Sept 23, 2014
Modern European History
Rudyard Kipling was a renowned English author born in Bombay, India and made part of the high Anglo-Indian society. He was schooled in England and later returned to India, which became the source of inspiration for his writings that lead him to his success. He is well known for his writings such as the “Jungle Book” and the “Just So Stories”, among various others. He was a firm believer in Britain’s and the West’s obligation to educate and govern the non-Western world. That is what inspired him to write the “The White Man’s Burden” in 1899 urging the US to impose its imperialistic nature with the means to educate, govern and civilize the people of the Philippines after the Spanish-American War. Through “The White Man’s Burden”, Kipling’s character and attitude towards the West and its role among the non-Western world is much reflected. Elements such as race, sex, class, occupation, region, education and beliefs are key components that influenced and embrace the structure and content of this work. They build the ground for his work and much of his inspiration. These elements factor into this source for many reasons. He was a white man and he descended from one of the early waves of English elites that traveled to the colonies to establish a new life. He was part of the first generations that were born in the colonies and carried the pressure and obligation to succeed and bring pride to their motherland and family. Having the opportunity to have experienced and lived among both the modern and the developing worlds, while receiving an English education helped him mold his interpretations and thoughts of the role of the West and most specifically the white man in the developing world. This poem carries a message or code that is intended for the entire Western world to acknowledge and commit too, however it is specific to the United States and its role in the Philippines after the...
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