Confucianism in Journey to the West

31834 Words128 Pages
University: University of Leiden 14 June 2012
Department: Language and Culture of China
Course: Visual Political Communication (BA3)
Semester: Summer Semester 2011/2012
Lecturer: Florian Schneider

Journey to the West
A Textual-Visual Discourse Analysis

Name: Stefan Ruijsch (Student No. 0620203)
Major: Chinese Studies, BA 3
E-mail: s.ruijsch@umail.leidenuniv.nl
Phone: 06-48369645
Address: Vrijheidslaan 256, 2321 DP Leiden Word Count: 9,387
Table of Contents

page
1. Introduction………………………………………………… . 1
2. Theory………………………………………………………… 4 2.1. Discourse theory – A Short Explanation…………… 4 2.2. Confucianism………………………………………… 6 2.2.1. The Principles of Confucianism…………… 6 2.2.2. The Confucian
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Ever since, I wondered whether this impression was correct. The goal of this thesis is to satisfy this curiosity and to determine, through textual and visual analyses, if the 1986 television series also carries a Confucian message, or whether it was solely produced for entertainment purposes. This leads to the following research question:

How does the 1986 television series Journey to the West convey the novel’s original Confucian message, and what does this suggest for its production purposes?

I argue that authors and producers often attempt to impose their own set of cultural and political ideologies on its audience through a certain depiction of right and wrong. In this manner, works of fiction might influence, perhaps even alter, the ideologies of the audience.[3] Accordingly, analyzing the depiction of ideologies in media content can serve as a basis for further research on if and how producers intend to influence their audience.

This particular case of Confucianism in the 1986 Journey to the West television series is especially interesting, due to China’s socio-political setting of that time. The influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on media content[4] combined with its usage of Confucianism to secure its own right to rule[5] make the Journey to the West television series the perfect medium to promote Confucianism to the masses. The enormous popularity of Journey to the West
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