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CHAPTER 1: THE AUTHOR AND THE BOOK
In this chapter the author Rudyard Kipling and the novel are introduced. The plot is briefly described, the main characters introduced as well as the concepts orientalism and imperialism.
1. The author: Rudyard Kipling
Poet, novelist and short story writer Rudyard Kipling was one of the most popular literary figure in England of the late 19th century and early 20th century and his novel Kim, first published in 1901, has become one of his most well-known works. He was born in Bombay, India in 1865 but when he was almost five years old he moved with his family to England, to receive a formal education. Only in 1889 in returned in India working as a journalist for an English newspaper publishing also poems and stories.Although Kipling did not live for a long period of time in India after his childhood and his early adult years, his love of India and interest in the subcontinent and his memories of the India of his childhood figured greatly in his writing. Kipling's major works of fiction include “The Jungle Book”, “Kim”, and many short stories, including "The Man Who Would Be King” and his poems include "Mandalay", "Gunga Din", "The White Man's Burden” and “If”. He is regarded as an innovator in the art of the short story, as his children's books are enduring classics of children's literature.
In 1907, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first English-language writer to receive the prize, and to date he remains its youngest recipient. Among other honors, he was sounded out for the British Poet Laureateship and on several occasions for a knighthood, all of which he declined. Kipling's reputation changed according to the political and social climate of the age because of he sentimentally of his works as well as the themes of imperialism and cultural hegemony.
1.2 The plot
The novel take place at a time contemporary to the book’s publication and is setting in India under the British Empire. The main character is Kim, a boy of Irish descent who is orphaned and grows up independently in the streets of India. Kim, although full-blooded Irish, grows up as a native and acquires the ability of blending into the many ethic and religious groups of the Indian subcontinent. When he meets a Tibetan lama who is searching a sacred river, Kim becomes his follower, starting a journey covering all India. Kim’s travels gave Kipling the opportunity to describe the huge variety of people and cultures that made up India, lauded as magical and visionary but also stereotypical and imperialistic. Kim makes the acquaintance of Colonel Creighton, the colonel of his father army regiment, who decide to train him as a spy and mapmaker for the British army. The adventures of Kim as a spy, the relationship with the lama and the skill of Kipling’s writing have made this adventurous novel a classic of historical English literature.
The novel opens with the introduction of Kim, a thirteen-year-old boy of Irish heritage who has been orphaned in India and taken care by an half-caste woman in the city of Lahore. At the beginning of the novel Kim meets a Buddhist Tibetan lama who has come to India in search of the legendary River of the Arrow to receive the Enlightenment and Kim decide to follow him on his quest as his chela. He occasionally works for Mahbub Ali, a Pashtun horse trader who is one of the native operatives of the British secret service. Kim incidentally learns about parts of the Great Game and is recruited by Mahbub Ali to carry a secret message to the head ofBritish intelligence in Umballa. Kim's trip with the lama along the Grand Trunk Road is the first great adventure in the novel, they meet several characters
all of different customs, languages and religions from all over India, showing the diversity of people of India’s native population.
During the journey Kim comes upon an English army regiment which bears a green flag with a red bull on it. Since he was a young child, Kim had been told that his father had said that a red bull in a green field would be Kim’s salvation. The Kim's father's regimental chaplain identifies Kim by his Masonic certificate, which he carries always around his neck, and he discovers that he is an Irish boy and the son of Kimball O’hara, who had been a member of the same regiment. Seeing that he is a white boy, he is forcely separated from the lama. Kim is sent to the school for Sahibs, or white men. Mahbub Alì and the lama understand Kim should not only learn the ways of his people but also take advantage of the privilege that being a Sahib has to offer. The lama funds Kim's education and throughout his years at school, Kim remains in contact with the holy man he has come to love.
Also Colonel Creighton, the englishman who secretely encountered in Umballa, shows interest in Kim. He wants to train him as a spy for the English army, in what it is called The Great Game, the espionage network across British India to protect the northen border from Russia invasion. Kim learns to master many mind games and to train his powers of quick observation, so at the age of sixteen he is officially initiated into the spy network for his work as a “chain-man”.
After his training, Kim is given a government appointment so he can begin his role in the Great Game. Before this appointment begins however, he rejoins the lama and at the behest of Kim's superior, Hurree Chunder Mookherjee, they make a trip to the Himalayas. Here the espionage and spiritual threads of the story collide, with the lama falling into conflict with Russian intelligence agents. Kimobtains maps, papers, and other important items from the Russians working to undermine British control of the region. Kim, aided by some villagers, helps to rescue the lama. The lama realises that he has gone astray and his search for the "River of the Arrow" should be taking place in the plains, not in the mountains, so
they come back. In the home of the old woman of Kulu, Kim and the lama are nursed back to health after their journey.
