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Born in Bombay in 1865 and died in London in 1936 . Buried in Westminster Abbey
1907 : Nobel Prize for Literature
Kim ( 1901) : his most successful novel, containing scenes of Indian life and landscape
FEATURES AND THEMES
Two souls are mixed: the Indian and the Victorian. In the first phase of his life , life in India, the life of the Indian-born people and of the British people who lived there was one of the main themes.
• The portrayal of Anglo-Indian society : the life and experience of officers and soldiers, the interrelations between the British and the natives , often made up of diffidence but also of confidence and love.
• The imperialistic ideal : some people have considered Kipling a crude imperialist but we must remember that a great part of his work was written in the second half of the 19th century, at the time when the national consciousness of the Empire was being formed. Kipling felt it his mission to be the prophet of this ideal to the British people but he always thought that the fact of belonging to what he considered “ the strong race “ implied a great responsibility towards the weaker people, as it brought with it the moral obligation to give them civilization and law ( white man’s burden ).
• The life and atmosphere of India : born in India he left it at the age of six and went back at the age of 17. He developed an intense curiosity about the land and the people.
• The sense of loneliness and the need for action : though he loved life he could never rid himself of the sensation that the man is and remains alone. Yet, there is a remedy : action. It creates a barrier against the deep unconscious terror of nothingness.
• Progress and change : Kipling was aware that he was living in a period of progress and he welcomed inventions.
• Necessity and adherence to the law : he thought that every man must obey the Law even if it demands abnegation. He often criticized democracy.
• Curiosity for the occult : some stories , a sort of psychological research into the mystery of the human mind, deal with terror and oppressions. In this phase Kipling tries to reach a deeper understanding of the spirit of man.
• As a poet he was a master of versification.