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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:38 pm 
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I'm watching Mulan again when an interesting thought struck my mind.

When the Matchmaker throws her out, she tells her she will never make a proper bride. In China, especially in that era, girls were essentially, worthless. Only good for child bearing. Mulan was an only child and the only hope at honor for her family, and even that, a woman's honor had little worth. So being told you are worthless and would never make a good bride is essentially saying you aren't worth the breath you take.
Later...
Mulan and her family are at the dinner table after her father accepted his fate of returning to the military. Mulan and him fight and he tells her, "I know my place, and it's time you know your's". Mulan runs out and into a storm and cries. She KNOWS if her father joins the army, he will not return alive. She must also know, there is an extreme likliehood neither will she. She knows training or war may kill her. And if that doesn't, being discovered will bring about her execution. She left to save her father, and try and honor her family, but she had to know there was a higher risk to dieing then bringing her family honor. And being discovered will only dishonor the family MUCH more. So I know Disney never intended it, but I wonder if perhaps she had a sort of Death Wish deep down. The song Reflection and her crying in the rain certainly show how depressed and worthless she felt.

Any other thoughts?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:44 pm 
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Given than Mulan is all about disobeying and deceiving the nation and the emperor in pursuit of 'following her heart,' and that it's fairly western-ized, I've always found myself doubting how much things like this were on their minds, despite what they may say about wanting to depict the culture in the movie. Somehow "Girl Power" and "Ancient China" never meshed for me.

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Last edited by AwallaceUNC on Tue Jun 21, 2005 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:58 pm 
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not suicide, but self-sacrifice and leaving all to protect yor familly, country and familly´s honor


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 12:08 am 
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My opinion in terms of the movie's plot: I don't think Mulan had a death wish. Like you said, she left to save her father. After the "Reflection" sequence, her father basically tells her that there is nothing wrong with her; she's just a late bloomer and she will become a nice bride later on. Plus, if you remember the scene after she is discovered to be a woman, where she is talking to Mushu and Crickee about how she was foolish to go, she says somehing along he lines of:

"Maybe I didn't come to save my father. Maybe I came to prove I could do something right."

She didn't want to go because deep down she had a death wish; she wanted to save her father and at the same time prove to herself and everyone else that she was not the screw-up she was thought to be.

My opinion in terms of the filmmakers' intentions: The filmmakers did try to westernise(sp?) the movie, so even though she wouldn't have gone in place of her father in real life China, because that's not how Chinese culture back then was, American "kids" movies usually tell us that nothing is more important than love. By the filmmakers intentions, Mulan didn't care about honor or herself being killed; she just cared about saving her father's life. I can see where you got that suicide thing from, but I'm pretty sure she didn't have an urge deep down to kill herself.

I hope this post made sence to you all.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 12:39 am 
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Forget about it Siren, IT'S JUST A CARTOON!!! J/K! :lol: :P


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 12:43 am 
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And cartoons can´t die don´t matter how hard you try.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 1:06 am 
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Wow, I never thought of it that way.
I think you analyzed it...a lot! :p

Interesting points you brought up but I don't think Mulan was (or is) suicidal. I thought she was just trying to find another way of bringing honor to her family while making sure her father would still be alive. (erm, something like that.)

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 2:41 am 
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I don't think that Mulan was going to suicide herself. She just made a problem that she could fix. Remember this is a Disney cartoon no one in the Disney History has suicided themself.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 3:53 am 
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It really depends on whom you're asking, and what version of the story you're reading.

I haven't seen Mulan for several years now (and certainly do not want to see it again, it's far too Westernized for my taste). However, one version of the story does say that when the Emperor finds out Mulan is a woman, he offers her the chance to become a royal concubine. Mulan declines the offer, and commits suicide instead.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 5:38 am 
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Wow that is deep!

But as has been said, I think it was merely the drive to save her family, and moreover it was a stance against society and what she felt was wrong and Mulan doing what she felt was right!

In a way it could be shown as the kind of actions that Emeline Pankhurst showed in the early 20th Century. She wanted votes for women, she thought that society was unjust and wanted fainess and she acted in the way she fely was right.

Like I say I think it was her loyalty to her family and her beliefs that drove her to do what she did.

