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The Novel Kim, Book Review Example

Pages: 6

Words: 1675

Book Review

What is the story about? This is a story written by Rudyard Kipling a British writer that penned a novel called Kim. The novel is about two men and a boy that is set in a background of an imperialistic world with stories of traveling, rich trades and adventure. The novel did an excellent job about explaining the environment which two boys are growing into manhood along with a priest that guides the way. The main character Kim was born in India however, the unique twist of this character Kim is he is white in an India world. Kim’s strength of character and resolved is supported by his religious beliefs which are taught to him by the priest who is a lama. The novel explores the challenges of Kim as he learns to navigate between the white world and the India world. The story shows how a young boy Kim can build a meaningful relationships in a hostile environment.

Are there several levels of meaning in the novel? There are many different levels of meaning in the novel such as loyalty. Our hero is Kim who was raised as an orphans who traditionally has a hard life with no mentors to guide him. The orphan emphasis of the novel is based on showing how a young man without a parent can still be a hero and still have a good life of adventure and learning life skills. The loyalty is based on the mentors around Kim that remained faithful to advising and guiding Kim such as wonderful rich characters: Lurgan, Creighton, the Kulu woman, and Babu as an annoying older brother. The novel does a wonderful job of linking the loyalty and affection of these characters to the sense of responsibility for Kim. The loyally factor emphasizes how a network of people can provide emotional and personal support of each other.

Race has a level meaning in the novel. Kim has chosen to tan as dark as he can to resemble a darker race of people. He wanted to blend in with the India natives in times of British rule. The entire novel is filled with a plethora of races, cultures and backgrounds. The race was a factor for historical reasons because the British colonial domination was filled with racism and inequality. This was prevalent in the novel because India has a rich mix of nationalities, ethnic groups, races, and religious groups. Kim learned the harsh lessons of how the color of your skin can determine your fate in a British dominated colony. The Kipling feelings on races comes through the character Kim as he learns about the racist world that may not touch Kim as a white person. The issue race is a continuous theme throughout the novel showing how some India people have power and flexibility but will never experience true equality with the British. The novel shows how with the color of your skin you will always have limits. The relationships defined by Kim mentors always had some type of connation about the color or race of a particular friend or foe. In addition, many of the conversations had hidden meanings of race because they often associated characteristics to like skin or dark skin people. Kim character often talked about how Kim a white person tried to make his tan so dark to blend in with the natives. This trick would allow him to look deeper into how the India people thought and functioned if they believed Kim was of the same race or connected to them culturally. Kim was overcome with learning the customs of all the races including the India people to understand all different races including his mentors.  In the very beginning of the novel the first thing that is mention is the race of the people to ensure the reader understood that cultures that would be exploited or discussed in the novel. In addition, many references were made that were not very nice concerning people of color.

Kim used cleverness and observation to learn his environments. One level of meaning in the novel was Kim’s ability to remain quiet while watching and evaluating each persons to determine what they really wanted. Kim has realized that he had some intelligence that he could match wits with his mentors but he soon learned they used their own power of observations. Kim has a dual mission which is learning all the ways of the India people while documenting this critical information for the British Empire. The author Kipling makes a point to give his analogy of Kim true moral fibers that had a hidden mission to help the British Empire but his opinion is make clear. Kim has become a prolific liar and a cheat which from observation he learned from all his mentors. Kim is cleverly not letting her feeling be known that the British Empire has the right to maintain control over India.

What is the author’s attitude to the government of the British Raj? The author believes that any powers in control of the India should have the right to rule. It is clear that Kipling has a pro-imperialism attitude about the British rule. Kim and several characters take about the British domination but Kipling views come through the novel loud and clear.  The realism about the rule of the British and the condescending comments throughout the novel about India peoples show the author is for British rule. The author often talks about diplomacy, courage and military force when talking about the British however, undertones about India suggested they should be dominated or conquered by the British. The author has a way of contradicting the feeling of Kim but talking about the rich culture of the India people and how much they have overcome. On the other hand, it is discussed how the British rulers have all the rights to operate in India as they see fit. Kim often talks about how he watches people to determine what they really want or what they are really hiding from others. It was clear that Kipling made no secret that his attitude towards the British government was pro-imperialism and the India people need guidance from the British government.

This is an example of Kim actually believing in the propaganda of the British people that India people cannot be trusted. In several chapters Kipling makes is clear that he believes in the power of the British because they earned the right as conquers or spoils of winning the war. The author cleverly hid his believe in the power of governments with the sympathetic views of the India people but  many comments through the book present India as a weaker people that should be dominated by the British. The messages were hidden in the contradictions but the fact remained that Kipling made sure his feelings of pro-imperialism was emphasized in the novel. In many of the pages Kim would talk about India as British India to further show that the authored believed that the British should rule over India. Kim once spoke about how he respected the smart and witty way his mentors’ manipulated people and how the British had the right to do the same as rulers. It was clear that the author believe British leadership should remain in control.

How does the author see human nature? Kim has many times talked about deceit and lies as badges of honor but also how people naturally act in certain situations. Kim believed that all people had an alternative motive for all their actions. This is why Kim was cunning and watch people to see their true intentions. Kim believe all people lied to get what they wanted or distorted the truth to meet their personal needs. Kim say these features in all his mentors who manipulated others to get what they needed when they wanted it.

What does the novel tell you about the requirements to being an intelligence officer, a spy?  The characters are the indicated of the skills required to be an intelligence spy or officer. The character Mahbub Ali was cunning, smart and a horse trader that qualified him to be a spy for the British. Any person that has a trade that can blend in with the natives is a good requirement for the spies. They can go undetected in the India environment and report the findings to the British government. The Colonel Creighton character is an example of the requirements to be a spy which are position of authority, strong and leadership qualities to be a spy in the British spy. In addition, as a British spy Creighton has the access to British rule and access to the India people and secrets. Another requirement that was hidden in the book was a spy that could infiltrate both the British and India people like a gem trader who did business with all races. The perfect spy was Lurgan Sahib who was a gem trade and a master spy. Lurgan has access to all different regions and would not be suspected because of his gem trading. As a spy you would have to go undetected like the gem traders to learn the secrets of the India people or future plans to possible rise against British rule. The author did an excellent job of creating all the characteristics required to become a spy for the British rule. The man all had similar traits such as leaders, intelligent, traders, military men, cunning, and the ability to blend in with the India natives. The master spy would be in a position that allows access to the natives, business and trade people of the land to learn about India’s inner workings. The primary requirement for a spy is the ability to deceived people like the gem trader who was a master spy. The British spy Creighton was cunning is his ways on manipulation people which is one of the main requirements to be a British spy. Kim learning the power of manipulation from all the different mentors which many of the characters in some form or another was a spy.

 

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