The first element that it similar among the two legends is the concept of sacrifice. In the memoir, the reason for Fa Mu Lan’s success is due to tremendous sacrifice by herself and others. One of the most prominent examples of immolation is when a rabbit sacrifices it’s own life in order to give Mu Lan food and to make sure she will survive a cold night in the mountains. The incident was written as follows in the book: “A white rabbit hopped beside me...I ate it, knowing the rabbit had sacrificed itself for me” (Kingston 26). The sacrifice of the rabbit was an act of selflessness that taught Mu Lan about benevolence and allowed her to live long enough to act on this lesson. Furthermore, in the movie, Mulan sacrifice’s her safety, rather than having something sacrifice itself for her like the Mu Lan in White Tigers. During the scene where Mulan was attempting to save the emperor from the Huns, she has a
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...nist ideas. They suggest that women are good for only household chores and that they are not very intelligent. In fact, Mulan herself refutes these stereotypes through her quick thinking and advanced battle techniques, yet they still insist on carrying though.
In movie version of Mulan as well as the book by Maxine Kingston, the elements of immolation, holding one’s tongue, respect for ancestors and parents, and stereotyping in the Chinese culture are present. All of these elements come together to create two similar stories of a woman warrior out to bestow honor upon her family. Still, for something as simple as family honor, is all the trouble of the quest for a small bit of greatness worth it?
Kingston, Maxine Hong. "White Tigers." The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts. New York: Vintage International, 1976. 20-53. Print.
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