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Paper Topic:

Kipling`s views on race


Rudyard Kipling ( 1865-1936 ) was born in India in the city of Bombay the city which he remembers in his verse as

Mother of cities to me

For I was born in her gate

Between the palms the sea

Where the world-end steamers wait

Henry James describes Kipling as ,The most complete man of genius and no doubt Kipling was the most popular writer of prose and verse of his time In the year 1907 Kipling became the first writer in English language to get a

Nobel Prize , the first and the youngest

Since he was a prolific writer he wrote on all aspects of life around him . Enumerating his great poetic assets the Nobel Prize citation justly said , In consideration of the power of observation , originality of imagination , virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration Such a person , however justified in his s , is most likely to be branded a pro-system man , a champion of whatever virtues or vices that particular system represents . This is how Kipling came to be branded as the leading literary exponent of the Empire and virtues of colonialism No doubt a few of his works , if viewed in isolation , support this view :-

Take up the white man 's burden

Send forth the best ye breed

Go bind your sons to exile

To serve your captive 's need

The lines above have been quoted from the poem `The White Man 's Burden the poem branded by Kipling 's critics as the most racist of them all But the truth lies elsewhere . In the powerful and mighty social and cultural revolt that occurred in the post war days , increasingly branded Kipling as a racist . But all such views and charges have undergone a thorough revision in recent years . Kiplng has been absolved of the charge because a new understanding has developed that says , He kipling ) lived in a sort of closed society and although he tried to break out of it , there was not enough sort of fluid contact as it is today . Moreover his poem `IF , regularly voted as nation 's favorite , is regarded as an `espousal of traditional stoic of The British character values rather than an anthem in praise of imperialism

Therefore even if Kipling was a racist , he was a racist only in terms of his time ' Kipling was a great writer like Shakespeare and Dickens- a prolific , profound , far-reaching creature of his time ' says Farruk Dhondy and to label him a racist is extremely simplisti nonsense...

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