Kim and “A Passage to India”

Compares the book “Kim” by Rudyard Kipling to E.M. Forster’s “A Passage to India”.

Forster’s “A Passage to India” and Kipling’s “Kim” have often been viewed as literary works that are in opposition to each other, since the former has been construed as a critique of British imperialism in India whereas the latter has been seen as pro-imperialism. Indeed, this scholarly opinion seems to dominate critical analysis of British colonial literature on India, leading to a wide body of work that highlights the striking contrast between Forster’s and Kipling’s portrayal of the British Raj in India. One outcome of this scholarly tradition is that very little attempt has been made to analyze the similarities, if any, between the two works. As a result, there is one very marked commonality between the two works that has tended to be overlooked, which is the theme of social identity. Therefore, this paper highlights and discusses the fact that both “A Passage to India” and “Kim” serve as a commentary on the importance of the role played by social and cultural identity in creating and perpetuating the divide between write an essay on total quality management nations and races.

Kipling, in fact, achieves his purpose through positing the premise that the only way to bridge the divide between nations and races is through the intermingling of social and cultural values. Whereas, as evidenced by the earlier discussion, Forster’s approach was to highlight the social and cultural differences that prevented the formation of friendships between the British and the Indians. Of course, several critics have interpreted Kipling’s Kim as a novel that demonstrates the importance of knowing India and its customs in order to rule it (Hubel, p. 87), thereby further supporting the view of Kipling as a pro-imperialism author. The fact, however, remains that there is enough scope to equally interpret Kim as a story that shows the path to becoming a friend of all the world.””

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