The Journey to the West by Wu Chengen

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How is Xuanzang, Monkey, Zhu Bajie, and Sha Wujing changed by the journey to the West?

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Xuanzang, Monkey, Zhu Bajie, and Sha Wujing are changed by their journey as pilgrims to the West in accordance with their varying capacities for illumination. The four pilgrims are designed to serve as spiritual types, denoting different stages of Buddhist enlightenment. The relevant measure of illumination or enlightenment is selflessness, which entails detachment from worldly, physical goods and bodily attachments in favor of devotion to the Way of enlightenment. The text uses the literary device of the conferment of titles by the Buddha to signify the final attainment of transformation in keeping with each character's individual karma, or fate.

As represented in Journey to the West, the spiritual journey...

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