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Rudyard Kiplings The Man Who Would Be King is a thematic story on many levels. The underlying themes are to live ones life adventurously, the importance of relationships, and also an allegorical satire of the British Empire.

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Introduction

Hayden Kallas Mr. Becker Honors English December 3rd 2011 "The Man Who Would Be King" Analysis Rudyard Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King is a thematic story on many levels. The underlying themes are to live one's life adventurously, the importance of relationships, and also an allegorical satire of the British Empire. Kipling shows the importance of living life in several ways. The first way is by showing the potential rewards of taking chances, the second is showing how Peachy and Daniel set an example by acting instead of just thinking. Kipling also uses his book to demonstrate the nature of relationships. He does so with his depiction of the Masonic order, the meeting of the characters Peachey and Kipling, and the bond that adventure creates between Daniel and Peachy. Another topic that Rudyard touches on allegorically is the nature of imperialism in British Empire. He allegorically demonstrates imperialism through Peachey and Daniel's conquest of the savages and the way he shows the character's beliefs of self-superiority shown. ...read more.

Middle

Relationships are further explored when Peachey meets Kipling for the first time. It's funny how Peachey reveals so much of his personal plans to Kipling, despite not really knowing anything about him. After immersing Rudyard in his life by requesting that the message be delivered, he effectively creates a relationship with him, be it positive or negative. From there, the relationship grows just from their interactions throughout the book. One can't really call their relationship a friendship, but it is still interesting to see how they are connected after their initial meeting on the train. In a way, relationships tie into the first thematic topic as well because friendships are made and strengthened by shared experiences. Imagine how close Peachey and Daniel must have been after first serving together in the British Military, planning the conquest of a small city (explained in the next paragraph,) and actually trekking through the country of Afghanistan in order to get to the small city that they were to conquer. ...read more.

Conclusion

As stated earlier, what puts a halt to Daniel and Peachey's conquest is how Daniel fools himself into believing he is a god, and that he does indeed have the right to enforce his will upon the savages. Although negative, one has to also keep in mind that it requires a large degree of overconfidence and self-disillusionment for Peachey and Daniel to even think that the great feat of conquest that they strive for was actually achievable. The British, like many other empires, also fool themselves into believing that their own conquests are somehow moral and justified. It seems then, that perhaps in order for an Empire to be able to gain any power it has to have some dogma, realistic or not, to ride upon. As one can see, Rudyard Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King is a great story that manages to be chock-full of thematic meaning as well. The themes shown range from advice such as living one's life in the moment and taking opportunities for adventure, to exploring the relationship of brotherhood and shared experience, to the allegorical portrayal of the British Empire. ...read more.

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