Posting Old Works – University’s Stuffs Part 8

So, from this part 8 until part 10, I’m going to post my papers from Contemporary Literature Class. We talked about approaches (if I’m not mistaken) and of course, two contemporary books : Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. This one though, will not be about those two books. This post is for the paper that I made about Mulan using the New Historicism approach. I made this with two other friends, whose names are inside this post as well. Gogogo!


Eugenia Lupita – 11410023

Astari – 11410024

Jeklien Koraag – 11410029

New Historicism

Mulan (The Ballad of Mulan)

The Legend of Hua Mulan

She is a legendary figure from ancient China. She was first described in the Chinese poem titled The Ballad of Mulan. In the poem, Hua Mulan takes her aged father’s place in the army. She fought for 12 years and gained high merit, but she refused any reward and retired to her hometown instead. Unlike in the movie, her identity was never discovered. From this movie, we would like to compare and contrast the value of being a woman back then and now in terms of Appearance, Attitude, Relationship, Occupation, and Intelligence. For these points, we are focusing more on one of the music video from the movie entitled Honor to Us All.

First is in terms of appearance. Back then, women were considered as beautiful and a real women if they have White skin, Tiny waist, and Long hair. This can be seen from the music video where Mulan was preparing to meet her matchmaker. However, the value shifts now. Nowadays, women are considered beautiful if they are fair skinned, slender but not tiny, and have long/short hair.

Second is in terms of attitude. Back then, women were supposed to be passive, didn’t talk too much, could not express her feelings or thoughts, and just did as she was told. But now, these values are almost non-existent in modern women’s life.

Third is about relationship. Relationship here is between the women and their parents and also women to the men. Back then, in Mulan’s era, the relationship revolving women was more of a one-way relationship where the women were seen as the passive receiver. They must obey what their parents told them to do, and they were seen as number two to men. However, now they are becoming equal with men, especially after the feminist movements, and they have more freedom in the relationship. Of course in some countries, especially Asian countries, respect to the elders are still a great value, so there are still a big amount of the old value shown in Mulan in the modern society, but only not as intense as before.

Fourth is about occupation. In Mulan, we can see from the scene where she’s going to meet her matchmaker, what the occupation that the women had at that time is. It was either to marry or be a matchmaker, which still has something to do with marriage. So, the women’s occupation back then had a very close relation to marriage. It could be said that women in that era had no work and they just stayed at home. And of course, they could not work in the government or military setting. Nowadays, it is a normal occurrence to find a working woman, a businesswoman, or a woman with a great career.

Last but not least is about intelligence. In that era, school was not a necessity for women. They weren’t eve allowed to go to school, because there was no need to. There was no need to be smart for women at that time. But now, in the modern era, school is a must for everyone, even woman.



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