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Title: Recontextualizing literary classics with modernity : a social semiotic analysis of a comic adaptation of Journey to the West
Authors: Zhong, Z
Chen, S
Xuan, WW 
Issue Date: Apr-2021
Source: SAGE open, Apr. 1, 2021, v. 11, no. 2, p. 1-14
Abstract: A large number of literary classics have been transformed into comic works with varied adaptation strategies. As a typical example, Cai Zhizhong’s comic adaptation of Journey to the West has made successful attempts in rewriting the story with modern elements that carry socio-cultural values. Under the general theoretical frameworks of social semiotics, this article seeks to explain what and how these elements are presented and explore how such elements are infused with values that affiliate people of different communities and provoke thoughts on cultural diversity and global issues. It is found that (a) modern elements have been presented with particular ideational, interpersonal, and textual semiotic options and (b) different values have been implanted into these elements through bondicons, iconization, and visual attitudes.
Keywords: Comic adaptation
Journey to the West
Social semiotics
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Journal: SAGE open 
EISSN: 2158-2440
DOI: 10.1177/21582440211019730
Rights: © The Author(s) 2021
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
The following publication Zhong, Z., Chen, S., & Xuan, W. W. (2021). Recontextualizing Literary Classics With Modernity: A Social Semiotic Analysis of a Comic Adaptation of Journey to the West. SAGE Open, 11(2), 21582440211019730 is available at
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