Rudyard Kipling is famous for The Jungle Book, and also infamous for the poem The White Man's Burden. As the former takes place in a British colony and given Kipling's attitude displayed in the latter, are there subtle elements of racial discrimination and imperialistic beliefs incorporated in The Jungle Book?

  • 1
    I hate to beat a broken drum, but these kinds of elements are in virtually all media, if only by long standing patterns of narrative exclusion. These omissions and assumptions are just representative of the culture of the source material. And, assuming there is a default non-discriminatory state is part of what's called "filter theory," and is arguably flawed. All this boils down to: what kinds of subtle elements are acceptable in your mind? This is too broad, and definitely needs qualification of some kind.
    – user80
    Mar 18, 2018 at 9:40
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    Good question. This is something that probably most readers of The Jungle Book (myself included) never thought about, but when they look more closely at the text, they might end up learning something new about it.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Mar 18, 2018 at 10:14
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    There is certainly species discrimination. The Jungle Law allows different rights to different animals and many have different langauages, but the Monkeys are seen as 'not to be associated with' and different animals (for instance the wolves) see them selves as better (this seems quite natural though, they do after all have a system of prey and predator).
    – Mirte
    Mar 18, 2018 at 10:48
  • @Zyerah I‘m afraid I don’t quite follow. I‘m not assuming a default non-discriminatory state, I‘m just interested in where in the novel discrimination takes place. If that‘s too broad, I‘m unsure how to break it down further. Maybe imperial mindset is a better term than racial discrimination...
    – Narusan
    Mar 18, 2018 at 11:14


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