Now this has been brought up I can see soccer moms up and down the nation adding Mulan to their lists of boycotted Disney films because it encourages suicide! :roll:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 8:53 am 
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Great thoughts and thanks :)
Remember that Westerners idea of suicide is different from Easterners. We think it is a coward's way out. While in Asia, it is honorable. Look at the kamakazie pilots of Pearl Harbor. Any American or English general that told his troops to do this would certainly be expelled from the military. It is honorable to WANT to die for your country in Asia. This is where my thought came from. I'm thinking a little outside of Disney here, but I wondered if Mulan felt she could save her family and die with honor for helping her country. She could have died and they never knew she was a woman. There were no autopsies, often the dead was buried where they fell with all their armor on.

And Disney has suicided before...

Gargoyles the series. When Goliath finds his clan in stone at night, he asks the Magus to cast the spell on him. It's 994 A.D. There is no thought to the present or future that the castle will EVER rise above the clouds. So rather then live an existance in solitude, Goliath asks to have the spell cast on him, and in his mind, there is no way to break it. They will all sleep eternally. So he sacrifices himself to be with his clan in eternal sleep. A form of suicide.


Last edited by Siren on Tue Jun 21, 2005 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:29 am 
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Gee, thanks for making me depressed every time I see the movie. :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 11:15 am 
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It's never a bad idea to look outside the box a little and look into the psychology of a character. It can be fun :) And it started a different and new discussion.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 6:24 pm 
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I always thought "Reflection" was about how she felt different than other girls and wanted to break away from tradition. I don't think she was singing about how she felt worthless. She was singing how her reflection was not who she really was.

Also, the original plot for the movie and her original motivations was for Mulan to run away because she didn't want to get married and become the traditional Chinese bride and wife. Then they changed it so ppl wouldn't hate the character for being too selfish.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 7:46 pm 
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In all truth, the original poem the movie is based on "Mu-lan" starts off with her wanting to save her father.

http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/5082/mulanpoem.html

So for a while they wanted to change her, but yeah, she might sound more selfish. So following the original there was best.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:33 pm 
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there a Japanese survivor of the Titantic? I think I heard about that somewhere, and that many people from Japan were angry with him for not giving his life for someone else's and thereby shaming his country?

This has all been a very interesting take on the Disney version, but I've always felt it was kind of a self-esteem issue. Sure, she's all gung-ho about saving her father for a short time and bringing honor to the family, but I think she was right about wanting to prove herslef more than anything else. Of course, by the end she finds out that she was a worthwhile person all along.

Still, it's an interesting concept, and I wonder how it could be handled a little differently just to cater to that idea.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:46 pm 
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I think moreso than suicide, if we are going to read so much into the plot, Mulan would have felt that she had nothing to lose given the circumstances. The Westernized version of her wants to reverse gender roles and prove herself worthy of honor, while in the traditional sense she realizes that dying in battle might not be such a bad thing, as she hasn't much else going for her.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 3:30 am 
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And cartoons can´t die don´t matter how hard you try.
(Slappy teached me well)


But Bumbi's mom is................. wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh :shock: :( :shock: :(


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:16 am 
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pinkrenata wrote:
I think moreso than suicide, if we are going to read so much into the plot, Mulan would have felt that she had nothing to lose given the circumstances. The Westernized version of her wants to reverse gender roles and prove herself worthy of honor, while in the traditional sense she realizes that dying in battle might not be such a bad thing, as she hasn't much else going for her.


Where in the world did you get this idea?

I've read plenty of books on Mulan as a kid (gotta love Chinese bookstores), and nowhere does it ever say that Mulan had nothing going for her and therefore went into battle for that reason. Many versions of the story say after the war, Mulan returns home and lives a normal life (maybe even going as far as downplaying her role in the military).

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:32 am 
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MAybe it just passed her mind a few seconds.
As we have seen, Honor means a lot to Japanese, and is because of how you lived.IMO, an honorable death is not a suicide or like w se a Harakiri, but is why you die.
I mean, a warrior could be killed and get honor, not for just die on the battle field but because he did his best to defend not just his country, but his army, to his parners and his way of thinking.
When someone comitted suicide or Harakiri, he thought deeply, he realized the error of his actions, he discoered how he did wrong and why, he realized then that he wasn´t able to defend his ideas or to restrain some actions, he then know he was weak,he wasn´t worthy and his only exit was to offer his life in exchange of being forgived,. To sacrifice the most loved thing on the warrior´s mind just to redem himself, so it wasn´t a coard exit, but a selfsacrifice but not to defend something but to be forgived


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