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What is a brief summary of The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen?

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lollilolla | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 24, 2009 at 4:17 AM via web

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What is a brief summary of The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted August 25, 2009 at 6:22 AM (Answer #1)

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Set in China during the time of the Tang Dynasty, The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen is a wonderful adventure story where young Prince Jen travels metaphorically from innocence to experience as he travels physically from his kingdom of T'ang to the prosperous land of T'ien-kuo in search of its emperor, Yuan-ming .  After Prince Jen leaves his life of remote luxury, he discovers the real world of his subjects (which, of course, is not at all like his own).  On his harrowing journey, Jen falls in love with a bondmaid, encounters bandits, loses his friends as well as his own identity, and finally finds himself a common criminal who is forced to wear a wooden punishment collar.  Ironically, Prince Jen never reaches the land of T'ien-kuo.  In fact, he needs to look no further than his own kingdom in order to find the vast experience needed in order to rule his kingdom with compassion.  By the end of the novel, Prince Jen is a changed man, formed by his new relations with his varied subjects as well as the land on which they live.

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