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 One of the most characteristic features of the modern development of
humanity is a sharp increasing
trend towards integration, mutual influence and cooperation and
internationalization of world processes. A new stage of
development marks the transition from enclave civilizations, which
almost did not interact with each other, towards the desire to
intensify inter-civilization contacts.

This turn of universal history is connected, first of all, with the
vital activity of European civilization, the existence of which
required constant self-reproduction and expansion.
The last circumstance has found its manifestation in colonial
expansion and the creation of a single system of world economy,
without which the modern order of the world would not have arisen.
Therefore, without comprehension of the phenomena that took place in
the colonial era, it is impossible to fully understand complex and
contradictory processes occurring in the modern era. This raises the
need to study and rethink colonization processes, their impact on the
life of all countries and nations that were part of this process.
Also, mutual contacts should be viewed not as a unidirectional
action, but as a dialogue of different cultures and different
civilizations, which, voluntarily or involuntarily, significantly
intensified the processes of interaction and mutual influence of
representatives of different cultures, civilizations and religions.

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Very important and promising for historians is the thesis of the
mutual influence of all cultures. None of them is isolated and pure.
All cultures are hybrid, heterogeneous and highly differentiated and
non-monolithic. The empires of the past have been affected by all
states, imperialism has made the world closer. Therefore, the
imperial context should not be ignored during the studying of the
development and interaction of cultures.

So, I would like to focus now on British
imperialism specifically in India. And, firstly, i will begin with
what imperialism is, how did the British come to rule India, positive
and negative effects of imperialism and after the reflection of
imperialism in Kipling’s To be Filed for Reference (“Plain
Tales from the Hills”, 1888).

So, the definition. Imperialism is a
policy, in which a strong nation seeks to dominate other countries
politically, economically or socially. In simple words – it’s when
a country goes outside of their boundaries and takes over another
territory or another country. The British economic interest in India
began in the 1600s with the British East India Company. This
establishes sort of the beginning of British colonialism in different

Part of why did the British come to rule India
– the Mughal dynasty India began to crumble. So in a lot of sense
was sort of ripe for the taking. The country didn’t have strong
leadership, the country itself was very weakened so historically it
was the perfect time period for the British to move in and to try
occupy India or take it over.

So, from 1757 to 1858, the British East India
Company was the leading power in India. They moved in with their
superior ships, weapons and government. They were able to establish
control in India.

The area controlled by the East India Company
grew, eventually controlled Bangladesh, most of southern India, and
territory along the Ganges River. Sepoys (or Indian soldiers) made up
a large part of the East India Company army. The Governor of Bombay
referred to the sepoy army as a “delicate and dangerous machine,
which a little mismanagement may easily turn against us”.

Probably, it is wrong to divide the imperial intentions and the
national culture of the metropole. It should be considered as a
whole. It is also wrong to consider fiction out of the international
context, out of the history of society. Literature participated in
the expansion, it created a certain moral climate for it.

At the end of the XIX century, there were a lot of works about
empires. Through works of fiction the history became accessible to a
wide range of readers. Most humanists – authors of the XIX century
could not explain the connection between the practice of slavery,
colonialism and racism with the poetry, prose and philosophy of the
society that carried out this practice. But critics often cut off
such themes from the “sublime” culture. Imperialism is the
cultural artifact of bourgeois society. Imperialism and fiction
complemented each other. The works of Henry Haggard, Rudyard Kipling,
Joseph Conrad, Edward Morgan Forster, Arthur Conan Doyle along with
the works of ethnographers, economists, historians played a big role
in the formation of imperial psychology.

For the British Empire and its cultural development the interaction
of Western and Eastern civilizations was of particular importance
because its main colony, India, was a vivid representative
of Asian culture. Although India gained independence in 1947, the
dispute over how to assess the joint history of Britain and India is
still actual. There is an opinion that imperialism has disfigured and
destroyed Indian life so much that even after decades of
independence, the Indian economy, adapted in the past to the needs of
Britain, continues to suffer. On the other hand, a number of British
historians, public figures and politicians believe that the
destruction of the Empire was pernicious for both the British and the
Indians. Problems of mutual relations and clashes of East and West in
India, understanding of the “alien” culture have always
occupied the minds of many British scientists and cultural figures,
and Rudyard Kipling (Dec. 30.12.1865,
Bombay, India – 18.01.1936, London, Eng.) takes a special place
among them.

Joseph Rudyard Kipling is
an English short-story writer, poet, and novelist chiefly
remembered for his celebration of British imperialism, his tales and
poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. He
received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907.

