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This paper analyzes the children's short story "Rikki-tikki-tavi" by Rudyard Kipling. The first part of the paper is devoted to an overview fo the life, accomplishments and impact of Kipling. Then the paper turns to an analysis of his short story aimed at children, "Rikki-tikki-tavi". The paper explains that the story is a metaphor of the coming of age of a young protector and the colonialist struggle between India and England. The paper summarizes the story's plot and then offers the author's personal feelings and opinions about the impact of the story. The author calls it heart-breaking, commenting that while the story is enjoyable for children it is especially poignant and powerful for adults.
From the Paper:"One might guess just from this set of characters where the central tension lies - for Rikki-tikki must fight nobly to save his friends and family, and on that level the reader respects him, yet at the same time one understands that by being "tamed" by the white man, as it were, Rikki's human models were eradicating their own native history and religion. (Thus only the snakes speak of faith or of family, but the mongoose is an orphan with no culture) On that first level, the plot is simple and universally understood by children. Rikki is saved as an infant; he grows to maturity and faces the dangers of the world as embodied by the snakes; he learns to face them in his home, and finally in their own domain as well. Finally, Rikki emerges as an adult. On the other level, the plot is hidden in symbols, but equally universal nonetheless in Kipling's era: the white men come, and as per "the White Man's Burden" they "serve [the] captives' need"(Kipling) and convert those who have lost their families and culture to their service; those with power and faith to resist for the sake of their children do so, but the strength of the white man's guns and his toothy converts inevitably put down their revolution and kill their young. In the end, only those who are faithful to the white man or two stupid to understand their risk (as the birds are), are left."
Cite this Analytical Essay:
"Rikki-tikki-tavi" (2006, July 25) Retrieved August 17, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/rikki-tikki-tavi-67941/
""Rikki-tikki-tavi"" 25 July 2006. Web. 17 August. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/rikki-tikki-tavi-67941/>