How are imperialized people viewed by the writer in the poem "The White Man's Burden?"  

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This is certainly a very controversial poem. The writer views the imperialized people as devoid of wisdom and true purpose in life.

In the poem, the writer states that the white man's efforts will be met with little appreciation. He laments that the white man's burden consists of thankless work: the task of supposedly freeing the imperialized people from their ignorance and spiritual degradation, which is met with "blame," "hate," and the "cry of hosts."

Take up the White Man’s burden—

And reap his old reward:

The blame of those ye better

The hate of those ye guard—

The cry of hosts ye humour

(Ah slowly) to the light:

"Why brought ye us from bondage,

“Our loved Egyptian night?”

The writer views the imperialized people as helpless and needy creatures who need to be saved from themselves. He seems utterly convinced that the latter are hybrid creatures, both diabolical and naive in nature ("half devil and half child"). The writer admits that saving the imperialized people from themselves will be a difficult undertaking. However, he maintains that the white man must persevere in his efforts. He must put aside his desire for "The lightly proffered laurel, / The easy, ungrudged praise" and instead, pursue the thankless work of reforming a backward people.

Certainly, the poem is at once insulting as well as eye-opening. 

The writer's attitudes were common for his time. The work of imperializing the Third World was considered a genuine mission of mercy, one that sought "another's profit" and worked "another's gain." This poem, although controversial, reveals a rationale behind European empire-building.

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In “The White Man’s Burden,” Rudyard Kipling takes a very negative view of imperialized people. He clearly thinks that they are inferior to white people and have many shortcomings.  Let us look at things he says to describe them in this poem.

In the first stanza, he calls them “fluttered folk and wild” as well as “half-devil and half-child.  This shows us pretty well what he thinks about imperialized people.  They are not quite human, being partly devil. Even to the extent that they are people, they are very immature and uncivilized.  They are “wild,” showing that they are uncivilized in his eyes. They are also “fluttered,” which implies that they are flighty and not very serious or mature. This same idea is conveyed when he says that they are half-child.

In the third stanza, Kipling says that the imperialized people display “sloth and heathen folly.  Sloth is laziness, so he is saying these people do not want to work.  He also says that they are foolish. Finally, in calling them “heathen,” he is using a term that implies that they are not civilized.

In the fifth stanza, Kipling calls the imperialized people “those ye (the British and Americans) better.”  In saying this, he is explicitly saying that the imperialized people are not as good as the white people.  In the rest of the stanza, he says that these are people who prefer to be ignorant, saying that they would rather live in their “loved Egyptian night.”

In all of these ways, Kipling shows that he has a low opinion of the imperialized people.  He thinks that they are lazy, immature, uncivilized, and possibly not fully human.

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