“Fa Mulan” vs. Mulan

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a woman warrior. Read the short story “Fa Mulan” and watch the movie Mulan to experience a young girl’s journey to become a woman warrior. In the short story there is a better explanation of the training that Mulan, a young girl, had to go through, in order to become a woman warrior. In the movie the storyline sets right into Mulan becoming a woman warrior and it does not describe the training as much as the short story. There are many more differences than similarities between the short story and the movie. Although the movie Mulan by Walt Disney Co. is based on the short story “Fa Mulan” by Maxine Hong Kingston, the two stories are very different.

There are many differences in the two stories; however there are not as many similarities. The strongest similarity is that in both stories Mulan is a woman warrior. In addition, Mulan is Asian in both stories and she lives with her parents in the beginning of her life. It was illegal to be a woman warrior, but the character of Mulan dressed as a man in both stories. Mulan prays to her ancestors in both stories, and Fa Mulan and Mulan have something for good luck. In “Fa Mulan” her good luck charm is her jade necklace, but in Mulan it is her cricket. In both stories, the young girl has to learn martial arts when training to become a woman warrior. There are other similarities, such as in the end Mulan goes home, but Fa Mulan sends money to her parents, and in both stories the girl is a hero. The similarities between the story help to keep the storyline interesting and action packed.

There are many more differences in the two stories, even though the movie is based off of the short story. The short story has a lot more detail, especially in the beginning of Mulan’s life. The strongest difference is that in the beginning of the short story Fa Mulan is only about six or seven years old, but in the movie Mulan is about sixteen years old. Fa Mulan goes to live with two elderly people who train her to become a warrior. In the short story Mulan’s family pushed her to become a warrior, but in the movie Mulan chose to become a warrior by herself. In the short story no one finds out that Mulan is a woman, but in the movie Fa Mulan is found out to be a man. A big difference between the stories is the ending. In the ending of the movie Mulan returns home because she just wants to live there with her family, but in the ending of the short story Mulan sends her parents money, and she goes back to live with her son and her husband’s parents. The differences, such as the amount of action and suspense, in the movie make the story very intriguing.


The two stories, “Fa Mulan” and Mulan, are very different. Adding details to the movie made it have a more interesting main character, storyline, and impact. The short story has a lot more detail than the movie, but the movie captures people’s attention more. The short story has a lot more detail on Mulan’s early life, but in the movie the storyline jumps right to the main point of the story, which is Mulan as a female warrior. The movie is interesting because it gives the viewer a chance to actually see Mulan, and where she lives. The movie helps viewers not only see what is happening, but it helps them to understand what is happening. Both stories have different details which are important to the story, but the movie is more interesting because the movie does not have as much detail about the training. The movie has a better story to it because of the suspense that is created and the visual of the movie helps to create the setting. Even though the movie is based off of the short story, there are many more differences than similarities.





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