Rudyard Kipling: A View Of His Views Essay, Research Paper
In Rudyard Kipling?s middle period of writing, he showed his views on ones self, ones country, and ones race. To introduce Rudyard Kipling, he was born on December 30, 1865, in Bombay, India (though was sent home to England to become educated at the tender age of eight.) As the years passed, he grew to become an exceptional writer and his writings were mostly pointed to patriotic issues (”Kipling, (Joseph) Rudyard, 1.) Concerning these issues of patriotism is where we come into contact with his middle period of writing.
The three most recognised poems of this time where “If,” “Recessional,” and “The White Man?s Burden.” These three poems not only gave insight to the patriotism that was harboured by Rudyard Kipling, but also a deep secret which, though has been interpreted many different ways, seems to point out a view of racism. However, this did not stunt his popularity with his people and the hearts of others because he is still considered one of the greatest English short-story writers.
One of his works that has gained much popularity is his incomparable work “If.” This work has been compared to other works such as “Hamlet” and has been used as people?s mottos. This poem not only gives advice, but also issues challenges (If, 1). In this beautiful work, Kipling uses contrasting statements to reach his goal of making one not only a better person, but also “a Man my son (”If,” 1).”
The poem helps portray how one should be. It begins by issuing the challenging in believing in ones self: even when blamed for wrong, alone, lied about, and hated. Not only does it teach one to keep ones head in these situations, but not to meet them with the same response in return. Then it leads one into believing in ones dreams and aspirations and not letting anyone deter those hopes. However, it also states that one should not let those dreams rule their life because they might fall; and when they do, one should be able to pick up the shattered pieces and build them back again.
The final half of the poem starts off by telling the individual it was written for to be able to lose and be a good loser about it. It says not to complain, but however to hold on even if all that is making that person hold on is just simply the fact of holding on. Finally it tells the individual to not ever place themselves above others, but rather amongst them. It says to be respected by all, but not to be an idol and to never quit. You should not stop halfway through your trek; however, fight on.
Kipling?s poem “Recessional” did not only set forth the patriotism and love of country that he held, but it also showed his belief that God was the reason for their success. At the beginning of the poem, he starts off with the statement “God of our fathers, known of old” which showed that he believed that this country was founded on Christianity. However, he believed that same God that the men of old knew may not be known by the men of now (”Recessional,” 2).
The reason why he set forth this is because England, who at first was devoted to civilising and Christianising their foreign provinces, had turned control and expansion of this empire to their top priority (”Recessional,” 2). This had caused Kipling to fear that if England forgot God, the nation would fall (as all nations that have forgotten God have.) He begs his country in this to turn back to God, to not be as the nations of old and become wicked. Three times he states that God is in control and warns England not to forget this fact.
Finally Kipling turns to God and begs Him to save his country by saying “Thy Mercy on Thy People, Lord!” Kipling sees something that his fellow countrymen have yet to see. He understands that there is a deciding force behind the prosperity of any nation and, due to that fact, goes to the One who is in control. This single line alone show?s Kipling?s great love for his country. To stand before the throne of grace and plead a case to the All Mighty could be considered not only a love for country, not only a patriotism unmatched by no other, but also a devotion to ones country that can only be described by ones soul.
Finally, the side of Kipling that might be considered dark is shown through his poem “The White Man?s Burden.” In this poem he not only shows that he believes that England is a greater nation than others, but is also responsible for the protection, civilisation, and control of other nations. In this, the white man?s burden can be considered the unrecognised and unappreciated work of the British Empire. He states that England should send its best men to their provinces to keep order in these uncivilised nations. And though the men of England might have fought and died for the protection of their lands, the people that they are supposedly protecting do not appreciate it. Therefore, though this poem?s meaning was actually hidden more in the shadows, it did show a little bit of bias and did point out that he believed (as we all do) that his “own” country was the greatest of all (The White Man?s Burden, 1).
In conclusion, Rudyard Kipling, one of England?s greatest writers, not only had great expectations for himself, but for his country. “If” I believe was written to himself more than anyone else. In times when no one believed in him or his works or was against him for his works, he held on to his wishes and aspirations and was placed with the greatest. He also, due to his great love for his country, could not help but have a little bias. To consider something the greatest, and not see other things at a lower level is impossible. Therefore, the idea of him being racist, having a bias, or even looking down upon others is up to ones own conscious. My conscious, on the other hand, believes that he truly loved his country and believed in himself, and through that has been and encouragement to me.