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Thread: Who is the greatest hero (in Jing Yongs work)?

  1. #1
    Senior Member AnhHung's Avatar
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    Default Who is the greatest hero (in Jing Yongs work)?

    Hello everyone. Ive have read and enjoyed this forum for sometime now. Although I like the discussion of who is the best fighter, which kung fu is better and so on and so on. But I feel that we are all missing the big picture.

    Wuxia novels are not just about fighting. In fact, I believe it is just a small part of it. Most of Jing Yong novels have deeper meenings or contain political comments.

    For example LOCH; one do not have to be smart, handsom etc to be a hero. GJ is a true hero, he has courage and is willing to sacrafice for his people. This is a story of what it takes to be a hero.

    ROTCH; is about alianation, prejudes and disputing unfair social standards. YG is looked down because his father were bad. He has a rokcy start, but in the end able to rise above and becoming a hero. He married his teacher, who is not a virging, this was a No No.

    HSDS; is about brotherhood, the line between good and evil, the lpain of losing someone you love(spouse, children, lover, parent).

    This just is my humble opinion, and you are welcome to comment.

    But to my question; who is the greatest hero?
    I believe it is XF. He was stuck between Hans and Khitans, but still wish to gain peace between them. When he was a lord of the Khitans, he could have sendt an army to punish the Hans for the unjust he have been through, but he do not wish to harm civilians. At the end he sacrafice his life for his people, both the Hans and the Khitans. This act alone makes him the greatest hero, and DGSD to be a great novel. XZ and sweeper monks great power and kung fu is not important. And spare me the story of DY.


    Another great hero is GJ (and HR) who defend the Hans against the mongols. He too sacrafice his life.

    To a lesser extends, ZMJ is also a hero. He did not seek revenge for his parents, but instead seek peace between the "evils" and the "good" of the martial world.

    Have I missed someone?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Exodus's Avatar
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    Gotta be either XF or GJ

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    Senior Member 0-0-0's Avatar
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    I agree... definitely GJ or XF... no other hero really comes to mind for me

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    Senior Member yittz's Avatar
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    I want to bring up the issue of human nature and being brought up with good habits or thoughts.

    Does it make XF and GJ a less of a character if throughout life they have been nutured with good values and teachings, as well as having good honest genes from their parents. It was in their human nature to do those tasks, they were inclined to do what society thought was right. JY just happened to make two characters that conformed to what readers' 'hero' image just happened to be.

    Compared that to YG, who had a crap father, no real upbringing, many things not going his way throughout the novel due to partial fault of others, being constantly belittled, looked down upon, mistrusted, stereotyped with his father. Yet he was able to change into a decent person (mother genes taken over?). Doesnt that make his achievement greater than that of XF and GJ?

    Sure in the big picture, XF and GJ, played a much bigger role in saving lives and doing overall good. But in the sense of personal achievement, did YG achieve more than XF/GJ? How much do you value the final quality of each character compared the rocky path that got them there?

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    Senior Member AnhHung's Avatar
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    I agree that YG may have a harder way to heroism than other(like XF, GJ or ZWJ). And his achievement is by no means less than the ohters. But like you said, XF and GJ has a bigger role in saving lives. And we shouldn't hold againts them that they had less crappy upbringing.

    This is also one of the point Im trying to make. The novels has different agendas. ROCH concentrate on personal achivement. DGSD is more political, etc. Please help me out here.

    Back to XF. Although he had a fairly god upbringing, but he certently got his fair share of crap from the rest of the MA world. His decision on not to attack the MA world and take revenge on all of them is not an easy decision. In that sense he went through some of what YG did. But what makes him great is his sacrefice at the end.

    Perhaps YG would have done the same thing if he had the change, but my point is that XF did. If XF had lived in a time where there were no war or he didnt become lord of the Khitans, he might be only an "ordinary" hero. Fate...

    The quality of XF and YG may not be så different, but XF had the chance to be a great hero, and YG did not.

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    Senior Member MrIllusion's Avatar
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    Personally I think the best measure of a hero is in the people he helps.

    Hong Qi was also heralded as a hero by pugilistic fraternity. I seem to recall reading somewhere that in his youth, Huang Yaoshi also set himself against government, and was called 'Xie Xia' (Heretic Hero) by the commonfolk. YG is definitely a hero according to the commoners, who called him the Condor Hero.

    In HSDS everyone called Zhang Sanfeng's disciples Wudang 7 Heroes, because of the deeds they did on a regular basis.

