Hero’s Journey “Mulan”

Stage 1: Departure

Step1. The Call to Adventure

This paragraph will consist of the call for Fa Zhou which soon after becomes Mulan’s call. Mulan is only in the stage of adolescent. She goes to the matchmaker to see who she is going to marry, she messes up and end up setting the woman’s dress on fire the woman sends her away immediately. She young and has a lack of maturity. Mulan is therefore displaying the stage of adolescence. I see several things coming for Mulan at this point. I see her taking the place of her father, I also see her returning to the matchmaker in the future unless she finds someone new. There is one thing that could cause Mulan to leave home and that is her replacing her father in the war against The Huns. Mulan would not leave home for just anything. Her father is hurt so she does not want him to go to war. When the call comes Mulan and her father Fa Zhou are having a conversation with her father in their back yard. All of the sudden a messenger of the emperor came and called the names of the families living there and said one man from each family must be in the war. Fa Zhou accepted the call even though he was injured. The call was dreaded because of her father’s injury.

Stage 1: Departure

Step 2. Refusal of the Call

This paragraph will consist of whether or not the hero refuses the call. The call is originally for Fa Zhou, but Mulan replaces him. Mulan does not think her father should answer to the call. She is the only one who speaks up out of her family, Mulan, Fa Zhou, Mulan’s mom Fa Li, and Mulan’s grandmother Grandma Fa, her dad tells her to be quiet. She decides she has to do something. Mulan is not ready for adult status. Nothing has prepared her for this status. She has not reached the full level of maturity.

As Fa Zhou is asleep Mulan takes the conscription notice, her father’s armor and weapon along with the horse. She leaves technically she is running away because no one knows she has left. They hear a noise and awaken only to find that she is gone. Her mother wants to go get her, but her father stops her because if they find that Mulan is a girl then she will be killed.

Stage 1: Departure

Step 3. Supernatural Aid

This stage is about people who are there to help Mulan along and throughout the journey. Mulan has two special friends or helpers. They are a cricket and Mushu. The cricket was a good luck charm given to her by her grandmother before visiting the matchmaker. Mushu is a small dragon that was sent by the ancestors. The hero does not receive any advice or talisman. The only help she has are the cricket and Mushu. She cannot receive any advice, talisman, or help her prepare because no one knows she is gone. The only people that know are the ancestors that are on a wall they prey to and they can be summoned, but they cannot get to her before she leaves. The helpers will be with her throughout the journey. They will make sure that she does well in the war. They teach her to be a “man”.

Mushu is someone who was a guide. He made a mistake and did not protect someone because the person was killed. Mushu was supposed to wake a powerful, big, and wise dragon, but he broke the statue the dragon was in. Mushu had to go in his place. Mushu was supposed to bring Mulan back but was determined to prove to the head ancestor that he was still a worthy guide.

Stage1: Departure

Step 4. The Crossing of the First Threshold

This stage will be about the threshold Mulan is going to cross and the worlds being left and entered. The known world and the normal world are being left. The unknown and abnormal world is being entered. The world being left is the world she is accustomed to and knows. The world being entered she will know nothing about. Mulan is guarding the threshold. She is guarding it because it is within. No one else can get to or change it but her. The threshold is her being a woman or girl and having to change into a man or mature boy. This is the threshold because it is the point where the person actually crosses into the field of adventure. It is hard at first but she accomplishes. To truly begin the journey Mulan must overcome limits of personality and physical limits. Mulan is not physically fit to be in a war. She has to overcome personality because she cannot be the same person she has to be somebody else. There is one main event that causes Mulan to cross the threshold. The event is the call to adventure and her father was too crippled. If it were not for him being hurt of called to adventure Mulan would not be leaving.

Stage 1: Departure

Step 5. The Belly of the Whale

This paragraph will be about the final separation from the hero’s known world and self. Mulan is not ready to transform from a girl to a boy. She enters the belly of the whale willingly She is just doing it for her father. She cannot act like a boy or man in the beginning of the war training. She is leaving the self of immature adolescence, she is moving toward mature boy which will soon become mature young woman. She is leaving behind the immature self because she has to grow and develop into someone who is mature. To achieve her goal which is to make her family proud she has to do this. When she is training and doing badly at first and then she catches on also when she becomes more like a boy and pulls it off. This symbolizes it because it symbolizes change. That is what the belly of the whale is all about.

Stage 2: Initiation

Step 1. The Road of Trials

This step is about what trials Mulan go through. Trials that make sense to her are becoming a young man, being trained for war, and fighting. Since Mulan has no experience doing any of these it will be hard. Mulan will work hard. Mulan fears that they will find out that she is a girl, it is represented to her when Mushu tells her that if they were to find out she will be killed. She wants to make her dad proud she cannot do this if she dies. No one wants to die. Mulan considers developing the qualities and skills needed to do well in the war with The Huns. This will be a big obstacle because The Huns are powerful. It will take a lot for her to develop or learn these qualities. Mulan’s personality that will be mirrored back to her is belief in herself. Mulan believes that she can do this. That is the only thing she needs to accomplish her goal other than dedication. Mulan must develop several skills. She has to be able to climb a pole with heavy carrying heavy pendants to retrieve and arrow, break buckets with a stick, shoot several arrows through fruit, with a bucket of water on your head block several rocks thrown at you with a long skinny stick, catch fish using only your hands, dodge bullets, arm and fire weapons, and carry heavy materials up a hill. These tasks are hard. It will take a lot for Mulan to accomplish this but she will. Mushu assists her. He helps her cheat on a few tasks. He is caught by the Captain or Shang.

