Kipling Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay (India) in1865, but was sent to school in England until he came back to India in 1882 and started working as a journalist. He became famous in 1888 when was published in England "Plain Tales from the Hills", then other later works like Barrack Room Ballads, Jungle Book and Kim overall, made him win critical and popular praise. Already an acclaimed writer he lived for 5 years in USA finally returning in England in 1899 and becoming the first Englishman to win the Nobel Prize for literature in 1907. He died in London in 1936.
Plot Kim (Kimball O'Hara) orphaned son of an Irish soldier who has been brought up as an Indian by a local woman; he occasionally works for Mahbub Ali, a horse trader who is one of the native operatives of the British secret service. One day, he meet an aged Tibetan Lama who is on a quest to free himself from the Wheel of Things by finding the legendary 'River of the Arrow'. By chance, Kim's father's regimental chaplain identifies him and send him to a top English school, training him in espionage while on vacation from school by Lurgan Sahib. Kim receives a government appointment and rejoins the Lama to make a trip to the Himalayas with him. Here the espionage and spiritual threads of the story collide, with the Lama unwittingly falling into conflict with Russian intelligence agents. The Lama realizes that his search for the river should be taking place in the plains, not the mountains, and he orders the porters to take them back. Here Kim delivers the Russian documents to Babu and the Lama finds his river and achieves Enlightenment. The reader is left to decide whether Kim will henceforth follow the materialistic road of the Great Game, the spiritual way of Tibetan Buddhism, or a combination of the two.
The protagonist: Kim <ul><li>This is an adventure story probably aimed primarily at adolescent boys, in which Kim is seeking to find his place in the country in which he was born, while at the same time trying to find an identity for himself. By birth Kim is a white Irish boy, looked after by a half-cast woman, probably a prostitute; with his skin he looks and lives like a low-caste Hindu street-urchin, so from the beginning he is neither wholly British nor wholly Indian, and his being neither wholly one nor the other, but a unique 'mixture of things' remains a constant in his quest for his identity. </li></ul>
Other important characters <ul><li>The Teshoo Lama – a Tibetan Lama: abbot of the Such-zen monastery in the western Himalayas, on a spiritual journey </li></ul><ul><li>Mahbub Ali – a famous Pashtun horse trader and spy for the British </li></ul><ul><li>Colonel Creighton – British Army officer, ethnologist and spy </li></ul><ul><li>Lurgan Sahib – a Simla gem trader and master spy Hurree Chunder Mookherjee (Hurree Babu, also </li></ul><ul><li>The Babu) – a Bengali intelligence operative working for the British; Kim's direct superior </li></ul>
The roles of Lurgan and the Lama <ul><li>We can consider the Teshoo Lama and Lurgan Sahib like the two opposite parts of Kim's nature: philosophy and espionage, indian side and british side. During his stay with Lurgan Kim is subjected to a psychological test and resists this attempt to manipulate his mind by silently reciting the mathematical tables he learned at school. Kipling seems to be showing that the mental discipline he has absorbed from his European schooling has given him an ability to keep control of his mind in a way that would not have been possible for a native but he has to partly adopt the white man's habits of mind, combining them with the strengths of his innate native mentality. </li></ul>
British imperialism in India <ul><li>During the Victorian age Britain’s role in india changed from a mainly commercial presence to full political rule.Up to the early 19th century the control had been given to the east india company; in 1813 the company lost the monopoly and India was declared to be british territory. In 1876 the queen Victoria was proclameid empress. In the same yearsmarked the beginning of indian natinalism for self-determination.In 1885 there was the first form of organized protest . </li></ul>
Great Game The Great Game is a term used for the strategic rivalry and conflict between the British Empire and the Russian Empire for supremacy in Central Asia. The classic Great Game period is generally regarded as running approximately from the Russo-Persian Treaty of 1813 to the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907. A second, less intensive phase followed the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 . The term "The Great Game" is usually attributed to Arthur Conolly (1807–1842), an intelligence officer of the British East India Company's Sixth Bengal Light Cavalry.
Themes analysis: <ul><li>- Kipling’s India </li></ul><ul><li>- Kim’s identity </li></ul><ul><li>- The two quest </li></ul>
Kipling’s India <ul><li>Kipling was also facinated by the misteriousness and glamour of india’s sights,sounds and smells.Kipling’s highly evocative language still has its attraction for us,in his description of indian life Kipling had certain concessions to the pictoresque.In his novel Kipling are proud of being british and exprimes a strong sense of national identity and superiority over natives. This sentiment caused great damage to Kipling’s reputation during the first decades of the 20th century. </li></ul>
Kim’s identity <ul><li>Kim defines his identity during his adventures by being open to influences; responding positively to people he can look up to, while warding off influences which he finds abrasive. When the story opens the influences on him have been almost exclusively Indian and he feels entirely happy and at home among the poor people of Lahore. But even at this stage he cannot think of himself as a native, he remembers his father and his prophecy, carries his identity papers in a leather amulet case around his neck. His white skin, his identity papers, and his in-built tendency to own and rule will prove to be central to the identity he is seeking to build, but neither at the beginning nor the end does he think himself as a 'sahib', and his encounter with the white man's world is at first a traumatic experience. </li></ul>
The two quests <ul><li>These two quests, the lama's for the 'Great Soul' and Kim's to play the 'Great Game' of spying, seem to be different so it's difficoult to imagine that two such contrasting ambitions could be yoked together. Kim and the lama have in common that neither has any real family ties or sense of belonging, and their quests have in common that both are esoteric, beyond the reach of ordinary people and both require the renunciation of normal life. As a spy, Kim will also have to renounce ordinary life: he will lead a life of disguise and deception, never able to reveal his true motives to anyone; just as the lama's mission will only be understood by a select few among Buddhist holy men, Kim's mission will only be understood by a select few among the British Secret Service. </li></ul>