At the end, Kim delivers the Russian documents to Hurre and the lama finds his river and achieves Enlightenment. The reader is left to decide whether Kim will follow the prideful road of the Great Game, the spiritual way of Tibetan Buddhism, or a combination of the two. Kim himself has this to say: "I am not a Sahib. I am thy chela."
1.3 The main characters
Kim is the main character of the novel and he is first presented as “a poor white of the poorest”, a thirteen-year-old boy from the lower classes. The importance ofKim evolution from the beginning through the recognition of his identity is the main point of this adventure novel. We meet Kim as a dirty child living in the streets and we leave him as a beautiful white man with a job and a sentimental education. The problem of his evolution is clear since the beginning of the novel, his statue, his nationality and his fluid identity, so the passage from the first image to the final one is not simple as it may seams. His identity and his subordination to the rules of the Empire is not clear and we can not understand it until the end of the novel if he will be a obedient subject of the Empire.
His evolution goes through 5 steps: “the little friend of the world”, “the little friend of the stars”, “Kimball O’Hara” , “Kim” and“Member of E23 or Chela?”.
“The little friend of the world” is the name that is given to Kim in the Lahore bazar thanks the ability he has developed to blend among many different cultures and his knowleadge of customs. Kim is a perfect social chamaleon, he can be anything to anybody. What gives Kim this flexibility of identity is that he doesn’t really belong anywhere, he is the perfect outsider in the British Indian social hierarchy portrayed by Kipling. He also doesn’t have the class status or discipline and he doesn’t totally belong in any of the Indian sub-cultures that he imitates. Kim can
dress as a Hindu holy man or a Muslim or a beggar, but he isn’t really any of those things underneath. Only at the end of the novel, we learn that that the only thing Kim really belong to is the roads, fields and people of India itself: India is “clay of his clay, neither more nor less”. Nevertheless, Kim can join all of the social scenes that he encounters because he can socialize with everyone thanks his charm, his thoughtfulness and his knowleadge of all India’s social customs and religiuos orders. So, Kim is both a perfect outsider and insider of the novel, he stands just far enough outside of all India’s hierarchies to imitate them beautifully, but he also hasenough intimate knowleadge of indian people that he can go up and down India’ social ladders with great ease.
“The friend of the stars” is the name given to him by the lama when they start the journey. He overhear interesting news about the war and then he reports them to other people. Kim wants to surprise people and the lama think that he can predict the future.
“Kimball O’hara” is Kim moment of acknowledgement of his true identity. Kim becomes an object of curiosity: he has not a place in the society and white people can not understand what he really is. “Kimball O’Hara! But then he is a native and I saw Kimball married myself to Anne Scott” . At this point the reader look at the world through Kim’s eyes. In the moment of the contact between his old identity and his new future one, Kim started to think about his identity and what is his real place in the society. “There is a white boy by the barracks waiting under a tree that is not a white boy”, also native people starts to look at him in a different way because he does not even belong to any caste of India.
After his English education Kim evolved, he become a man,” it is no longer a child, but a man, ripend in wisdom, walking as a physician. I did well – when I gave thee up to the armed men on that black night”.
“Chela or spy?” only at the end of the novel Kim finds his identity: “I am Kim. I am Kim. And what is Kim? His soul repeated again and again […] tears trickled down his nose and with an almost audible click he felt the wheels of hisbeing lock up anew on the world without.” There is no a definitive statement but he seems to
have achieved a self-knowledge: he found his adult role in which he can be true to himself, a “mixture”, neither wholly Indian nor wholly British, and in which he can maintain the detachment from everyday life and commitments which united him to the lama. As a secret agent his being a mixture of Indian and British will be an advantage, and he can devote his life to helping to preserve the stability of the British-Indian world he grew up in, which nurtured him like parents. He can remain true to his emotional and spiritual roots, which are mainly native, and does not have to betray them by becoming a Sahib.'I am not a Sahib' he insists in the final chapter. He has accepted and developed the European component of his character as much as he wants to, but he does not have to become a white ruler himself. He has found an adult role in which he is special, abovethe rest, and in which he can work on his own initiative, just as he did as a child on secret missions across the rooftops of Lahore. 'I am Kim' he states at the end, but there is still a question there, 'What is Kim?' There is no answer to that question,but perhaps the important thing is that he has remembered to ask it. Perhaps in his heart the Kim he has finally found is, and always had been, the Kim who remembers to ask that question, even though there is no answer.
