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The Jungle Book: how does Kipling establish Shere Khan as the enemy in

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The Jungle Book: how does Kipling establish Shere Khan as the enemy in "Mowgli's Brothers" The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling was written in the year 1894 as a series of short stories based primarily in the jungles of India. The first story, 'Mowgli's Brothers' introduces a number of characters that feature throughout additional stories in the novel. The antagonist a tiger named Shere Kahn, is introduced early in the novel and presents the ongoing danger against the protagonist, 'man-child', Mowgli. Kipling conveys Shere Kahn as the enemy early in the novel through varied use of language and the events that create tension between Mowgli & himself. Shere Khan's character ignores of the 'Law of the Jungle' and the constant threat he poses to Mowgli establishes him as the enemy in the story. Kipling first introduces the reader to Shere Khan through the voice of Tabaqui the Jackal at the beginning of the novel. We are told that: "Shere khan, the Big One, has shifted his hunting grounds." This shows us that Shere Khan is perceived as the enemy. He is known as the "Big One" and the capitalization here makes him seem more of a threat. We see him as a predator who poses an imminent danger. The wolves first talk about Shere Khan with the use of sarcasm. ...read more.


He is selfish and does not care for the safety of other animals. For example he kills cattle belonging to the farmers and villagers living close by and this leads the humans to burn down the forest which drives the animals out of the forest and the humans also invade the forest to hunt animals as revenge for the killing of the cattle. Shere Khan also hunts out side his designated area, this breaks the "The Law of the Jungle" that states he "has no right to change his quarters without due warning", also he is willing to steal and kill a man-child which is forbidden by the law, and this shows he does not care that hunters with guns would enter the jungle. Kipling contrasts Shere Khan's behaviour and action with that of other animals that support and follow the Law of the Jungle such as Baloo and Mowgli. Shere Khan poses a threat over Mowgli and the consequent is tension and conflict between the two and other animals. The first threat Shere Khan inflicts is when he reaches the cave where Mother Wolf and her cubs stay, Shere Khan's "roar filled the cave" but Mother Wolf defended her young cubs as she is described by Kipling of having "two green moons in the darkness" which shows her strong feelings towards Khan. ...read more.


Mowgli also shows his anger by dropping "the red flower which ye, dogs, fear" towards the wolves. In the final incident with Mowgli and Khan, Kipling uses curses to show Shere as the weak enemy. After Mowgli talks to the wolves he says "but there is a debt to pay before I go" to Shere Khan. This shows the courage and his strength, then Shere Khan is described "blinking stupidly" and how his "ear's lay flat back on his head" which show the weakness of Khan and how he "whimpered and Whined in agony of fear". All this shows how he is no longer a boy but a man who knows the meaning of hate and respect. Mowgli "promise" the wolves that he would "betray ye to men as ye have betray me" this confirms his understanding of the wolves and how his language changed and became more serious towards Shere Khan and the wolves. Shere Khan is established as the enemy in "Mowgli's brothers" with the use of continual comparisons with other animals and with what the other animals think of him. Conflict is started straight from the beginning because of the Tiger's miss to catch his prey and his hate of men when he meets Mowgli but not being able to kill him as he is accepted by the wolves. Other animals tell Mowgli to fear Shere Khan because of there own fear of him and his establishment by Kipling as the enemy of Mowgli and other wolves who stand in his way. ...read more.

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