Stage 2: Initiation

Step 2.The Meeting with the Goddess

This step is about the point in the adventure when Mulan experiences a love. In Mulan’s case this step is about Shang and her developing feelings for him. When she couldn’t complete the tasks he was unhappy with her. After she completed them he was happy for her. At first she does not consider him as a soul mate but as time goes on she does, she does not experience a non-gendered love. When she first starts to like him it is only a crush. It soon develops into something deeper. Mulan identifies The Huns as the destructive part of the universe. This is because he is a bad person. He was destroying China. Mulan does begin to understand and experience being a male. This is because of her going to the war. When she acts like a male she has the chance to know what it would be like to be one.

Stage 2: Initiation

Step 3. Woman as the Temptress

This step is about Mulan being tempted by someone of something. Shang is Mulan’s temptress. She sometimes accidentally talks like a girl because of her feelings. Now that she likes him she may be tempted to reveal it to him. Mulan is not on a spiritual journey, at first. When she first starts out it is just something she has to do for her dad. Soon she begins to find herself or the more mature her. There is behavior that may tempt her. When Shang is sad or hurt she wants to be there. This is the point of time when she used her girl voice and immediately had to change it.

Stage 2: Initiation

Step 4. Atonement with the Father

This step is about her being initiated by whatever holds the ultimate power. Mulan has been initiated by Shang, the captain. He was going to send her home. She showed him that she could complete the tasks and stayed. Shang holds the power over the soldiers. Mulan resolves herself by just knowing that she wants to fight for her family and country so she does what she has to do. When you resolve yourself you have made your final decision. Mulan’s decision was to fight. The experience that marks Mulan as ready is the preparation or training for the war. She got some experience on what to expect. She needed this to transform herself. Mulan must sacrifice feminine behavior, intimate relationships, and revealing any body parts. She cannot act like a girl they will find out. She has to keep these things private.

Stage 2: Initiation

Step 5. Apotheosis

This step is about to apotheosize. With Mulan’s background experience heaven would be a place where her family could settle down. Mulan would have grown into a young woman so she would go to heaven and try to make her family proud in other ways. Mulan would live a happy afterlife. Mulan experiences going to war which is beyond good and evil, male and female, and life and death. She is doing something good serving her country. This is something that is important. Mulan does not give herself a chance to glow of doing well in training. She did not have a chance because soon after they were on their way to fight The Huns. She had to focus on the war.

Stage 2: Initiation

Step 6. The Ultimate Boon

This step is about the quest being accomplished. The goal of Mulan’s quest was to make her family proud in the war and to help China win. The ultimate boon for Mulan is when they win the war. This is important because she gets done what she wants done. There was a stated goal of the quest. The goal did not change but something was added which was to impress Shang. At first they thought they killed The Huns but they did not so they had to fight the leader of them again. She received two rewards. One was the crest of the emperor. The other was the sword Shang Yu. Mulan now has a closer relationship with the ancestors. The ancestors helped her a lot. They were like the gods of the movie.

Stage 3: Return

Step 1. Refusal of the Return

This step is whether or not Mulan refuses to return. This does not apply to Mulan because she did not refuse to return. Mulan got injured and they found out she was a girl. Shang kicked her out so she was no longer a soldier. She had to stay out in the cold and fend for herself for a bit, but she made it home.

Stage 3: The Return

Step 2. The Magic Flight

This step is about obstacles returning to normal life. Mulan only had to overcome one obstacle. This obstacle was returning home with nothing to prove what she did. She was sad. One obstacle that would be especially difficult is not saving China from The Huns. Even though she did it would be a difficult thing to deal with. The emperor would die and The Huns would overtake China. This obstacle will not further enlighten us. The reason is because this obstacle did not happen. Mulan prevented it from happening.

Stage 3: The Return

Step 3. Rescue From Without

Mulan is not rescued from the journey. She helps Shang and keeps him from dying. He almost caught her but she escaped. He chased her. He did not catch her. The assistant that helped her was Mushu. Mushu talked to some people and got Mulan a rocket. On Mulan’s cue Mushu released the rocket and it was a direct hit on the leader of The Huns.

Stage 3: The Return

Step 4. The Crossing of the Return Threshold

This stage is about things returning back to normal. Mulan going home to her dad marks the return to her normal life. Mulan is back at home like she used to be. In her normal life she was with her family. Mulan does not face a challenge because she does not integrate the experience with her life. The only thing she takes from it is what she became. She became a young woman, no longer an adolescent. She does not talk about the war. She only gives the father the two rewards. Her father was proud. When Mulan returns everyone is happy. Mushu returns as a guide again. Her family embraces and loves her.

Stage 3: The Return

Step 5. Master of the Two Worlds

This step is about the two worlds in Mulan’s life. The two worlds are the war and normal life. The war is to become a past world since it is over and won. Her normal life becomes the main world just like things used to be. She does not demonstrate either of the two. She only shows them that she has changed. She left someone else and changed for the better.

Stage 3: The Return

Step 6. Freedom to Live

This step is about her getting the freedom to live. She is a changed person. She now lives in the future and not in the past. She left an adolescent and returned a courageous young woman.

Epic: This movie could be called an epic because Mulan is a true hero.