Rudyard Kipling was the first born child of
John Lockwood Kipling and Alice Kipling, who had settled in India
earlier that year. His father was a professor of architectural
sculpture; on his mother’s side there was a brace of distinguished
Aunts and Uncles for the boy. One Aunt was the mother of Stanley
Baldwin, future Prime Minister; another was married to Sir Edward
Burne-Jones, the distinguished Pre-Raphelite Painter. He wrote about
the Anglo-Indian society, which he readily criticized with an acid
pen and the life of the common British soldier and the Indian native,
which he portrayed accurately and sympathetically. In 1889 Kipling
took a long voyage through China, Japan, and the United States. When
he reached London, he found that his stories had preceded him and
established him as a brilliant new author. He was readily accepted
into the circle of leading writers. While there he wrote a number of
stories and some of his best-remembered poems: “A Ballad of East
and West,” “Mandalay,” and “The English Flag.”
He also introduced English readers to a new type of serious poems in
Cockney dialect: “Danny Deever,” “Tommy,”
“Fuzzy-Wuzzy,” and “Gunga Din.”

In 1897 the Kiplings settled in Rottingdean, a
village on the British coast near Brighton. The outbreak of the
Spanish-American War (1898; a short war between Spain and the United
States over lands including Cuba and the Philippines) and the Boer
War (1899–1902; a war between Great Britain and South Africa)
turned Kipling’s attention to colonial affairs. He began to publish a
number of solemn poems in standard English in the London Times. The
most famous of these, “Recessional” (July 17, 1897), issued
a warning to Englishmen to regard their accomplishments in the
Diamond Jubilee (fiftieth) year of Queen Victoria’s (1819–1901)
reign with humility and awe rather than pride and arrogance. The
equally well-known “White Man’s Burden” (February 4, 1899)
clearly expressed the attitudes toward the empire that are implied in
the stories in The Day’s Work (1898) and A Fleet in Being (1898).

referred to less highly developed peoples as “lesser breeds”
and considered order, discipline, sacrifice, and humility to be the
essential qualities of colonial rulers. These views have been
denounced as racist (believing that one race is better than others),
elitist (believing oneself to be a part of a superior group), and
jingoistic (pertaining to a patriot who speaks in favor of an
aggressive and warlike foreign policy). But for Kipling, the term
“white man” indicated citizens of the more highly developed
nations. He felt it was their duty to spread law, literacy, and
morality throughout the world.

the Boer War, Kipling spent several months in South Africa, where he
raised funds for soldiers’ relief and worked on an army newspaper,
the Friend. In 1901 Kipling published Kim, the last and most charming
of his portrayals of Indian life. But anti-imperialist reaction
following the end of the Boer War caused a decline in Kipling’s

Kipling published The Five Nations, a book of South African verse, in
1903, he was attacked in parodies (satirical imitations), caricatures
(exaggerations for comic effect), and serious protests as the
opponent of a growing spirit of peace and democratic equality.
Kipling retired to “Bateman’s,” a house near Burwash, a
secluded village in Essex.

now turned from the wide empire as his subject to simply England
itself. In 1902 he published Just So Stories for Little Children. He
also issued two books of stories of England’s past— Puck of Pook’s
Hill (1906) and Rewards and Fairies (1910). Like the Jungle Books
they were intended for young readers but were suitable for adults as
well. His most significant work at this time was a number of volumes
of short stories written in a different style—”Traffics and
Discoveries” (1904), “Actions and Reactions” (1904),
“A Diversity of Creatures” (1917), “Debits and
Credits” (1926), and “Limits and Renewals” (1932).

later stories treat more complex, subtle, and somber (serious)
subjects. They reflect Kipling’s darkened worldview following the
death of his daughter, Josephine, in 1899, and the death of his son,
John, in 1915. Consequently, these stories have never been as popular
as his earlier works. But modern critics, in reevaluating Kipling,
have found a greater power and depth that make them among his best

In 1907
Kipling became the first English writer to receive the Nobel Prize in
Literature. He died on January 18, 1936, and is buried in Westminster
Abbey in London, England. His autobiography, Something of Myself, was
published in 1937.

Kipling’s early stories and poems about life in colonial India made
him a great favorite with English readers.