In the novel there is a huge variety of characters, native and non-native, of different religions and casts. The most important characters are the lama, Mahbub Alì and Colonel Creighton who play an essential role in Kim’s life.
“Kim… is fully of wonderful fathers, all dedicated men in their different ways, each
representing a different possibility of existence, and the charm of each is the
greater because the boy need not commit himself to onealone.” (Mcclure
Jhon,“Kipling’s Richest Dream”,2002,).
Kim’s upbringing, so unconventional, is the vehicle of his transformation, Kim emerges from childhood as a son of a vast Indian family. The loss of his parents, which cut him off from the imperial community, saves him from the exile and oppression that would have marked his destiny, and catapults him into his
homeland, India. Kim enters this exotic world as a privileged member of the superior race, surrounded by a protective ring of fathers who protect and educate him. They influence Kim’s life and growth and thanks them he grows wiser, freer and confident.
The first character presented is the lama, a spiritual man who inspired and guided Kim during their journey. He will play an important role in Kim’s education because he decides to fund his studies at the English school. The lama teaches him the values of compassion, spirituality, healing and sympathy.
The second key figure is Mahbub Alì, a big and strong man, also involved in the spy network with Kim. At the beginning of the novel there is no particular affection with the protagonist, but slowly he become in a way a father to Kim. He is a practical man and teaches Kim the laws of the road and how to behave in dangerous situations, even if in many ways he is a bad example because he drinks and smokes opium.
The last father figure is Colonel Creighton, the representative man of the colonial system and the British Empire. He is also a cartographer, representing the knowleadge that English were bringing and also acquiring in India. The colonel is a good example of colonizer, he knows the country, the people and he speaks the language. Colonel Creighton plays an important role in Kim’s education because he represents authority.
1.4 Female characters
Kim is mostly a novel about male friendships: between Kim and the lama, Kim and Colonel Creighton and his colleagues. One of the bonds uniting Kim and the lama on their respective quests is that both rejects relationships with women because they are dangerous distractions: “How can a man follow the Way or the Great Game when he is so always pestered by women?”.
Nevertheless, women do play a key role in the novel, but not as objects of romantic or sexual attachment. Women feature as prostitutes or providers, though
some respect is shown for the two principle women characters,: the woman fromof Shamlegh and the old woman from the region ofof KKulu. The old woman fromfrom of Kulu is pretty much the only major female character in this book, which makes us wonder why Kipling can does not seem to imagine an adventure with women taking an active part in it. However, Kim takes place when adventurous quests were mostly supposed to be for boys. The Kulu woman is a tough, feisty lady who enjoys Kim's ridiculous flattery and the lama's learned religious. She reappears several times as a reliable person to take care of the lama while Kim is at school or otherwise not available for questing.
We first meet this elderly woman from the region of Kulu (now spelled Kullu), which lies in the foothills of the Himalayas, while Kim and the lama are traveling south to Benares but before Kim finds his father's regiment. Kim spots just such a woman on the Grand Trunk Road, traveling with guards from her home town in Kulu and men hired by her son-in-law to escort her south for a visit. So once again, Kipling introduces all of these social and cultural details to give us the feeling that the Kulu woman is less of an individual and more of a type of person you might meet on the Grand Trunk Road.
There are two important things about the the woman: first, she has this rare freedom to say what she wants whenever she wants to because she is elderly and wealthy. As a specifically old woman, she does not need to obey the same social rules that keep other, younger, childbearing-aged Indian women hidden from strange men. What makes her interesting both to Kim and to the reader is not only that she is much more frank and straightforward than a lot of the other characters in the novel, but that she is also not European in her manners. The novel is inviting us to laugh a little bit at this rough-spoken old lady, who doesn't obey the rules of politeness for either India or England.
The second thing we want to point out is that the Kulu woman is deeply single-minded. Like Kim with his Great Game and the lama with his River of the Arrow, the Kulu woman only wants to think about one thing:her grandsons. Whenever they meet, the Kulu woman, as a fellow Buddhist, pesters the lama
endlessly for magic charms guaranteeing the health of her grandsons. The woman from Kulu is also an important figure because Kim recognize her as a mother. She heals and restores him at the end of the novel, “she looks upon him as a son” stated the lama.
