2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Kipling's Antipodean Attitudes Towards Race and Imperialism in Colonial India
Zeeshan R. Reshamwala
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Rudyard Kipling, acclaimed for stories of British India, represented, according to critics, the colonial dichotomies between Native and Sahib, martial Afghans from the mountains and weak Indians from the plains, England and India. Kipling reinvented this colonial rhetoric without rejecting it. In his works, he depicts characters that defy power only to show them being destroyed. However, he makes an exception for the characters distinguished by their masculine strength who instead of being destroyed succeed in escaping this fate. I suggest that these characters resolve the tension between his tentative rejection of the colonial hierarchies and his in-built tendency to adhere to those constructs. Using John McBratney's and Zohreh T. Sullivan's assertions that Kipling yearned for a primordial human state, I suggest that Kipling attempted to bridge yearnings for Western order and Eastern lost innocence by creating an archetype that transcended both through the colonial British ideal of masculine strength.

Keywords: Kipling, India, Post-colonialism, Race, Imperialism, British, Hierarchy

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 49-2
Location: VH 1304
Time: 1:30

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