Hua Mulan The Hero and His Background

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1073 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Jan 4, 2019

Words: 1073|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Jan 4, 2019

In China, the name Hua Mulan (???) has been connected with the term ‘heroine’ for hundreds of years. Hua Mulan has become a symbol of heroic behavior. Her character has inspired many Chinese women to defy traditional gender roles.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

Throughout history, there have been many versions of the legend of Mulan. They all have a common storyline: Mulan’s father has received an order to serve in the army. Due to his age and frailty, Mulan decided to disguise herself as a male and take his place. Mulan achieved a lot during battle and was soon promoted into a general because of her great military strategy. When the war was over, the emperor asked her what she would like as a reward. Mulan asked for nothing but to return home to her parents.

The legendary character, Mulan, originated from a Chinese poem, the “Ballad of Mulan (???).” It is one of the first poems in Chinese history to support female equality. In the poem, Mulan seems uninterested in chores and getting married. She is more worried about the draft which calls for a male in the family to serve the army. Near the end of the poem, it is said that Mulan went back to her female appearance and met up with those men she was fighting alongside with. They were shocked to find out that she was a woman. The last four lines quotes how it is impossible to tell the gender difference when they are “running side by side close to the ground.”

This poem was first put into written form in the Musical Records of Old and New in the 6th century. However, the original work no longer exists. The story of Mulan has been passed down through many years in all different ways and forms. During the late Ming Dynasty, the story was expanded into a novel. And as time goes by, the story of Mulan became a popular folk tale among the Chinese people.

The historical setting of Mulan is uncertain. The earliest accounts of the legend state that she lived during the Northern Wei dynasty which was from 386 AD to 534 AD. However, Cheng Dachang of the Song Dynasty recorded that she lived during the Sui and Tang Dynasties, which was from 581 AD to 618 AD. Many others throughout history stated different time periods and places Mulan was from. However, most agreed that she was from a region in China known as the Central Plains.

Mulan is revealed to be a very caring daughter. She sacrificed herself to serve the army in place of her father. She was said to be a skillful fighter and brave warrior. She was away from home and fought in war for twelve years. In the twelve years, she has been promoted to a general and became well-known for her military tactics and strategies. She was said to have saved China and was offered a reward by the emperor. She became a very significant person in Chinese history and a symbol for heroism.

Was Hua Mulan a Real Person? Whether or not Hua Mulan was a real person or based on a real person is still unknown. However, a woman in Chinese history, Wang Cong’er, is believed to be similar to Mulan. Although Wang Cong’er’s story is different from Mulan’s, her bravery and tactics are similar.

Wang Cong’er led the uprising of the White Lotus sect against the Qing regime. She led an army of men and fought with kung fu and acrobatics along with a sword in each hand. The current records of the Qing court stated that “the deadliest of all the rebels are those led by Madam Wang, wife of Qi.” After thousands of men were killed by Qing’s army, Wang retreated forcefully. With nowhere left to go, she jumped to her death. Despite being defeated, Wang has created a precedent for revolts against the Chinese imperial rule. This continued until the mid-20th century when Mao Zhedong and his army eradicated the monarchy.

Besides Wang Cong’er, it was said that Hua Mulan was also based off of a lot of other female warriors. No one knows for sure whether a character like Mulan really existed in real life. Some believed for it to be just a legend, some believed the original creator based Mulan off of a person with a similar background.

Medias Based on Mulan. Many movies have been made about the character, Mulan, including Disney’s version of the story that was released in 1998. Although Disney’s version is less authentic and more westernized, it still brought Mulan’s name to a wider audience. Disney’s version has the general idea of the poem. However, the difference is that in the movie, Mulan is shown to be unskilled with weapons. The Mulan in history is said to have practiced many different weapons and where she lived was known for practicing kung fu and being skilled with the sword. Disney added a wise horse, a cricket, and a small red dragon in the movie to accompany Mulan and help her during battle. Of course, according to legend, Mulan was by herself and no one knew that she was a woman.

According to Disney’s version and other movies about Mulan, it is said that she have fallen in love with somebody during battle. In the legend of Mulan, nothing was mentioned about her falling in love or having a relationship with anyone. It was just stated that she believed she was unfit for marriage.

Other than Disney’s release in 1998, the story of Hua Mulan also inspired a lot of other movies and series such as ‘Mulan Joins the Army’ (1939; film), ‘Lady General Hua Mulan’ (1964; film), ‘A Tough Side of a Lady’ (1998; series), ‘Hua Mu Lan’ (1999; series), and ‘Mulan’ (2009; film). There were also operas and plays based on this legend that were before and after Disney’s release.

Get a custom paper now from our expert writers.

Overall, the legend of Mulan still remains a legend. But the name Hua Mulan is known by a lot of people today. Throughout history, a lot of different versions of the legend of Mulan have been created. There are still movies made about Mulan. Whether or not this female warrior was a real person in history, her story has inspired a lot of people.

Works Cited

  1. Ancient History Encyclopedia. (2016, March 22). Ballad of Mulan.
  2. Asia Society. (n.d.). The Legend of Hua Mulan.
  3. Georgetown Journal of International Affairs. (2017, October 13). In Search of Mulan: Women in Chinese Folklore.
  4. Hua Mulan. (2023). China Highlights.
  5. Jiang, Y. (2020). From Woman Warrior to Lady Boss: Re-Contexualizing Mulan's Feminist and Nationalist (Mis)Significations. Asian Journal of Women's Studies, 26(1), 88-107.
  6. Lan, R. (2019). Mulan: The Woman, The Warrior, and the Legend. Middle School Journal, 50(4), 4-14.
  7. Mulan. (2023). Disney+.
  8. Nadeem, A. (2021, March 9). China's Warrior Heroine Hua Mulan Continues to Inspire Women. TRT World.
  9. South China Morning Post. (2020, September 27). Who Was the Real Hua Mulan? How the Legend Has Grown over Time.
  10. Wang, Q. (2021). The Representation of Mulan's Gendered and Ethnic Identities in Mulan (1998) and Mulan (2020). Social Sciences, 10(1), 1-12.
Image of Dr. Charlotte Jacobson
This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Hua Mulan the Hero and His Background. (2019, January 03). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 22, 2024, from
“Hua Mulan the Hero and His Background.” GradesFixer, 03 Jan. 2019,
Hua Mulan the Hero and His Background. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Apr. 2024].
Hua Mulan the Hero and His Background [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Jan 03 [cited 2024 Apr 22]. Available from:
Keep in mind: This sample was shared by another student.
  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours
Write my essay

Still can’t find what you need?

Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled


Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Get Your
    Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!

    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!
    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now