Can Greatness Be Taught?: Mulan Case Study

Disney's Mulan screencap

Disney’s Mulan screencap

Having a good teacher is only half the battle. I think that Disney’s Mulan exemplifies this concept. Teachers can teach, teach, teach, but it all depends on the student.

A great teacher can only benefit those who are willing to learn.

You need to just looked at the video to see the progression Mulan takes as she tries to learn to be a soldier. She is being taught the same thing as all the men, but it is not until her teacher gives up on her and tells her to head home that she succeeds.

Was it reverse psychology? Maybe her rebellious teenager side reared it’s head.

I think it was because Mulan decided to do it for herself. She did it, not because her teacher told her to do it, but because she wanted to prove something to herself.

During the movie Mulan is constantly trying to please others. This causes her to focus all on the wrong aspect of learning. To achieve greatness, especially when you are a clumsy teenage girl, you have to look within and reassess your priorities.

Disney Mulan's screencap

Disney Mulan’s screencap

Once Mulan stops being dragged down by obligations and expectations, she really starts to come into her own person. She surpasses all the other trainees. And when it matters, when it means her life, when it means the safety of China, she shines.

I do not think that “greatness” can be taught.

How would it be taught, if it could be?

It all depends on the person.

For the Daily Prompt “Greatness”

Also, check out my “Honor To Us All: Mulan in 100 Words” on Bubblews for a slightly humorous take on the movie.