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Give Him a Hand || The Monkey King Sun Wu Kung Part B

A really, really, big hand...

  • Gosh darn it. I knew that Sun was generating too many complaints to the Lord of Heavens.
  • "I had just been thinking I ought to pay Heaven a visit some time..." What a sentence.
    • I guess it's a testament to Sun's power (and arrogance?) that he thinks he can just casually visit Heaven?
  • He's definitely still excitable.
  • The Lord of the Heavens seems to be a rather patient person.
  • This is another instance in which Sun has yet to learn the rules of a polite society. He may soon regret that.
  • So why exactly does Sun take so well to every task that he attempts? He learns them really quickly and (for the most part) seems to excel at and enjoy even the more mundane things.
  • Sun is very prideful and he knows what he wants. 
    • When he saught immortality, he rejected the lessons of the master until he could learn the secrets of immortality.
    • Now he is face to face with literal gods and can't help but to demand a better position or more affluent title or role.
    • The passage mentions that Sun took to his role as stablemaster with great zeal but does not specifically mention whether or not he actually enjoyed the task.
  • Pride goeth before destruction...
  • The description of what Nostcha turns into in his rage before attacking Sun and what Sun turns into in response reminds me a lot of the descriptions of some of the gods from Hinduism.
    • Multiple heads and arms being the chief similarity.
  • So Sun has turned from the stone monkey to the monkey king to the devil-ape.
  • Again, the Lord of Heavens seems to be a more patient (or reasonable) person than I would have initially assumed.
  • So is the moral here that it's best to just give loud people an empty title or something meaningless just to shut them up?
  • So a monkey born from a stone has become, for all intents and purposes, a god.
  • Well, if there was ever any doubt that Sun was immortal before, he definitely is now. Many many many times over.
    • So we've got
      • The techniques taught by the master that supposedly let one achieve immortality.
      • The peaches of immortality. (Presumably several thousand of them)
      • The wine-nectar that apparently also grants immortality. (Many barrels worth)
      • The pills of life. (Several gourds worth)
  • Who doesn't like a good all fashioned shapeshifting battle?
    • Why do they hate on buzzards?
      • I feel like there's some backstory there.
  • How the holy heck is Sun so powerful?
    • Literally, nobody can stop him but the Buddha.
  • "...thrust a hook through his collar-bone so that he could no longer transform himself."
    • First of all: ouch.
  • How does one "softly" lay a mountain on top of somebody?
  • I sincerely hope that I never read the phrase "seductive spider spirits" again in my life.
  • I find it interesting that the Journey to West states that Buddhism and Taoism (or Daoism?) "...teach the same things. They differ only in their vestments."
    • This makes me want to do a more direct comparison of their key tenets.
  • I like that Sun disguises himself as a horse dealer. It feels like a callback to when he was stablemaster for the gods.
  • I can just imagine: "Nice going Sun! If we go out there, they'll see our shaved heads and kill us! How are we going to get out of this?" "Hmm well if everyone has a shaved head, nobody has a shaved head. Right?" "What? That doesn't make sense at ...." "Nevermind. I got this."

Sun Wukong by Wang Xiao

Photo Credits:

Story: The Ape Sun Wu Kung
From: The Chinese Fairy Book
By: R. Wilhelm
Translator: Frederick H. Martens


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