One of the characteristic of Kim is that although he is deeply charming and knows how to make himself appealing to people, we don't really see him getting involved in any kind of romance over the course of his journey. Kim really keeps his mind on business rather than pleasure. The only exception to this rule is the turquoise-wearing Woman of Shamlegh, who appears just as Kim gets away from the Russian agents with allof their baggage. In fact, the Woman of Shamlegh (her name is Lispeth, but the book almost never calls her that) is exceptional in a lot of ways. She offers both Kim and the lama a place to stay after their run-in with the Russian agents; she keeps the papers Kim stole from the two agents under lock and key until Kim takes them back again; and she finds out the whereabouts of the Babu and the two Europeans for Kim. She is the ruler of her village in the Himalayas, she has husbands and she makes them carrythe lama in a litter out of the village when he gets sick and can't really walk. The Woman of Shamlegh is clearly the boss in her part of the mountains. She is really, truly attracted to Kim. When Kim rejects her offer to come and live with her forever inher village, she is immediately angry. She wants Kim to understand that she is a mature woman with her own history: in fact, she once lived in a Christian settlement and fell in love with an Englishman. This man grew sick and then went away, never to return. The Woman of Shamlegh decided to go back to her own people and give up her Christian faith as a result. But she doesn't want Kim to think that she is desperate or unfamiliar with the world after Kim turns down the pass she makes.
There was never any real chance that Kim was going to give up the Great Game to join the Woman of Shamlegh in her remote village. But he respects that she put herself out there emotionally and he also likes that, "At least she did not treat [him] like a child".
For the most part, Kim's coming-of-age is professional and emotional rather than sexual, but this little sidebar with the Woman of Shamlegh indicates that Kim's relationships with other people—and specifically, his relationships with women— may be about to change now that he has left school and grown up.
1.5 Imperialism and Orientalism
The novel is set in the last decades of the Victorian age, so when India was under the strict control of the English Empire, so in an imperialistic world, a world mostly masculine, dominated by travel, trade and adventure, a world in which there is no question of the division between white and non-white.
Imperialism and Orientalism are essential themes of the novel, important also to understand Kipling point of view and the relationship between Kipling and the Empire.
1.5.1 Kipling and Imperialism
According to Katja Klass (“The Imperial Message in Rudyard Kipling’s Novel Kim”,2010: 3PAGE), Imperialism, as a historical fact, has left quite contradictory traces in the memories of thousands of people. For many of them Empire was the key to glory and wealth that brought Britain many significant benefits and positively changed the economic landscape of the Indian subcontinent as well. Although a huge number of technological, social and cultural innovations, Imperialism had also its many critics for whom Empire was the scandal that produced ethnic violence, religious exclusion, political weakness, civilizational embarrassment, and national extremism. For Rudyard Kipling Empire was a philosophy that assumed the superiority of British civilization and therefore its moral responsibility to bring law and enlightenment to“sullen peoples” of the
world. Kipling is generally recognized as the apostle of Empire and his novel Kim, which appeared at a time historically recognized as “the turning point in Britain’s imperial connections, the start of England’s self-perception as ‘the weary Titan’”, is an excellent example of a pro-imperialist work which celebrates the authority and benevolence of British rule in India. There is plenty of evidence that supports the thesis of Kipling’s pro-imperialist view. For its picaresque dimension, aesthetic, pedagogical, and moral values Kim cannot be reduced to a piece of pro-imperialist propaganda, but the imperial message is one of its central themes. Klass (2010: 4PAGE),
First of all it is important to understand how Kipling arrived at his artistic vision: through immersion in the European cultural background, especially the German view of history and evolution, or through his experience of the problems of empire in India. Kipling did not identify with the Anglo-Indian community even if,though he entertained a lively curiosity about 'native' life. His father, John Lockwood Kipling, was keeper of the Museum of Indian Arts and Crafts at Lahore and took a deep interest in Indian culture. The young Kipling had a restless, inquisitive temperament and on hot nights used to wander about the opium dens, brothels and back streets of Lahore. This brought him intoclose contact with the traditional culture of lower-class life, something which Anglo-Indians rarely took the trouble to explore. In turn, Kipling came to regard them as narrow-minded, prejudiced, arrogant and ignorant, ill-equipped for the work of government which they had to do. This provides perhaps a clue to the nature of Kipling's artistic and imperial visions. He distanced himself from the Anglo-Indian community and took a synoptic view of the empire in India, seeing it as a lonely struggle against the land, the climate and the prejudice both of Indians and Europeans. The imperial ruler must do justice impartially, must be ruler and friend to all the people: in short, he must be the ideal 'sahib'. Klass (2010: PAGE)
