The Ballad of Mulan (Ode of Mulan) is as a primary source document and mainly describes the protagonist Mulan. She disguises herself into a man to join the army instead of her father, which defeats the enemies and accomplishes the mission successfully. Mulan returns home in triumph and requests that she is allowed to be back hometown in order to care parents from the emperor. Her heroic deeds have been widespread, and also her story is a solemn heroic epic which is known as The Ballad of Mulan (Ode of Mulan). Mulan is one of the heroine in ancient Chinese legend, and she is a model of filial piety and righteous in China. Therefore, according to the The Ballad of Mulan, the essay will pay attention to explain a range of critical evaluations for the source.
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First of all, there are numerous background information and contents which are showed in this poem. The Flowering Plum and the Palace Lady observe, “this poem was composed in the fifth or sixth century CE” (The Flowering and the Palace Lady) and produced in Northern Wei dynasty. Because Wars happened many times between the Northern Wei and Rouran, and the site of battle was from “Black Mountain” and “Mount Yen” in this poem. In addition, the Son of Heaven goes by the name of “Khan” in the poem, which was the title of ruler in north (The Flowering and the Palace Lady). Unfortunately, the original work is created by an anonymous poet.
There is no one knows who made it, but it was classified in the Music Bureau Collection by Guo Maoqian during the 11th or 12th century (North-Song Dynasty). Also, the Ballad of Mulan is a long narrative folk song of north on Southern and Northern dynasty in China, and also is a Yuefu poem. The whole poem conceives the Mulan’s legendary with romantic scenes. Although it is a war theme, it pays attention to scenes of life and people’s emotions. This poem produces in folk, and it basically retained the characteristics of folk, which is easy to understand and remember in the long course of the evolution.
In addition, Mulan’s story goes deep into people’s heart, and it attracts more and more attentions from various intended audiences. The Ballad of Mulan is a compulsory text for Chinese students to learn. The first paragraph in this poem shows that Mulan decided to join the army in her father’s place, which is an unexceptionable model in education because students could learn a patriot’s faith to the motherland and a child’s filial piety to the family. When the country is invaded, people should have the responsibility to contribute a strength to defend motherland.
Moreover, children and adolescences are main intended audiences because the traditional Chinese poems have been published in various versions of children books, and Disney has made it as an animated film in recent years. At the same time, its contents and behaviors also build a joyful and happy atmosphere for children. For example, the last paragraph describes that the whole family greets Mulan, and using lively phrases to express family’s excited mood, such as leaning on each other, fixes her rouge, whets the knife. Therefore, the different perspectives of The Ballad of Mulan which also affect and drive different intended audiences.
What is more, the Ballad of Mulan not only creates a lively tale, but also conveys author’s point of view. Due to The Ballad of Mulan produces in Northern Wei dynasty, and also explains that its creation might be influenced from background and culture at that time. The poem shows that the nominees in army lists have to join the battle. As the only elder child at home, Mulan chooses to join the army instead of her father when she faces her elderly father and the motherland summons.
Though the author utilizes images of the girl to praises filial piety and faith, in fact he/she is to inspire many Chinese women to defy traditional gender roles. That means women could defend the country, as well as able to be untiring and brave in fighting. However, the figure in Mulan might exist some misrepresentations or exaggerations. For example, Mulan in wars with her comrades for decades of years, the comrades do not even know that she is a girl. Due to joining the army in ancient time, people are asked to check strictly from domicile and progeny. Also the fighting environment is extraordinarily hash. Based on this, it is obviously that the statement is not established for Mulan’ joining the army and taking part in war.
In conclusion, Although The Ballad of Mulan describes about the war theme, most of contents focus on scenes of life and people’s emotions. The author portrays intense the psychology of the characters and vivid the plot development by parallelism and parallel sentences. Parallelism are employed so much so that it makes the language elaborate, the rhyme and rhythm harmonious, tones convincing, and touching and moving in emotions.
Also, for thousands of years, Mulan has always been a respected heroine in China. Her behaviors reflect modern women’s independent spirit and the female consciousness. Finally, the image of Mulan keeps in people’s mind and gain in popularity in this world. The Ballad of Mulan stimulates people’s responsibility and filial piety for the country and family. It is significant that women can gain happiness and realize self-value, as long as they are brave enough to pursue love and challenge the destinies.