    DY became emperor of Dali. Depending on how he ruled his kingdom he could be considered a hero as well. I would consider Genghis Khan a hero before he got blinded by powerlust.

    I think if we become too narrow-minded in our definition of what constitutes a hero, then we'll always end up with GJ and XF being the only two 'heroes' in JY canon, which I doubt is JY's intention.
    The Truth is out there
    I say we leave it there...

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    Senior Member Extremer88's Avatar
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    Hi AnhHung, both Xiao Feng and Guo Jing are the greatest heroes in my heart.
    ..ext88

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    Senior Member AnhHung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrIllusion
    I think if we become too narrow-minded in our definition of what constitutes a hero, then we'll always end up with GJ and XF being the only two 'heroes' in JY canon, which I doubt is JY's intention.
    You are so right so right.

    Your definition of a hero is not to bad. But how do you count the no of people one saves? You rescue one from a burning building, thats one. You kill your self for peace between two nations, how many?

    Are there any other ways to measure a hero?

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    Senior Member AresInvincible's Avatar
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    Basically, fans do agree that Xiao Feng is THE hero of all Jin Yong's novels. Guo Jing is too perfect -- that he seems fake when compared to Xiao Feng. XF has much more struggle going on in his life and still keeps his dignity. Guo Jing is humble, honest, respectable, etc. basically everything that a great hero needs to have, which makes him fake.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Dirt's Avatar
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    Zhang Wuji. He knew when to leave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AresInvincible
    Basically, fans do agree that Xiao Feng is THE hero of all Jin Yong's novels. Guo Jing is too perfect -- that he seems fake when compared to Xiao Feng. XF has much more struggle going on in his life and still keeps his dignity. Guo Jing is humble, honest, respectable, etc. basically everything that a great hero needs to have, which makes him fake.
    Honestly, I don't think GJ is that "fake". It is true that he is just a character in a novel. GJ is not a real person. However, I don't think GJ is "too perfect". GJ is not a very smart guy. He is not a good looking person. He grew up in a not-so-nice environment as well (especially before meeting Genghis Khan).

    In most part of LOCH (may be, except at the end of the story), I don't think many people respect GJ. People keep saying he is dumb. His father-in-law didn't like him that much. He had a conflict in his love life. He had a revenge that he needed to take (since his mom and his teachers want him to do). He help Genghis Khan beat Jin country but eventually feel (more or less) regret. He show his emotion many times especially when he think HYS killed his 5 teachers. He want to protect Han that he decide to kill one of his closest friend if it needed.

    Through all these things, he was still in a good path. He is always honest, humble and responsible. Person with this qualtiy should be respected. Many of his qualties (I didn't say all) can be used as a role model for people in real life. In my opinion, I will not call him "fake". In fact, I consider him as a great hero on par with XF & others.
    Last edited by Wu Xing; 03-30-06 at 06:51 PM.

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    Senior Member danshu_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wu Xing
    Honestly, I don't think GJ is that "fake". It is true that he is just a character in a novel. GJ is not a real person. However, I don't think GJ is "too perfect". GJ is not a very smart guy. He is not a good looking person. He grew up in a not-so-nice environment as well (especially before meeting Genghis Khan).

    In most part of LOCH (may be, except at the end of the story), I don't think many people respect GJ. People keep saying he is dumb. His father-in-law didn't like him that much. He had a conflict in his love life. He had a revenge that he needed to take (since his mom and his teachers want him to do). He help Genghis Khan beat Jin country but eventually feel (more or less) regret. He show his emotion many times especially when he think HYS killed his 5 teachers. He want to protect Han that he decide to kill one of his closest friend if it needed.

    Through all these things, he was still in a good path. He is always honest, humble and responsible. Person with this qualtiy should be respected. Many of his qualties (I didn't say all) can be used as a role model for people in real life. In my opinion, I will not call him "fake". In fact, I consider him as a great hero on par with XF & others.

    I agree with you. I don't think Guo Jing is "too perfect" or "fake" at all. Xiao Feng also possesses all the heroic characteristics. Here's a quote from the wikipedia article on Guo Jing:

    "His character, of course, is not without fault, for the flipside of his moral rectitude is his intolerance for things that run agaist traditions, and his sometime rigid interpretation of what is right (he almost cut off his daughter's arm after she inadvertently cut off Yang's arm), although his compassion usually win out at the end."

    "He is widely considered to be the platonic ideal of the Confucian Xia, a somewhat ironic fact given that he is only barely literate, of lowly birth and is raised amongst the Mongols, and in no way the learned Confucian scholar."

