This sample paper on Mulan Folktale offers a framework of relevant facts based on the recent research in the field. Read the introductory part, body and conclusion of the paper below.
At that time, the emperor orders that one male from each family has to join in the military to fight with the Huns who invaded in China. A young girl whose name is Mulan tries hard to please her parents and bring honor to her family. Her father is also conscripted in the army; however, Mulan takes her father’s places and disguises herself as a man. At the end of the film, Mulan succeeds in defeating the Huns and also earns respect of her family.
Generally speaking, the film is good; nevertheless, there are several important scenes, which are meaningful for discussion of this film. As a Chinese girl, I am familiar with the Eastern culture in China, so I can present more information for the film. In fact, girls and women’s castes are inferior to men’s. In an article in Time International, the author states, “in many Asian culture, women are regarded as less important than men” (Chu 48). According to the article, ” The White Tigers,” the author, Maxine Hong Kingston,explains the reasons why girls or women are treated as second-class in Asian countries.
Mulan Film Analysis
Maxine mentions that most parents and people in China have slanted views for girls; she notes, “there’s no profit in raising girls. Better to raise geese than girls [and] when you raise girls, you’re raising children for strangers”(2960). Many parents are very conscious of having a son to carry the family name. On the contrary, a girl will devote herself to her husband’s family when she is married; the girl seldom has more energy to take care of her own family.
In the film of Mulan, she is the only child in her family; however, this case seldom happens in ancient China. Generally speaking, some parents think that they are not in accordance with filial duty for their ancestors when they are without male progeny. On the other hand, girls rarely received much formal education in ancient China. They were trained in household duties, such as cooking, weaving, embroidery, and taking care of family members. Most importantly, good training in these skills was an assert in arranging a girl’s marriage.
The above-mentioned points are generally used in Asian ancient culture. At the beginning of the film, watchers can find that Mulan’s parents want her to uphold the family honor by impressing the matchmaker and finding herself a husband. In an article in Spirituality& Health, the author states that most children in Chinese culture emphasize the importance to bring honor to their family. According to Time International, the author says, ” Family values are very important in Chinese culture.
Bring honor to one’s family is imperative… ” (48). Mulan’s parents think that winning a husband is the only way for a daughter to maintain family honor. However, Muan feels that she brings shame to her family when she fails to be accepted by her matchmaker (Cue 48). From this view, we can know that a women’s place in China is at home cooking for her husband and raising children. In fact, Mulan can’t fit into the gender role expected of her. Moreover, we also can find that there is a scene of gender role in the film.
In the article in The New York Times, the author’s review is that “the film shows girls and boys being made to play with dolls and swords respectively, and not being allowed to switch roles” (Maslin 2). On the other hand, Mulan starts to wonder who she is inside after visiting the matchmaker. When she is crying, her father comforts her and says, “My what beautiful blossoms we have this year, but look this one is late, but I will bet when it blooms it will be the most beautiful of all. ” Mulan is described as a flower , and it shows that she has not yet found who she is.
According to the article, “Woman Warrior,” the authors notes, ” How can [Mulan] be a dutiful Chinese daughter and still be true to herself? ” (Corie and Laura 65). However, there is a conflict in Mulan’s mind; if she were truly to be herself, she possibly would break her family’s fame and heart. Actually, Mulan wants to be herself and earn honor to her family (Cue 48). In my opinion, Mulan is a filial and considerate girl; she decides to take her father’s place by disguising a man and to save her father’s life because of his weak health (Cue 48).
On the other hand, the step of transformation to be a soldier is difficult to her when she becomes a cross-dresser; however, she is not accepted because she is the weakest of all the men. But she never has thought of giving up; she works harder and practices more at night until she is strong enough to be equal with men (Corie and Laura 65). From the scene, Mulan shows that women also can do everything that men are doing. Moreover, she wins everyone’s respect .
In addition, in the article inChicago Sun-Times, the author says that the film doesn’t’ follow the traditional scene about ” male hero rescues the heroine” (Eber 2). There is a scene about Mulan uses her wit to defeat the Huns and to save Shang’s life. He says to Mulan, “You have my trust, [Mulan], the bravest man of all;” it shows that Shang sees her as better than other soldiers. However, when Shang and others find out that Mulan is a woman, Shang changes his attitude and turns back on her even though she rescues him.
Maybe Shang feels lost his face because a woman saves his life. The scene shows the issue of gender role in Chinese values; most men in Asian usually can’t accept that women have better capability than men’s. In other words, the scene also shows that even when a woman can outsmart men and be as strong and brave as they are, men still can’t accept her equally. On the other hand, when Mulan discovers that the Huns didn’t die and then she wants to warn Shang; however, soldiers and Shang don’t listen to her warning at all, because she is a woman.
The custom and law have reinforced gender roles. At the end of film, Mulan makes it to earn the emperor and other people’s respect. The scene shows that Mualn comes home and hands her father the sword of the enemy and the honor gift that the emperor gave. However, her grandmother thinks that it is better to bring a husband, even though she is successful to bring great fame to her family. It shows that women are capable of doing what men can do, and to be good daughters at home. Nevertheless, women are also expected to find ideal men with good marriage.
In other words, the message of the film makes me feel that it is important for women to be yourself, to be equal to men; women still have to follow the traditional roles of being a wife and mother. In conclusion, Bonnie thinks, ” courage, family values and determination are all prominent themes touched upon in this film” (48). Moreover, In the article in Spirituality&Health , the authors thinks that the film is filled with the notions of Confucianism, esteem older people and pledge loyalty to country(1).
In my opinion, I strongly agree with Bonnie : ” That nothing is impossible for a girl if she sets her mind to it. Mulan struggles to win respect, not only for herself but for women of all times “(48). As long as you have determination to do everything, you still can make it no matter you are just a little girl or women. Most importantly, it is good to be yourself and to be equal with men, and they also can devote themslves to their country as well as men do. Women should have confidence to find their true identitis.