Novel Critical Review, Representation of gender equality


“Mulan Live Action Novelization by Elizabeth Rudnick”

By: IMMawan Toni Rizkina

Ketua Bidang TKK PK IMM FKIP 2021-2022

The novel entitled "Mulan" is a written work written by Elizabeth Rudnick and printed by Disney Press in 2020. This novel is written based on the film of the same title produced by Disney Pictures. Tells about the struggle of a beautiful girl in China who replaces her father to go to war disguised as a man. The heroic action of Mulan's character, who has an impressive ability to play the sword, is able to ignite the spirit that women can be empowered to defend their family and nation. In general, this book conveys the same message as the film, namely about gender equality.

Tells about Mulan a girl who is strong and brave. In her family her only has daughters, namely Mulan and her sister. Mulan's father had always recognized her daughter's extraordinary chi, but Mulan didn't match what a woman was supposed to do in society. Mulan is very difficult to act like a woman should. She has many demands as a woman. But actually he really enjoyed playing with her sword. When the emperor asked for each family to give up one son, the family could only surrender because her father was recruited because there were no sons in the family. When her aging father is recruited to serve in the army again, Mulan takes her father's place disguised as a boy named Hua Jun. Mulan has to keep her big secret that she is a girl and trains with the male soldiers.

This novel is very important for feminist activists to read. This is because many representations of gender equality are presented and this is very rarely found in other written works. The message of feminism conveyed through interactions between characters, written in an easy-to-understand writing style, provides excellent value in this book. This is in accordance with the Symbolic Interactionism Theory. The focus of symbolic interactionism is the impact of meanings and symbols on human action and interaction. Humans study symbols and also meanings in social interactions so that these meanings and symbols give certain meanings to social actions and social interactions. People often use symbols to communicate something about themselves, for example communicating a certain lifestyle (Ritzer, 2013: 292). The main element of this theory is the interaction of symbols. Humans interact with others through the delivery of symbols, then others give meaning to the symbols so that an understanding is created between individuals who carry out these interactions. The symbol discussed in this book is how women have equal opportunities to fight and become leaders. Where when Mulan has the ability to ride and play the sword very well and is able to give encouragement to other soldiers, Mulan is given the trust to lead an army that is mostly male.

Although there are some characters that were removed from the film, overall this book is very good to be read by all people and is very suitable to be read by those of you who like adventure drama books. In addition to the message of feminism, this book also conveys a warm message of nationalism and kinship. Through this book, we will learn about the messages conveyed regarding feminism and gender equality.



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