"Comparative Study of Hanuman and Su Wukong"

This project draws a connection between two neighbouring literary traditions. My research draws on how cultural assimilation and religious influence (mainly Buddhism and Hinduism) of ancient India and ancient China is reflected in some of their most famous texts. In particular, I focus on Valmiki's Ramayana and Wu Cheng'en's Journey to the West. Ramayana is one of the most ancient epics in the Hindu and Rama tradition. Journey to the West, which was written much later, is considered one of the four great Classical Chinese novels. My essay includes specific plot and character comparisions of the texts. It also includes analysis of trade between the two countries. The essay also spotlights their modern connection in terms of their representation in pop culture and media in the 21st century, especially in children's literature. Drawing on famous media examples, I analyse how Moneky King/God maybe some of the most popular heroes today.

- Nisha Walvekar '26