Kim was published in 1901. Though an early draft dates from 1892, the novel was heavily revised during the year preceding publication. It was not, like Kipling's earlier short stories, intended for an Anglo-Indian readership, and Kipling's revisions suggest that he found this liberating to his personal feelings
about India, Eastern culture and the ideals which ought to direct empire. Indeed, the novel as it stands can be read as the moral education of a true sahib. According to the Shorter Oxford Dictionary, the Arabic 'sahib' has the meaning 'friend' as well as 'master'. Kim's education consists ultimately of learning to be a master, through participation in empire and 'the Great Game', but also, and crucially, to be 'a friend of all the world'. (Fred Reid/David Washbrook)Klass (2010: PAGE)
The novel opens up with the hero seated upon a great gun, symbolic of British conquest. The symbolism is reinforced by the fact that virtually the only British we see are soldiers. The British are thus shown to hold India by the gun, like so many conquerors before them, and the Mutiny of 1857 is a shadow on the memories of more than one character. By making Kim the orphan son of an Irish soldier, brought up as an Indian on the streets of Lahore and speaking Urdu rather than English as his first language, Kipling is presenting his readers with a hero who is more 'native' than British and who has many reasons to regard the Anglo- Indian world with suspicious resentment. If Kim is to be brought to identify with the empire in India, it must first acquire some legitimating ideology which he can accept. Such an ideology, however, is not provided by the Anglo-Indian community itself. Kipling is “blatantly contemptuous of its his culture, which he portrays as blinkered and morally worthless” (Klass 2010: PAGE). Kim, as an Irish boy, is given qualities of adventurousness and high-spirits which are seen to be lacking in most of the resident British. With one or two notable exceptions - Creighton, Lurgan - the Anglo-Indian establishment is portrayed as callous, prejudiced and, above all, ignorant of Indian society. Anglo-Indian culture is capable of teaching Kim little of value beyond certain technical skills.
The crucial political point in Kim is the need for the imperial sahibs to know their subjects, to experience their way of life (fred reid…)(Klass (2010: PAGE) or references. The ideal sahib must be prepared to venture beyond the safe confines of Anglo-Indian identity and learn by assuming the identity of his native subjects. He must learn their languages, understand their religions and customs but, although knowing, experiencing and moving within native society, the sahib must
never become absorbed into it. He must never forget that he is trained to command, the subject to obey. Kim, as the ideal sahib, then, must realise his potential to be a man 'with two sides to his head'. One side of him must be a ruler, soldier, conqueror, trained to command. The other side must be friend of all the people, 'my people', the people of India. This crisis of identity finds its resolution through the education imbibed from the lama. In the course of their wanderings together, Kim assimilates the social ethic of the lama's Buddhism. He learns to respect all living things and to despise no creed, race or caste. He also learns that the temptations of the world offer but illusory promise of sensual happiness. The only worthy end of action is to gain merit by serving others. Klass (2010: PAGE)
John A. McClure’s also writes in his (2010: PAGER) essayclaims that (“Kipling’s Richest Dream”,2010) “In in Kim […] brotherhood and despotism keep uneasy company.”. His essay is In other words,about the finely crafted portrayal of unity and equality Kipling develops between “native” and “Sahib” conflicts with the unavoidable fact that the British are the governing class, and the Indians are the governed. So Kipling, presents the imperialist presence in India as positive. This is done most effectively through the main plot of the novel—the endeavors of Indian and British spies to protect the northern border of British India from the encroachment of Russia, thus protecting the imperial interests of the British Empire. It is especially significant that Indian spies are shown protecting British interests. In this way, Kipling constructs an India in which the native population supports the British Empire, and in this way, he presents Britain’s imperialist presence as a positive good. As John Palmer (2010: PAGE)wrote in his biography of Kipling (“Rudyard Kipling”,2010) :
”Mr Kipling's Indian stories fall into three groups. There are the tales of Simla, the Anglo-Indian tales, and the tales of native India. There is also Kim, which is more—much more—than a tale of India.”
188.8.131.52 The Great Mutiny and The Great Game
The literary theorist Edward Said (“Orientalism”,1978: PAGE) calls The Great Mutiny of 1857
“the great symbolic event by which the two sides, Indian and British, achieved their full and conscious opposition to each other,” and he states that “to a contemporary reader [of Kim] ‘The Mutiny’ meant the single most important, well-known and violent episode of the nineteenth-century Anglo-Indian relationship.”
