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The Biography of Rudyard Kipling and His Works

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Rudyard Kipling is one of the best known English writer of his time. He was born in India 1865, but when the first five years of his life was gone, the family moved to England. Kipling was an English writer, journalist and poet. Kipling then died on the 18th of January 1936. In 1907 did Kipling accept the Nobel prize for literature. Kipling is known for his book “The Jungle book”, “The white man’s burden” and “If”.

The white man’s burden

Kipling wrote the poem “The White man’s burden” in 1899. At this time Britain was a big colonial power, with colonies all over the whole world. In 1899 were there a massive difference between white and black people. Britain saw their colonizing as a favor to the countries they colonized. Often were the countries they colonized poor and not as developed as England, so the English people came and civilized them. The colonies helped the less fortunate witch ex: technology and political system. Britain saw the colonized people (Philippines in this context) as less intelligent. The colonies then got their English culture and language.

The English colonies came and changed the different countries, to their own. They saw themselves as better than everyone else. The English people saw themselves as to colonize the world. They saw it as if they were doing the countries a favor. The first thing we see in the poem is “the white man”, which is a symbol of the western colonial power. At the time the poem was published the phrase “White man” was used on men who were considered to be good or pure. The poem takes place in 1899, but there isn’t a physical place.

The poem is written to the white society. It’s an attempt to make the white people help the colonized colored people. The colored people in the poem are described as half devils half children. The colored people aren’t happy when they found out that they have been treated like slaves by the white men. Kipling has always been a declared imperialist and believed empires could have a positive influence on the colonized people. I

n the poem we see a different perspective on, whether the colonization was a good deed or not. Kipling describes it as the white man´s burden to colonize and “help” these countries. Therefore, a good deed and a favor to the uncivilized countries. Therefor It looks like “The white man’s burden” is praising imperialism. In Kipling’s eyes, imperialism wasn’t just a way for countries to get power. It was also a way to help less fortunate people around the world.


The story “Lispeth” is about a girl from a Himalayan village during the rule of the British empire. The girl was born in a small Himalayan village. Her parent wanted to convert to the Christian faith because of a bad harvest. The daughter got baptized too. Later on her parents died, so there came a couple to raise her. The girl then got raised by a Chaplain and his wife.

Later in her life, she falls in love with a British man, but the man doesn’t love her back. But he plays along at the request from the Chaplain’s wife. The girl gets promised a wedding with the British man, but he leaves and never returns. Later on the girl finds out that there was never going to be a wedding. The girl then abandons the Christian faith and returns to her native people. Her native people believes that everything depends on the gods. In the story the people lost their religion and then changed to Christians. We can then draw between the story and the time it’s written in, since that people in the Victorian age began to think to believe in science and Darwin. Kipling makes several points about the issues in the Victorian age.

One of the issues Kipling tells us is the difference between race or people thinking that they are superior based on race. The chaplain´s wife is an excellent example. She has a clear set of opinions and believes herself to be a proper Christian. But she is also afraid of anything that is foreign. She believes that her status is higher than the common Pahari. I believe that Kipling did this to show how the hierarchal society was in the Victorian age. Lispeth is so beautiful that she doesn’t appear to be from her native people. The chaplain’s wife can’t take decisive action since that Lispeth doesn’t look like her native people. The chaplain’s wife couldn’t confront Lispeth openly, because that she looked like a beautiful English girl and not like her native people.

This was how the upper class would look at someone that looked different. Kipling turns the situation by making the main character of a different race beautiful. The way that the chaplain’s wife is insulting Lispeth through the whole story is in reality just insults by someone who is unable to deal with something different. To the chaplain’s wife it’s all about to make people feel bad about themselves. This mentality will cause humans deceive and hurt one another.She only does it to prove herself superior.

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