Rudyard Kipling Term Paper

Pages: 12 (3383 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 12  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Literature

¶ … Rudyard Kipling. The writer takes the reader on an exploration of Kipling's life, his works, and his writing style. In addition the writer presents an interview with a person who is familiar with Kipling's work as well as four literary criticisms. There were 12 sources used to complete this paper.

Since the beginning of time authors of literature have used their works to convey thoughts, emotions, ideas and facts. Most authors choose whether they want to write fiction, non-fiction poetry or something else and they spend their writing career contributing to that area of literature, however, every once in awhile a writer comes along who is so talented that he or she can cross over into all areas of literature and succeed. Such was the case of well-known author Rudyard Kipling. Kipling was a writer who knew no boundaries. His work in non-fiction was equaled by his work in fiction. His poems touched the hearts of millions even while he was busy working on a short story or a piece of non-fiction for others. It is rare that a writer can be so talented that he or she wins acclaim in almost all styles of writing and Kipling was one such writer. Throughout his life he gave prose of wisdom and emotion to readers in almost every corner of literature.

Kipling's Life

For one to understand how he came to be such a great writer it is important to know a bit about his life.

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Rudyard Kipling first came into the world five days after Christmas in 1865. He was born to an affluent family that resided in Bombay India. His father was the Professor of Architectural Sculpture at the Bombay School of Art (Biography (http://www.geocities.com/athens/aegean/1457/biograph.htm).His mother came from a family that was filled with women of accomplishment which in that era was rare indeed.

His formative years were spent in the care of a nanny (aya) who made sure that he was introduced and schooled in culture of India. His parents made the decision to send him away to boarding school at the age of five and he traveled to England for that purpose.

Term Paper on Rudyard Kipling. The Writer Takes the Reader Assignment

He was sent to live in a lodge with the lodge owner Madam Rosa. While his parents believed that he was being treated with love and kindness, Kipling later told the world that he was horrifically mistreated for the six years he was in the care of Madam Rosa. He was beaten, victimized, underfed and generally abused in a manner that today would be deemed appalling (Biography (http://www.geocities.com/athens/aegean/1457/biograph.htm).

Kipling suffered from a lifetime problem of insomnia that has been attributed to the sudden change in lifestyles he experienced when he left his warm, loving affluent family and was at the age of five suddenly in the hands of a child abuser. He was very far from his family, five years old, scared and alone and it caused him to stop sleeping well for the rest of his life (Biography (http://www.geocities.com/athens/aegean/1457/biograph.htm).

This played an important part in his literary imagination. His parents removed him from the rigidly Calvinistic foster home and placed him in a private school at the age of twelve. The English schoolboy code of honor and duty deeply affected his views in later life, especially when it involved loyalty to a group or a team (Biography (http://www.geocities.com/athens/aegean/1457/biograph.htm)."

As a young adult, Kipling returned to India and became a journalist. While working as a journalist however, he spent his free time honing his skills as a fiction writer and a poet which provided him with an extremely well rounded portfolio of abilities as a writer.

Kipling published his first book of poems in 1886 called Departmental Ditties. Now that he had non-fiction and poems published he targeted the fiction genre and in 1889 he published six volumes of his short stories. Each of the stories was set in his homeland of India which he loved and knew so well (Biography (http://www.geocities.com/athens/aegean/1457/biograph.htm).

When Kipling went to England in later years he was pleasantly surprised to find he had become an acclaimed and popular writer there as well.

Over the immediately following years he published some of his most exquisite works including his most acclaimed poem "Recessional" and most famed novel "Kim." In 1907 Kipling won the Nobel prize in literature in consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration which characterized his writings (Biography (http://www.geocities.com/athens/aegean/1457/biograph.htm)."

While he was enjoying significant success as an author Kipling's life was not without pain. His first born daughter, Josephine, died of pneumonia while traveling with the family in the United States. Her death affected him deeply as became evidenced in much of his later writing. Josephine meant the world to him and her death caused him emotional stresses that show in the works he published after she died, compared to the works that he published while she was still alive.

