I did not have any background on Chinese Literature, so it was interesting just to see how the story was going to turn out. The style of the novel was what caught my attention. The constant shift from prose to verse is something that I hadn’t encountered before. I felt that the verses added a new element to the story, separating it from the common novel. It gave it different perspective from the typical narration.
It was great to know that this story had a historical foundation on the travels of the monk Tripitaka. Although this was the first time I heard anything about Tripitaka, I feel that such additions always enriches the story because they offer a unique storytelling of history. I can see a connection to Voltaire’s Candide because he also used historical events to enrich his own tale. I found it laughable that although the stone monkey had enjoyed an “insouciant existence for three or four hundred,” he still felt sad about death and wished to procure immortality. I think this might have been done to scoff the human desire for eternal life and the dissatisfaction of a limited one. The stone monkey’s personality was probably the most amusing part of the reading.