The Magical Monkey King Daoism, Buddhism, Confucianism Report Card Connor Finkelman T-2

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Lao Tzu

Grade: D+


The central theme of Daoism is balance. A person should strive to be one with the Dao, living a simple life in harmony with nature. The Dao isn't a living being, but a concept of neither good nor evil. It's important in Daoism to free one's self from desires and have compassion for others. Throughout Monkey's journey, he continuously does not think for the greater good of the world, but for himself. Through this greed, he finds himself being pushed back in his attempt to reach enlightenment. Monkey is forced to stop his training by Master Subhodi because Monkey shows off his powers and wants to prove he is better than the people around him. If Monkey had been more compassionate of others, he likely could have finished his training and never would have wanted to steal the peaches.

Daoist Symbol


Grade: D


The main focus of Buddhism is attaining inner peace. The Buddhist philosophy teaches good moral behavior, thinking before acting, considering consequences and gaining an understanding of life. According to the Buddha, the four noble truths of life are that everyone suffers, we cause our own suffering, we should stop doing things that make us suffer, and we must follow an enlightened path to end this suffering. Even as Monkey tries to follow this path and reach nirvana (complete inner peace and enlightenment where the being is released from the endless cycle of birth and death), his selfishness and greed gets in his way. As Monkey continues to cause his own suffering, he never is able to become one with himself. While learning with Master Subhodi, Monkey tries showing off to the other students. Monkey being greedy for attention shows to Subhodi that he is careless in his goal for enlightenment, causing Subhodi to kick Monkey out and ruin his chances of achieving nirvana. Because of this, he never truly attains inner peace, the main focus of Buddhism.

Buddhist Symbol


Grade: D+


The teachings of Confucianism state that all humans are essentially good and that this goodness must be shown to fellow human beings. According to Confucius, politeness, having good virtues, and moral wisdom are essential components of a good person. Anyone above you in social rank should be treated with respect, people at the same rank should treat each other equally, and you must be a good role model to anyone below you. Monkey doesn't always have the wisdom to understand this system. While he was learning with Master Subhodi, Monkey continued to get on the bad side of Subhodi and his students. Without good moral wisdom, Monkey got himself into trouble, causing him to be forced out of his goal of achieving complete nirvana.

Confucianist Symbol
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Connor Finkelman

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