    Guo Jing has many flaws in his character, I don't think it's fair to say he's too perfect or fake. He's a hero despite all his flaws.

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    Senior Member PJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt
    Zhang Wuji. He knew when to leave.
    So do most common people. That's why nobody will remember their name.
    忽见柳荫下两个小孩子在哀哀痛哭,瞧模样正是武敦儒、武修文兄弟。郭芙大声叫道:「喂,你们在干甚麽?」武 修文回头见是郭芙,哭道:「我们在哭,你不见麽?」

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ
    So do most common people. That's why nobody will remember their name.
    "Common people" leave because they're helpless or fearful (or both). Cheung Mo Gei was the most powerful individual other than Cheung 3 Fung in the wulin of his time, and he had no fear of death or pain, but he often eschewed fighting in favor of peaceful resolutions that would benefit the greatest number of people.

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    Senior Member IcyFox's Avatar
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    In My Opinion...

    1. Zhang San Feng
    2. Xiao Feng
    3. Zhang Wuji
    4. Guo Jing
    5. Wang Chong Yang / Yang Guo

    So the greatest hero is Z3F.

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    Senior Member AnhHung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    "Common people" leave because they're helpless or fearful (or both). Cheung Mo Gei was the most powerful individual other than Cheung 3 Fung in the wulin of his time, and he had no fear of death or pain, but he often eschewed fighting in favor of peaceful resolutions that would benefit the greatest number of people.
    I agree. The decision of leaving was both hard and easy. Hard because he had to let go of control, not as a leader of Ming sect, but as a driving force for fighting the Mongols. It has been an agenda for him as long as he been a leader. Letting go of control and giving it in the hands of ruthless general is a bold decision.

    On the other hand, ZWJ is not a fighter. Most fans consider this as a downside, but he is "a lover, not a fighter". He knows that he is too soft to lead the war against the mongol. He doesnt even like the trickery in wulin.

    Therefore it is a wise decision to leave. Not everyone would have come to that conclusion.

    ZWJ is my favorite in Jing yongs world. He is not the best fighter, has the highest kung fu or smartest, but he is the one showing most human *quality*. Not able to pick between four beautyful girls, Ive would have trouble with that. Doing mistake when fighting, who doesnt. In fact, I would rather say that XF is too perfect.

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    Senior Member PJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    "Common people" leave because they're helpless or fearful (or both). Cheung Mo Gei was the most powerful individual other than Cheung 3 Fung in the wulin of his time, and he had no fear of death or pain, but he often eschewed fighting in favor of peaceful resolutions that would benefit the greatest number of people.
    Yeah I know. I was just responding to Dirt's one line justification of Zhang Wuji as the greatest hero, which might have lost its original intention.
    忽见柳荫下两个小孩子在哀哀痛哭,瞧模样正是武敦儒、武修文兄弟。郭芙大声叫道:「喂,你们在干甚麽?」武 修文回头见是郭芙,哭道:「我们在哭,你不见麽?」

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    Senior Member MrIllusion's Avatar
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    What's this about ZWJ leaving? It's been a while and I can't remember the storyline...
    The Truth is out there
    I say we leave it there...

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    Senior Member PJ's Avatar
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    Xiao Feng is not perfect. He has more natural flaws than Guo Jing--he has to control his rage/temper all the time, for he gets angry easily, and he can do unspeakable things in those situations. There is one attribute I find extremely bizarre about Xiao Feng: his lack of interest/exposure to females. I mean, a 30 year old guy who NEVER had any romantic thoughts about women (or men!) ?? Most other heroes already had wild/complex romantic encounters by age 25. I must say that this is very, very abnormal
    忽见柳荫下两个小孩子在哀哀痛哭,瞧模样正是武敦儒、武修文兄弟。郭芙大声叫道:「喂,你们在干甚麽?」武 修文回头见是郭芙,哭道:「我们在哭,你不见麽?」

  20. #20
    Senior Member MrIllusion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ
    There is one attribute I find extremely bizarre about Xiao Feng: his lack of interest/exposure to females. I mean, a 30 year old guy who NEVER had any romantic thoughts about women (or men!) ?? Most other heroes already had wild/complex romantic encounters by age 25. I must say that this is very, very abnormal
    No no no please let it be like that! If a BEGGAR gets to have more interaction with women than is necessary to move the main plot, it'll start to lose credibility. Already I'm having trouble believing that he has enough money to pay for all his booze.

    Let DY get all the women...it suits him
    The Truth is out there
    I say we leave it there...

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