Mulan is a soldier, but not a warrior. She isn't a soldier because she isn't willing to risk her life. At the same time, it's hard to be a soldier without risking your life; it's not clear how you can be a warrior and not risk your life. And anyway, soldiers aren't supposed to be warriors; they are supposed to obey orders. Yet Mulan discovers that she has a natural inclination to question those orders and disobey them if necessary--a quality that brings out in her both the best and the worst of human nature.