, he can turn danger into relief and become lucky in case of misfortune. In the battle, he is also resourceful and good at fighting wits. At one time, he turns into a worm to go in and out of the country, and at the other time, he turns into a mother or husband of goblins to confuse them. Often, in the midst of truth and falsehood, he makes the enemy dizzy and unable to defend. Sun Wukong's heroic spirit of great wisdom and courage, combined with his dedication and strong personality spirit to achieve his ideal, shows a unique brilliance. As he went through 81 difficulties and swept away the demons, he became a Buddha from the devil, which naturally made his character more perfect and universal. In fact, his heroic demeanor was a kind of beauty of human nature that people generally pursued in the middle and late Ming Dynasty. Sun Wukong has become a symbol of the beauty of human nature with personality, ideal and ability. Journey to the West calls for heroes like Monkey King in the game.
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