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Mulan Archetypes

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by

Cale Hattori-Caspi

on 5 March 2015

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Transcript of Mulan Archetypes

Character Archetypes

Mentor
Li Shang
Herald
Chi-Fu
Threshold Guardian

Pole
The Shadow
Shan Yu
Mulan/Ping
The Initiates
The Chinese army
Loyal Retainers
Yao, Ling and Chien-Po
Friendly Beast
Mushu
The Damsel in Distress
The Emperor of China
Symbolic Archetypes
Hero
Mulan's Hair Piece
Shan Yu's sword and eyes
Cricket and Mushu
Bridge
Fireworks
Cherry blossom tree
Avalanche
Pole
Situation Archetypes
The call to adventure
Magical/ Technological Aid
The Crossing of the First Threshold
Belly of the Whale
Road of Trials
Meeting the Goddess
Woman as Temptress
The Ultimate Boon
Refusal of the Return
Conclusion
The tale of Mulan is based on a story from ancient China. This shows that long before archetype theory existed stories were following the basics of archetype theory. This helps to understand what each characters purpose was in the film and why each event happened. The meaning of the film Mulan is to defy odds and this is most certainly supported by multiple different archetypes. One way this is supported is the symbolism of the pole. Her climbing it first showed that although she had less muscle mass, she was smarter than the rest of her competition. Another way this is supported is by showing her loyal retainers. none of them offers too much on their own but together with the help of Mulan's smartness they became more than just side characters. Mulan is also represented by the lotus flower, which is quite delicate. upon knowing the true meaning of the lotus it is now perfectly clear why it was chosen to be her symbol.


In conclusion, better understanding the archetypes used have helped me understand the true meaning of the film.
SYNOPSIS:
Mulan is a girl, the only child of her honored family. When the Huns invade China, one man from every family is called to arms. Mulan's father, who has an old wound and cannot walk properly, must fight for his country as the only man of the house, though it is clear that he will not survive an enemy encounter. Mulan, who just got rejected by the matchmaker and will seemingly never find a husband, decides to prove that she is worth something more and steals away to fight in her father's place in the Chinese army. Mulan poses as a young man named "Ping" and fools the other members of her troop.

Weeks later, Mulan and the other troopers have survived the training camp and are on the way north to stop the huns. After being spotted and pursued by the enemies, an impass situation in the mountains with the huns looks to be the end for the troop. Mulan quickly comes up with a smart plan, and defeats the huns while saving the lives of not only her General, Li Shang, but her entire troop. Soon after, though, her real gender is revealed and she is exiled. Nonetheless, she still makes her way to the Emporer's palace to warn them of the huns' survival, and saves China
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