Take a 10 minutes test to understand your learning levels and get personalised training plan!

Download now on Google Play


Women played an essential role in Chinese history. From the Warring States period to the Qin Dynasty, they played important roles in both the production of crops and the military. They were even active in the military for many wars. To improve their position, a lot of reforms have been made, including the emancipation of women, such as during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The first time women were allowed to join in the war was on the battlefield during the Qin Dynasty when they made up around 10% of the population, which meant they outnumbered males by over 2 to 1! This was also the start of gender equality, as women were granted the same rights as men.
The lesson, "The Story of Mulan," is set in ancient China during a time when wars were common The lesson revolves around a legendary plot centred on women's role in wars and highlights women's bravery.
A long time ago, in China, there was a war that required additional soldiers and those already available in the Chinese army. As a result, the Chinese emperor demanded that one member of each family join the Chinese army. This is the story's background; now, let's see what happened.
The emperor's order was carried throughout China, and Mulan, a young girl from a faraway village, happened to hear it while washing clothes outside. She was so excited when she heard the announcement that she ran into the house to tell her father, who was sitting in a chair carving a piece of wood. Mulan inquired anxiously about her father's reaction to the announcement.
Mulan's father was an older gentleman, and it was clear that he would not be able to fight in the battle. Nonetheless, he wanted to participate in the fight since it meant following the king's orders. He told Mulan that he had received the announcement and needed to pack his belongings to join the fight. He then put down his carving work, rose, and proceeded slowly into the room to pack up his belongings. Mulan, on the other hand, stopped him for a reason. Mulan's father was also unable to walk normally due to his age and illness.

Mulan's father was old, and he also had health issues that concerned his daughter. She reasoned that, he couldn't work with young people at his age. As a result, she did not want him to join the army. But, according to her father, Mulan's brother was a young child who could not be sent to the battlefield to fight, so he was the only one left. Mulan's father decided to join the army since the emperor's announcement demanded one man from each family.

Mulan's father's opinions were similar or common among Chinese people at those times, as women were not allowed or expected to serve in armies. Furthermore, though it is not stated explicitly, the order only required men to join the army and did not include women.
As a result, Mulan's father was more concerned with himself and his son than with his daughter joining the army.
Mulan agreed with her father's argument that her younger brother was a small child who could not be sent to a battleground. Nonetheless, she was concerned about her father's age and illness. As a result, she devised a plan. She handed her father a cup of tea and told him she'd be back in a moment. Mulan's father had no idea what her daughter was planning and decided to let her do it.

Mulan entered her room and closed the door behind her. Her long, black hair was chopped off with her sword. After that, she wore her father's outfit. What a fantastic idea! Mulan looked like a man in her father's robe and her haircut. In general, every woman considers her hair one of the most important aspects of her look and charm. Mulan's sacrifice (chopping her hair) demonstrated her determination and dedication.
Mulan then told her father that she was his son and that she could therefore join the Chinese army on his behalf with her disguised appearance. As a dutiful Chinese citizen and a member of her family, she wants to perform her duty. She was determined to do her part to help China.
Mulan tried but failed to convince her father, as he refused to let her join the army. So, she attempted to reassure him that she would not be harmed due to her decision because she had been trained in Kung Fu for years by her father. Mulan's father also taught her how to use a sword. As a result, she had no reservations about joining the army on his behalf. She swung the sword back and forth fiercely in front of her father to demonstrate her sword fighting prowess. On the other hand, Mulan's father said that he trained her in Kung Fu and sword fighting to keep her safe and that he had never intended for her to use them in a battle.
Mulan's father had a reason for not allowing her to join the army. He was concerned about her joining the army because old China did not have a custom of permitting women to serve in the army. As a result, he was afraid that if they discovered Mulan was a woman, she would be killed. 
The father's worry was understandable. Women in China did not participate in wars back then. Furthermore, not all males may be willing to work with a woman in ancient days.
Mulan, on the other hand, was not willing to listen to any of her father's advice. She was filled with enthusiasm, dedication, and responsibility. She mentally prepared herself to fight for her country on behalf of her father.
Mulan made the decision to begin her journey. She drew her sword and attempted to begin her journey. Mulan's father tried to get out of his chair to stop her, but because of his age, he was unable to do so. Mulan greeted his father goodbye and kissed him on the cheek, saying, "I love you, Father," and "Take care of yourself."

Mulan's decision, despite her bravery, demonstrates her patriotism for her homeland. Also, it demonstrates her filial duty and affection. She mounted their family horse after asking her father to convey her farewell to her little brother. She then embarked on a journey to join the Chinese army.
Mulan's skills were revealed in her army service, where she proved to be a valiant soldier. Her abilities were evident in all of her achievements, and she was soon given charge of additional soldiers. She was granted extra forces to lead because she effectively battled against her opponents on the battlefield and won her fights. Her battles were still going well. After just a few years on the job, Mulan was promoted to General of the entire army. She had a successful life and did an excellent job leading her team. Her army life went along without a hitch.
A terrible fever quickly swept across the army. Many soldiers were ill as a result of this, and they had a fever. Mulan was not spared either. She, too, caught the fever and became ill.
Unfortunately, Mulan had no idea that her sickness would lead to a problem with her identification.
Mulan's identity became known to the doctor who treated her. Her true identity was quickly spread among the soldiers. The soldiers were stunned, and some shouted, "The General is a woman?" Others claimed Mulan had deceived them and that they were unwilling to work under a woman. Some soldiers yelled, "Mulan should be punished by being put to death."

However, Mulan's admirers (supporters) in the army endorsed her since they knew that her skills and dedication had helped them win battles. So, Mulan's supporters resolved to protect her from the angry mob and not allow any offenders to get near her since they were grateful to Mulan for helping them win the battle.
During the debate between Mulan's supporters and opponents, a soldier approached them and alerted them of an impending enemy attack on their regiment. Mulan dressed in her regular clothes and walked outside to command her troop after hearing the enemy's arrival announcement, despite her illness. She was physically and mentally frail. Despite the fact that she was weak as a result of her sickness, she kept her spirits up. She led her entire team of warriors, regardless of who supported or opposed her. She informed them where to hide so they could attack while the enemy were approaching their regiment. She informed them that the enemy unit was approaching by and that they needed to defend themselves.
Even the soldiers who despised Mulan because she was a woman recognised the significance of her advice and followed it. They knew Mulan would always steer them in the right direction.
Mulan's army of men followed her orders, and they won the battle as usual. The Chinese army had won a huge victory this time, and as a result, the enemy had finally surrendered.
The war was over, and China had been saved! After that last battle, it's evident that no one would care if Mulan was a woman. Even the soldiers who had spoken out against Mulan earlier in the fight never said anything negative about her after the war ended. Mulan had brought a long-running war to an end, and the Emperor was so relieved that he disregarded the law prohibiting women from serving in the army. He then invited Mulan to stay in his palace as his royal adviser, since he thought a smart person like Mulan would be the ideal person for the job.
Mulan bowed deeply to show her respect and loyalty; thanked the emperor for his kindness after listening to him. She then expressed her desire to return her home to the king.
Mulan's appeal brings out the following characteristics
  • Her love for her family is obvious.
  • Her unconcern for power, position, or money is an example of her superior character.
  • Her preference for family above career.
Mulan's request was accepted by the emperor, who lavished her with presents in order to convey the emperor's approval of Mulan to her family and villagers.
Mulan eventually came home, having successfully won the battle with six splendid horses and six magnificent swords. Everyone was ecstatic to see her and comforted by the fact that their village girl Mulan had saved China.