During the Mutiny, Indian soldiers who served the British government under white, British officers captured the city of Delhi. The Mutiny eventually became part of the larger Sepoy Rebellion (1857–1859) against the British government. While their efforts were eventually squelched, it was the first and one of the most violent acts of rebellion of Indians against the forced rule of Great Britain (Said 1978: PAGE). The Indian National Congress, a party made up of Western-educated Indians whose aim was to acquire independence from Britain, was formed in 1885; so when Kim was published only fifteen years later, the political landscape of India was characterized by a tension between the Indians who wanted independence and the British who struggled to remain in control. It is of marked interest to note that Kipling largely ignores this tension between Indian and English in Kim and portrays all of his Indian characters as being pro-British, certainly not accurately reflecting the true political landscape of India at the time, which was instead characterized by growing discontent and the desire for Indian independence.
The Great Game referred to in Kim was the colloquial term for the British government’s Survey of India, which began in 1767 and continued until India’s independence in 1947. The players in the Great Game were trained surveyors who worked undercover for the British government. It was especially dangerous in the northern parts of the region, particularly Tibet, which was not under the jurisdiction of the British Empire; and thus surveyors sent out to map such forbidden areas were sent in disguise. It was this type of espionage work for which Colonel Creighton was training Kim. The espionage work of the Great Game extended beyond mapmaking to collecting counterintelligence against the
Russians immediately to the north. In particular, the British aim was to keep the independent regions of modern-day Afghanistan, Tibet, and Nepal from allying with Russia, in order to protect the security of their empire. The climax of Kim, in which Kim, the lama, and Babu Mookerjee effectively disarm and rob two Russian spies, is a direct reference to the threat that the British felt from the Russian presence (Said 1978: PAGE).
Orientalism is defined by Edward Said:
“My contention is that Orientalism is fundamentally a political doctrine willed over the Orient,
because the Orient was weaker than the West, which elided the Orient′s difference with its weakness . . .
As a cultural apparatus,Orientalism is all aggression, activity, judgment, will-to-truth, and knowledge” (Orientalism, p. 204)
The Orientalist representations of “The Orient”, and of the people and things that are and are not “Oriental” have been established for ulterior purposes:
“My whole point about this system is not that it is a misrepresentation of some Oriental essence –
in which I do not for a moment believe – but that it operates, as representations usually do,
for a purpose, according to a tendency, in a specific historical, intellectual, and even economic setting.”
(Orientalism, p. 273)
The central idea of Orientalism is that Western knowledge about the East is not generated from facts or reality, but from archetypes that envision all "Eastern" societies as fundamentally similar to one another, and fundamentally dissimilar to "Western" societies. This discourse establishes "the East" as antithetical to "the
West". Such Eastern knowledge is constructed with literary texts and historical records that often are of limited understanding of the facts of life in the Middle East.
According to Said's analysis, there are two factors that must be kept in mind when interpreting Kim. One being that, its author was writing not just from the dominating viewpoint of a white man in a colonial possession but from the perspective of a colossal colonial system whose 'economy, functioning, and history had acquired the status of a virtual fact of nature’. The division between white and non-white was absolute in India and other colonial areas, and is alluded to throughout Kim as well as the rest of Kipling's work: 'a Sahib is a Sahib and no amount of friendship or camaraderie can change the rudiments of racial difference.’ Kim is of white heritage, yet grew up as a street urchin in Lahore, in the care of a half caste Indian woman and only when we begin to take Kim's cultural identity seriously as the character can become real and the reader begins to pay attention to 'the narrative's elusive and mystifying cultural vision and wonder about the sources of its motivation.
The second factor Said recognises is that Kipling was a historical being as well an author; Kim was written at a specific moment in his career, and at a time when the relationship between the British and Indian people was changing.
Kipling's Kim can touch many of these issues: Does Kipling portray the Indians as inferior, or as somehow equal but different? An Indian reader will give an answer that focuses on some factors more than others, for example, Kipling's stereotypical views on the Oriental character; whereas English and American readers will stress his affection for Indian life on the Grand Trunk Road. Reading the novel we can understand that the author portrait a positive view of India and Orient world. Nostalgia is the feeling that prevails, melancholy of Kipling that is forced to live India when he was young. Thanks to his direct experience in India, Kipling understand a lot about this world, he can understand people and he way that they live and thought. So, according to the author the white authority behind
the India Empire is very strict but what is important is that the authority has to know and understand the country to rule.