Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The White Man's Burden & Imperialism

1. Determine what Kipling means by "the White Man's Burden."

A: Rudyard Kipling's "The White Man's Burden" is a satirical poem about Imperialism, and what it is about. During the time period of 1899, many people believed that it was the "White Man's Burden" to take over other territories, so we could share our wonderful lives with them. They "needed" to take over the other places so that they could live the wonderful lives that we free American's live. Kipling is almost making fun of the people who believe it is our duty to act Imperialistic.

2. Does Kipling justify imperialism? How so?

A: No, he does not believe in Imperialism, and makes satirical comments about i t in his poem. He says: "Take up the White Man's burden, The savage wars of peace, Fill full the mouth of Famine, And bid the sickness cease; And when your goal is nearest, Watch sloth and heathen folly, Bring all your hope to nought." By this he means that you must do your "duty" or "burden" by working to feed other people, make sure everyone else is healthy, and when you've almost reached your personal goals, then watch your hope be gone. If you work to act Imperialistic, then you will be working to help someone else, and you will "Bring all your hope to nought."

3. Why might such a justification might be so appealing?

A: It might be so appealing because Kipling, and his persuading poem, believed it was irreprehensible to believe in such an absurd thing like Imperialism. People believed much of the information that they read back in 1899. And if it was appealing to read, such as a poem, then people would want to read it. It gave the people who didn't want to believe in the way of Imperialism, a reason not to.

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