Between 1919 and 1932 he traveled intermittently, and continued to publish stories, poems, sketches and historical works though his output dwindled. As he grew older his works display his preoccupation with physical and psychological strain, breakdown, and recovery. In 1936, plagued by illness, he passed away into the world beyond, leaving behind a legacy that will live for centuries to come (Biography (http://www.geocities.com/athens/aegean/1457/biograph.htm)."

Critics and Kipling

Throughout his life, his work faced increasingly harsh criticism from critics around the world. It was evidence that the death of his child had a negative impact on his heart, mind and writing but even after years had passed his work became the target of critics with sharp tongues. While some people believe that Kipling's later works actually suffered and that he lost his edge and talent, others believe that his work was as strong as ever, however, it had changed and critics were not willing to accept the change in Kipling's work, voice or direction of his words (Biography (http://www.geocities.com/athens/aegean/1457/biograph.htm).

His poems dealt with racial and imperialistic topics which attracted a lot of critics. Critics also condemned the fact that unlike the popular model of poetry, Kipling' poetry did not have an underlying meaning to it and that interpreting it required no more than one reading. Maguills Critical Survey of Poetry indicates that some critics even attributed the qualities of coarseness and crudeness to his poetry (Biography (http://www.geocities.com/athens/aegean/1457/biograph.htm)."

It is interesting to note that even as critics were trying to discredit his talent and ability he remained extremely popular with the mass of society.

In fact due to his ability to relate to the layman as well as the literary elite through his works, he joined a select group of authors who reached a worldwide audience of considerable diversity. Kipling's reputation started a revival course after T.S.Eliot's essay on his poetic works where Eliot describes Kipling's verse as "great verse" that sometimes unintentionally changes into poetry (Biography (http://www.geocities.com/athens/aegean/1457/biograph.htm).Following Eliot's lead many other critics reanalyzed Kipling's verse and revived his poetic reputation to the merited level. In his lifetime Kipling went from the unofficial Poet Laureate of Great Britan to one of the most denounced poet in English Literary History. In contrast to the path his reputation took, Rudyard Kipling improved as a poet as his career matured and by the time of his death Kipling had compiled one of the most diverse collections of poetry in English Literature (Biography (http://www.geocities.com/athens/aegean/1457/biograph.htm)."

Discussion of Kipling's Works discussion of Kipling's work without a commentary about a Second Rate Woman would seem remise.

Kipling was acclaimed not only as a writer of different genres but also for understanding the minds and emotions of different genders. In the story he manages to capture the classic views and attitudes of women who disapprove of a younger, more sensual woman's life and actions (a Second-Rate Woman (http://whitewolf.newcastle.edu.au/words/authors/K/KiplingRudyard/prose/UndertheDeodars/secondratewoman.html).

Delville,' said Mrs. Mallowe, '"Shady" Delville, to distinguish her from Mrs. Jim of that ilk. She dances as untidily as she dresses, I believe, and her husband is somewhere in Madras. Go and call, if you are so interested (a Second-Rate Woman (http://whitewolf.newcastle.edu.au/words/authors/K/KiplingRudyard/prose/UndertheDeodars/secondratewoman.html).'

What have I to do with Shigramitish women? She merely caught my attention for a minute, and I wondered at the attraction that a dowd has for a certain type of man. I expected to see her walk out of her clothes -- until I looked at her eyes (a Second-Rate Woman (http://whitewolf.newcastle.edu.au/words/authors/K/KiplingRudyard/prose/UndertheDeodars/secondratewoman.html).'

Kipling demonstrated in this story that he understood the hearts and minds of both men and women, which led to his ability to cross genres in his writing.

Kipling wrote about things he felt strongly about. Whether it was the relationship between different people or the tragedies of war, he injected his personal bias, emotion and thoughts into every work he published.

One of his poems, titled a Death Bed examined the many circumstances under which death can arrive and how those who die do so.

Some die eloquent, pressed to death

By the sliding trench as their friends can hear.

Some die wholly in… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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