English 802 Fall 11 Final exam 2

However what monkey has yet to learn is that he is

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that he has not gained accordingly but even better than what he desired in the first place. However what Monkey has yet to learn is that he is the only person standing in his way of achieving greatness. In challenging the Jade Emperor Monkey learns his greatest lesson of self knowledge and discovery through consequence and repercussion. When he gained his immortality through theft of the peaches, wine and immortal pills at the peach banquet in chapter 5 (Monkey 54-59) also did not understand that it did not measure up to the year of preparation that the Jade Emperor and many others of high status spent getting to obtained positions. This is proven to him when he is captured and prompted to speak to
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Buddha of the Western Region on why he desires to rule heaven. He learns a hard lesson on humility when the Buddha, who questions him “How can you delude yourself into supposing that you can seize the Jade Emperor’s throne? He has been perfecting himself for 1750 kalpas, and every kalpa is 129,000 years. Just see how long it takes you to achieve such wisdom as his! …You exceed yourself, and will surely come to a bad end.” Monkey’s failure to pass Buddha’s test to obtain heaven as well as his punishment of 500 years of incarceration was greatly needed to show him that even with all that he knew, he had a great deal of learning to complete in order to fully understand his life’s purpose. After doing so he was rewarded through the life changes he made after his release from the mountain. “When the time of your retribution was ended, you turned your heart to the Great Faith and your endeavor to the scourging of evil and the promotion of good (Monkey 303).” In gaining this new found freedom Monkey, was rewarded with not only the royal title he had always longed for but a new way of living and thinking that was not only for the gratitude of himself but to lift up others as well. From both the stories of The Epic of Gilgamesh and Monkey by Wu Cheng En, it is clear that self knowledge is a journey that can help many but is most beneficial to the person who is going through the lessons that come along with it. For Monkey, a lesson in humility gave him the clarity to know his place and earn his keep in life. For Gilgamesh, the value of friendship and the harsh reality that fate cannot be compromised allowed him to see that life is about more than self satisfaction. The journeys that each character endured not only helped them grow as people but also gave them the knowledge to improve the world around them.
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