Rudyard Kipling was a great poet and also a great author. He contributed much in the world of literature. One of his poems was called “Gunga Din”, and I personally enjoyed it. Warfare has always fascinated me, and the setting for this poem was in a battle scene. Well, Gunga Din is actually a character, and I tend to think of this poem as a eulogy to a dead fantasy hero. He is not one with super strength or super speed, but with a super heart for humanity. Rudyard Kipling was born on December 30, 1865, in Bombay, India. His parents were both English and had moved to India before his birth (Rao, K. Bhaskara Page 1).
His father was a scholar and an artist in India. When living in Bombay, Kipling stayed there for the first six years of his life. He was privileged and he had servants in his household. They were Indian, and as a developing child, he seemed to absorb part of their culture into his life. Like most other English boys his age, Kipling was shipped to London in order to study and attend school. According to him, this was a horrific experience, and he did not like it. He hated this experience. He stated that it had scarred him for the rest of his life, and he doesn’t give out any details (Beatx, Kirk H. Page 1).
This was very traumatic experience for him. He was in a strange place where he did not have anybody to depend on, not even his family. After Kipling did all of his studying, he moved back to India. He went there, and he had many jobs as a journalist for many different media papers. He then went on many different expeditions, where he reached areas such as China, Japan, and the United States before he finally settled back in England. There he met his wife Caroline Belestier. Right then and there he began his career as an author and poet. In fact, one of his best pieces was the Jungle Book (Philip Jason page 38).
Rudyard Kipling lived in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century’s. He lived over a period of 71 years. In his early years, not much was going on around him. One to the only things that may have been of good significance was the women’s movement everywhere around the world to achieve more rights. Women were protesting and promoting themselves they were showing that they mattered as well (Fonseca, Leigh Page 1). The later years of Kipling’s life were much more interesting on a worldwide perspective. This was time when important events were occurring. One of the things was the Boer War.
This was the conflict between Britain and South Africa. This was only a stepping stone so that South Africa would gain their independence for the English government. Another thing was World War I. This was an important war where most countries of the world were involved. England was in the allies’ side, and Kipling’s country won. This was an important victory for England (Napierkowski, Marie page 58). Like I have said, I really enjoyed this poem. It was pretty cool in my opinion. In the last lines of the poem, it says, “Though I’ve belted and flayed you. By the livin’ Gawd that made you.
You’re a better man than I am. Gunga Din! ” (Napierkowski lines 83-85). I believe these final lines really tie the entire poem together. Line 83 talks about how din was a slave who served water to his fighting comrades. It shows how they did not treat him well although he had never done anything to deserve this. Line 84 says that he did this abuse, even in front of God. He did it anyways, and it also gives a sense of the believing in Christianity. Line 85 is like the theme of the poem. Even though Gunga Din was dying after saving the narrator’s life, he is still helping him.
He is a better man, because he is doing this as a good person who forgives other and saves them for the good of humanity. Does this remind you of anything? To me, line 83-85 make Din take a Godly figure, saving people after forgiving them with his life. The poem starts with what the narrator thinks of being a soldier is like. Then it changes to talk about all the slaves and that his regime’s specifically stood out. Then it goes to describe him. Saying there is nothing really to look at about him. He was a good slave who did his job. He would always do it no matter the circumstances. There was this one night where the narrator was shot.
Gunga Din rushed towards him, treated his wounds, and gave him some of the best water he had ever tasted. He was really grateful. In the process, a lost bullet hit Din, but he still managed to get the narrator to a safe zone. Gunga Din’s last words were that he hoped he liked the water. Then he dies. The narrator goes on to say that he will go on to help the lost souls. The narrator ends up really praising the slave, Gunga Din (www. victorianweb. org/authors/kipling/gubgadin. html). One of Kipling’s critics was Kirk H. Beetz. He gave generally positive feedback, the whole time praising the poem.
He said “The language is raw and the verse is melodic; the combination is powerful. ”(www. Edition. Web. Literryreferencecenter. com/2012. html). The way Kipling wrote this poem, you would have to think twice when reading every misspelled word. T also gives a sense of character’s personality. The verse really is melodic as well. It flows easily from line to line. And it follows and AABCCB rhyme structure. When you combine both of these things it really makes an impact on the poem. It s strong and the way it flows despite the slang is interesting. There is another critic who also gave a positive review.
Her name is Rachel Lewis and she said, “And the Indian slang, which is incomprehensible to most readers, makes the narrative intriguing, exotic and gives it a certain authentic way. ” (www. Edition. Web. Literryreferencecenter. com/2012. html). This is talking about the way Kipling uses slang he learned from India. He uses misspelled words and such, showing the poor language skills of the character. It makes you think more deeply about the words, and it really makes it unique in poetry. At first sight, it looks illiterate, but ten you notice it is like this on purpose. It makes it so that sometimes you have to read it aloud.
It makes it almost one of a kind. One last critic is Tamara Fernando, who is more of a neutral analysis effect. When talking about Kipling, she says, “Kipling himself was often a vocal critic of Christian institutions, particularly of doctrines related to salvation and human sinfulness, and especially on Christian missionary work. ” I agree on what she said, because it seems true, at least from this poem. Salvation would be when the narrator was saved by Gunga Din. Human sinfulness would be how the regime treated the slave of Gunga Din. I think that what Tamara said about Kipling is true.
I think that what all the critics said is true. I really thought this author was pretty cool. He had an okay life, but what he accomplished from it was really good. He gained and transferred the Indian culture and brought it to England, the rest of the world and into his literature. I was also interested about his poem, “Gunga Din. ” It was interesting and I just liked the way it sounded when you read it aloud. I also liked the rhyming part, the warfare part, but most of all I enjoyed the character of Gunga Din. He is really a better man than most of them out there. After all he was “Din! Din! Din! ”