Strong Chinese Women in Film Essay

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1. Introduction In Confucian thought, women had their purpose beside their men or within their households as mothers. However, the legend of Hua Mulan precedes Confucius. Mulan’s story had inspired early Chinese Feminists such as Qiu Ji to go against the society built to keep her space as a woman separate from the rest of the world. In modern times, Fa Mulan (from Disney) added more diversity to the usual Disney Princesses and gave westerners an image of Chinese culture. The Disney film about Fa Mulan and the live action film about Hua Mulan by Jingle Ma ultimately chronicle the journey of Mulan and her service in the military but the films will have significant differences because of the different perspectives telling the stories. The…show more content…
The definitions of Confucianism that pertain to women under the watch of Confucianism did not pertain to Mulan because her story precedes Confucius. Although the Mulan’s portrayed in Disney’s Mulan and Jingle Ma’s Hua Mulan are essential the same person, there are certain personality traits that distinguish the characters from each other. 2. Hua Mulan The Legend The original poem that Hua Mulan originated from was The Ballad of Mulan. The poem chronicled her escapades from the beginning of her heroic journey, when Chinese military officers call for the men to fight the forces attacking the mainland of China. Her father has an undisclosed injury or sickness so she ran away from home in order to fight his in his name. She led her armies through twelve years of war and became a highly renowned general and hero to her people. She had no desire for great retribution, however she requested transportation home so she could return to her ailing father and perform her filial duties . Some scholars argue over the exact setting of Mulan’s legend. However, some texts believe she brought great honor to her country and people during the Northern Wei dynasty (386-534 CE). The name Mulan in China supports early thoughts of early Chinese gender equality . Confucius had defined the roles of women and the barring of women in war had reflected his desires to subjugate women during Mulan’s time. If Mulan’s legend had occurred as told and she infiltrated the army, her role as a woman
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