Appunti generali su Rudyard Kipling, Appunti di Inglese. Licei linguistico F. Buonarroti
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Eri9898

Appunti generali su Rudyard Kipling, Appunti di Inglese. Licei linguistico F. Buonarroti

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Sintesi della vita e della sua opera "Kim"
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Rudyard Kipling

RUDYARD KIPLING - He was born in 1865 in Bombay (India) cause his father taught arts there - At 6 he moved to England to study there, like all the others Anglo-Indians (British residents in

India) - This change was traumatic cause he had an happy childhood in India and the British school

wherever strict - At 17 he returned to his home country and he worked as a journalist and part-time story writer:

during this period, in England was published in his absence a collection of his short stories that made him a celebrity: “Plain tales from the hills” (1888) → they talked about the relationship between British and Indians by a psychological point of view

- The subjects of his poems were India and the British Empire (of which was the true voice) → colonial narrative on the British imagination

- He celebrated the Empire from an Euro-centred point of view and he talked about patriotism and imperial and military issues

- He propagate the idea that Britons were helping the non-europeans countries (less fortunates and inferior peoples) going to colonise and civilise them

The white’s man Burden” (1899) contains this concept, saying that Britons should be proud to help this countries and even if the British population might be resented of this intrusion in their life, Britons have to keep going on → Civilising mission • In this poem the colonised people are described as “sullen” and “civilised” and at the end “half

devil and half child” → accusations of racism and hypocrisy (also his population in India had been civilised)

• The original title was “The white’s man Burden: the US and the Philippine islands” because America had recently colonised the Philippines (Spanish-American war, Americans won and gained Philippines 1898), so this poem talks about American colonial expansion, not about the British one

• This poem has been read as a plea for that necessary civilisation • It was originally written for the Queen Victoria’s Diamond jubilee (1897, 60th anniversary of her

reign) but was replaced by Recessional → this poem as well talked about the civilising mission and the rightness and necessity of the empire

• Religious connotations: the church was used to convince people that civilise meant spreading the christian faith, so the imposition of British rule was divinely sanctioned

- In 1907 he was the first Briton to win the Nobel Prize for literature - He died in London in 1936 - He has been the first writer to truly tell about British in India and about how was to live there and

have to deal everyday with all things that kept the Empire going on his way - He described the Anglo-Indians as proud of what they were doing and to be British, affirming that

the only thing that made them get on with their life was the awareness to being part of a superior race than the natives, so their sense of national identity → Kipling has been criticised for this because retained offensive and jingoist and his reputation has been damaged

Kim This poem tells about Kimball O’Hara, an orphan of 13yo who’s father died in India. He’s brought up by a local woman so that he speaks well both languages. Everyone likes him and he’s known as “Little friend of all the world”. When he meets a Tibetan holy man who’s searching for sacred rivers, he decides to accompany him. When he found his father’s regiment he’s adopted by them and becomes an agent of the British Secret Service. In this novel, the most famous, Kipling describes very well the country with colourful and passionate descriptions of the races and the customs. He was fascinated by its exuberant nature (beautiful sights, sounds and smells)

Brutal suppression of the Matabele revolt in Rhodesia (1893-94) → also the South Africa politician Cecil Rhodes supported the British imposition → considerable anti-imperialism reactions in Britain → socialists (emerging movement) affirmed that supporting imperialism would distract the working classes from their local real problems → reactions of writers: Joseph Conrad, for example, after his own experience in Africa said that this conquest mission is not that pretty when you really see it by the point of view of the civilised

This colonial expansion needed the support of the British population, so the government started using propaganda to shape people’s mind and opinions towards their mission. - Media (magazines, newspapers) - Popular entertainment (public ceremonies, music halls) → centred on the idea of helping the uncivilised and racially inferior native people of the non- Western world: “Civilise the heathens” Joseph Chamberlain → colonial secretary (from 1895): most influential voice The true conception of Empire” (1897): it simply showed the British intention of a civilising mission, without any reference to commercial and political gain Also children were influenced by this propaganda, using “boy’s magazines” that displayed heroic men who did their possible to help the Empire. Furthermore, this magazines defined the gender roles in the society: - Males: active sex, protection of both home and country - Females: guardians of family life, role of wife or mother to the Empire’s builder man

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