Proposed Title of the Thesis Struggle over Identity: Colonialist Ideology in Kipling’s Kim. Statement of the Problem Is Kim white or is he a native? While Kim insists that he is an Indian, the narrator adamantly asserts Kim’s British origins. This struggle between Kim and the narrator continues throughout the novel. The struggle over the inheritance is resolved through a bifurcation of the paternal function: on the one hand, Kim’s personal and emotional allegiance to the Indians and, on the other, his impersonal and rational relation to the Englishmen.
I want to argue that this solution plunges the novel back into colonialist ideology. Hypothesis It is hypothesized that Kim is a Manichean allegory, according to which Europeans are rational and intelligent in opposition to the natives who are described as irrational and insufficient. Kim’s initiation into Espionage, his becoming an intelligence agent, allows the white Kim to serve colonialist power and the Indian Kim to concert with various natives who are emotional and sensuous.
Review of Literature
Kipling reveals the orphaned son of the Irish soldier called Kim. Kim spends his childhood as a vagabond in Lahore. With an old lama he travels throughout India. The writer creates a vision of harmony of India that unites the secular life and the spiritual life though there is identity crisis on him. Critic Abdul Jan Mohamed in his essay says,” Imperialist is not fixated on specific images or stereotypes of the other but rather on the effective benefits proffered by the Manichean allegory which generates the various stereotypes. (68) In the same way, he also opines on the attitude of colonialists toward the natives, “Colonialists are willing to examine the specific individual and cultural differences between European values, assumption, and habits in contrast to those of indigenous cultures”(66). He also asserts allegorical contrast in the comparison of two novels, and says,” Kipling’s Kim and E. M Foster’s The to India, attempts to find syncretic solutions to the Manichean opposition of the colonizer and the colonized. “(66) Similarly, Critic Philip E.
Wegner in his essay “Life as He Would Have It” says,” Kipling himself unable to dramatize the ‘fundamental conflict’ that was the central fact of imperial Indian history. “(130) Culture is the root cause of identity, so Wegner said,” the most effective ruler would be those who truly know India. Indeed, one character in Kim emphatically asserts that the good imperial agents are those who know the land and the costumes of the land. “(132) Another critic Gyan Prakash asserts his idea in his essay ” Orientalism Now” and says,” cultural framework and political discourse distort truth. ” (203)
He also says, “this criticism is not principally about differing assessment of scholarship of particular individual but about political authority and authoritative discourse. Said’s critics concede willingly that cultural prejudice and naked political interest have often marred western studies of other cultures but they regard such biases as matters of mentality. “(203) This dissertation does not observe over these voices, but prolematizes struggle on the identity of the major character Kim which is the main issue of marginalized Indian people. Colonized people’s identity is about to ruin because of colonial domination.
Kim as an orphan boy, seeks for identity but finally he finds himself as a British Espionage. This is how he plunges into colonialist ideology and colonial society. Methodology: The thesis will draw on the theories of Orientalism by Edward Said and Manichean allegory by Abdul Jan Mohamed. Chapter Division: This research will be divided in terms of time as well as chapter in the following way: Chapter I : Introduction Approx. 2 weeks Chapter II : Discussion of theoretical tools Approx. 4 weeks Chapter III : Textual Analysis Approx. 5 weeks Chapter IV : Conclusion Approx. 2 weeks Works to be cited Almond, Ian. Lessons from Kipling and Rao: How to Reappropriate Another Culture. ” Orbis literarum 57 (2002): 275-287. Ashcroft, Bill et al. Keyconcepts in Post-Colonial Study. New York: Routledge publisher (date not mentioned). Bruman, Emily. “Re-dressing Colonial Discourse: Postcolonial theory and the humanist project. ” Critical Quaterly 40. 3 : 79-89. Carens L, Timothy. “Maping India” Victorian Literature and Culture (2003): 613-623 Dutton ET AL, Michael. ” The Toolbox of Postcolonialism. ” Postcolonial Studies 2. 2 (1999): 121-124 Feeley, Margarret Peller. “The Kim That Nobody Reads. ” Studies in the Novel 13. 3 (fall81): 266-281.
Greenberger, Allen J. “Rudyard Kipling’s India ” The Journal of Asian Studies 27. 1 (Nov,1967): 166-167. Gunn, Gills. “On Edward W. Said. ” Raritan23. 4: 71-78. Huggan, Graham. “(Not) Reading Orientalism. ” Reasearch In African Literatures 36. 1 (Fall,2005): 125-136. Jan Mohmed, Abdul R. “The Economy of Manichean Allegory: The Function of Racial Difference in Colonialist Literature. ” Critical Inquiry 12. 1 (Autumn,1985): 58-87. Kaufman, Ester. “Kiplin and the Technique of Action” Nineteenth Century Fictin 6. 2 (Sep, 1951): 107-120. Kipling, Rudyard. Kim . Ed. Beerendra Pandey. Kathmandu. M. K. Publisher,1997.
Kipling, Rudyard. Kim. Ed. Alan Sandison. New Delhi. Oxford University press, 2004. Matin, A. Michael. “The Hun is at the Gate! : Historicising Kipling’s Militaristic Rhetoric,From the imperial Periphery to the National Center. ” Literary Criticism 31. 3 (Fall99): 318-350. Boehmer, Elleke and Bart Moore -Gilbert. “Postcolonial Studies and Transitional Resistance” Interventions 4. 1 (2002): 7-21. http://www. kuldeeptrust. org. np Park, Clara and Claireborne. ” The river and the road ” The American Scholar 66. 1 (winter 97): 43-62. Prakash, Gyan. “Orientalism now. ” History & Theory Literary Review 34. 3 (1994): 199-214.
Schulze-Engler, Frank. ” Exceptionalist Temptatins – Discilinary Constrains: postcolonial Theory and Criticism. ” European Journal of English Studies 6. 3 (2002): 289-305. St John, Andrew. “In the year ’57’ : Historiography, power, and Politics in Kipling’s Punjab”. The Review of English Studies 51. 201 (Feb,2000): 62-79. Valery, H. L. “Imperialism and Rudyard Kipling” Journal of History of Ideas 14. 1 (Jan,1953): 124-135. Wegner, Philip E. “Life as he would Have It. ” Cultural Critique 26 (Winter,1993-94): 129-158. Wollen, Peter. “Kim: The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same”. Article 12. 1 (May 2002): 157-170.
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