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The Man Who Would Be King Analysis

Decent Essays
Rudyard Kipling’s novella,“The Man Who Would Be King”, is about two English men, Daniel Dravot and Peachey Carnehan, who are cons artists that live in India with the goal of becoming the kings of Kafiristan. The story is told through a narrator, an Englishman, that stumbles upon the two characters through a strange interaction at a train station. After meeting up with the narrator at his job, Dravot and Carnehan gather as much information as they can about Kafiristan and head off in disguise for their journey to becoming kings. There are many similarities regarding how and why the British Empire and Dravot and Carnehan came to imperialize these Indian countries. Throughout the whole novella, Kipling uses the story as a way to display…show more content…
Kipling also showed how the English empire thought they were superior to the natives of India and Kafiristan in multiple ways. Dravot would compliment the natives he was ruling over by calling them English, “These men aren’t Indian, they are English.” This implies that being English is the right way to act. Kipling also displayed English superiority when Dravot refused to listen to the people he was ruling when they protested against him marrying a woman that was not a god. Kipling too thought that the British gained power in a corrupt manner. This was revealed when Dravot claimed to be friends with one of the gods the Kafiristan people worshipped. Both Dravot and Carnehan took advantage of the natives in a fraudulent manner as did the British. Kipling further showed how he thought the style the British were ruling was poor because both Dravot and Carnehan mimicked British methods. Both characters created a contract, modernized the country they took over, and brought new rules, just like the English. In both the story and reality, the people rebel against the English to reclaim their Independence. Through symbolism, Kipling uses each character from the novella to display some aspect of the British Empire in a way that reflected his views. Carnehan represents the expanding aspect of British imperialism. Carnehan actually wants to grow Kafiristan and care for the people. Dravot represents the monarchy itself by having a
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