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Kipling's White Man's Burden - Essay Example

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9th June 2012 1. Kipling’s “White Man’s Burden” is about the US conquest of Spanish colonies and the Philippines. Kipling has presented a Eurocentric view of the world in the poem. This poem reflects the non-European cultures as demonic and childlike…
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Kiplings White Mans Burden
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"Kipling's White Man's Burden"

Download file to see previous pages Rudyard Kipling is trying to show the negative attitudes of Europeans towards imperialism. Africans were considered as savages and a burden by them. This is a racial point of view. Africans are considered as crazy, devilish, and dumb people. Africans are treated as a burden of the Europeans, but at the same time, they also think that it is their responsibility to help Africans out. Kipling is simply justifying American’s coming in Africa and taking over the African lives. This reflects that he does not believe in the concept of equality. For him, not every person holds equal rights and some have fewer rights than others, simply because they are less humane. He is encouraging the concept of imperialism. He believes that the Africans are simply ungrateful people. Help is being granted to them, yet they are retaliating against it. 2. Kipling addressed this poem to the Americans in relation to their recent colonization of Philippines. I believe that Kipling really thinks that it is the responsibility of the civilized nations to those they have conquered. While using the term “white man’s burden”, he is trying to explain the fact that the European ancestry (or the American one, for that matter) has more opportunities and chances for better education and has more political influence than the natives had. Had Kipling written this poem earlier, he would have argued against colonial imperialism. He was born in the time when native people have already been conquered. It seems as if Kipling is trying to get across the message that no gratitude or corporation in return for the improvement of the lives should be expected. When Kipling uses the phrase “Take up the White man’s Burden”, it has two meanings. It is naturally considered a duty towards the primitive, impoverished people and that the do-gooder has to bear the resulting ingratitude. Kipling’s assumption regarding the laziness and backwardness of the Filipinos might be considered as racist and patronizing to many modern day readers. But it simply was not meant to offend the people. Kipling was simply trying to explain the difficulties which the Americans faced. The issues, which were then raised by Kipling, seem to be relevant in today’s world. The world is not made a better place without sacrifices and hard work. In addition, the welcome mat is not always rolled out for those who want to change the world for the better. 3. Kipling has offered defense throughout the poem. He thinks that imperialism can work out for the best if it is executed correctly. The poem was meant to discuss not only the American response to the Philippines but also towards the European countries – that they should share medicines and wealth to reduce the misfortunes, illnesses, and famines which are polluting Africa. At first, imperialism might seem to be very striking, but it can have various definitions, depending on the way it is being executed. So much emphasis on the execution is placed so that dual meaning is not derived out of Kipling’s prose. He strongly believes that if imperialism is implemented in the correct way, than it can preserve cultures. It is possible only if the wealth is shared and medicine is practiced properly. However, it was not seen the way Kipling had interpreted. The wealthy defined civilization. White men are considered wealthy and hence ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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