What is the idea of "double consciousness" in the story Kim?

Expert Answers
sagetrieb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Double consciousness" is a term used by WEB Dubois in The Souls of Black Folks. It refers to a person being of two cultural identities as the same time in such a way that one conflicts with another.  A current synonym is bi-cultural identity, with the difference being that one of those cultural identities is "marginalized" by the identity privileged in society.  For Dubois, this was his African identify on the one hand and a white, American identity on the other, which he was unable to fuse into one "whole" identity.  Kim faces a similar situation in the story with his name. He is of Scottish descent (in other words, white and English), but he grows up as a native of India (dark and exotic).  He sees himself as white and he sees himself as Indian, and these, especially at that time, were clashing identities, with white British subjects understanding themselves as superior to the native Indians  they ruled in the time of the British Raj.

sarangij | Student

Kim is an insider at the same time,outsider from the context of Indian-isms and the British emperialism.

He is a coloniser and an observer of indian life.