Amis, his
biographer and a writer himself writes, “Kipling
was an authoritarian in the sense that he was not a democrat. To him,
a parliament was a place where people with no knowledge of things as
they were could dictate to the men who did real work, and could
change their dictates at whim. His ideal was a feudalism that had
never existed, a loyal governed class freely obeying incorrupt,
conscientious governors. He was vague about how you became a
governor: you probably (as in the Empire) just found you were one.
Nevertheless, birth, influence, money, educational status and the
like must not count as qualifications for leadership. Merit,
competence and a sense ofresponsibility were what did count: ‘the
job belongs to the man who can do it’. As George Orwell pointed
out, Kipling was further from being a fascist than can easily be
imagined in a period when totalitarianism – a very different thing
from authoritarianism – is accepted as a possibly valid or even
desirable system. Kingsley Amis, Rudyard
Kipling and his world. Thames
& Hudson Ltd, 1975, p.52

was an imperialist. He accepted the Empire as it stood and he
approved the annexation of Upper Burma. His position has been
explained semi-mystically the Empire was justified because it
fostered virtue in its administrators and psychologically the Empire
was attractive because it was an island of security in a turbulent,
hostile universe.

Alan Sandison, one of the most famous Kipling’s critics, analyzed the
connection of literature and imperialism in The Wheel of Empire
(1967), a group of essays on Haggard, Kipling, Conrad, and Buchan,
explored the “nature and function of the imperial idea” in
their respective works. Treating each figure as a special case,
Sandison suggests that imperialism exists as something quite separate
from the creative writer, something outside, to which the writer
responds in a distinctly personal way. “Given the imperial
idea”, he says of Kipling, “he reacted in the way any artist
would-by finding in it a means through which to express his own
artistic vision”.Kipling’s vision, according to Sandison, is the
“awareness of man’s essential isolation… illumined in the
imperial alien’s relationship to his hostile environment.”
Sandison does not hold imperialism even partially responsible for
helping to create isolation or fragmentation; it merely clarifies an
already existent situation. Sandison thinks it “unfortunate…
that Kipling chose the physical context of a political idea’ to
express his own singular vision, because his support of Empire
“concealed the fact that, fundamentally he was not writing to
express the idea of empire.” Wendy R. Katz. Rider Haggard and
the Fiction of Empire: A Critical Study of British imperial fiction,
Cambridge, 1987, p.3-4

Now I would like to focus on “To Be
Filed for Reference”. This
story was first published in “Plain Tales from the Hills” (1888),
a collection of stories of life in India. It is the last of the
forty stories in the collection. The plot of the story: McIntosh
Jellaludin, an Englishman educated at Oxford and formerly a brilliant
scholar, has ‘gone native’, marrying a native woman and becoming a
convert to Islam as well as (somewhat inconsistently) taking to
drink: “a tall well-built, fair man, fearfully shaken
with drink, and he looked nearer fifty than thirty-five, which, he
said, was his real age.”
The narrator happens on him one night in the Sultan Caravanserai,
drunk and helpless, helps him home to his filthy lodgings where he
lives with a native woman, becomes his friend, and listens to his
ramblings as he dies of pneumonia, brought on by drink. Before his
death, McIntosh bequeaths the narrator the manuscript of his book,
Mother Maturin, which may or may not be a masterpiece of low life in
India. This was the title – and indeed the theme – of Kipling’s first
attempt at a novel, of which he had written over 200 pages in 1885,
but never completed.

Some critics
suppose that this story is not just a part of Kipling’s life in
India. It contains more than a trace of autobiography. Like all
Englishmen, he perceives a mystery in India which he desires to
penetrate, but equally he believes, like all Englishmen, that to do
so is to lose oneself. Another figure that fascinates him is the
“loafer” or white man ‘gone native’, like McIntosh Jellaludin in
“To Be Filed for Reference”. McIntosh, it is hinted, has
penetrated some of the mysterious of the East, but he pays the price
in degradation and death. The brash young Kipling appears to promise
us Jellaludin’s ‘manuscript’ at a future date but, as with ‘Mother
Maturin’, the promise was ne er fulfilled. Much as Kipling may have
got to know India as a journalist such a promise could never really
be fulfilled, because India was understood to be necessarily alien
and incomprehensible to Western minds; and as Kipling usually
understood quite clearly, the Empire rested on a belief in that
unbridgeable gulf. Yet it remains true that he, more than
any other writer, explored the relationship between the British and
India. Mark Pafford. Kipling’s Indian Fiction, Palgavre
Macmillan, 1989, p.54.

By every Anglo-Indian standard he has failed utterly. And yet he has
captured Kipling’s imagination: the conversations between McIntosh
and the reporter suggest in a curious way that two conflicting
impulses in Kipling himself are debating against one another.
McIntosh embodies that part of Kipling’s mind for which the
restraints of Anglo-Indian life were intolerably
burdensome…McIntosh is enviable to the extent that he has seen to
the bottom of Indian life, and can therefore laugh at Strickland as
an ignorant man. He is enviable as the author of ‘Mother Maturin’,
the novel Kipling had begin but was never to complete. Norman Page.
A Kipling Companion, Macmillan
Press London, 1984, p.130

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