Please analyze The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling.

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Stylistically speaking, "The Man Who Would be King" represents an interesting departure from conventional first-person voice. Usually the idea (and the great strength) of first person narration is that, in placing the narrator directly within a character's head, the story is told through the subjective experience of a person directly...

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Stylistically speaking, "The Man Who Would be King" represents an interesting departure from conventional first-person voice. Usually the idea (and the great strength) of first person narration is that, in placing the narrator directly within a character's head, the story is told through the subjective experience of a person directly involved within it. This is an effect that cannot be replicated in a more distant narrative voice such as third person.

What's interesting here is that Kipling purposefully breaks with that convention by making his narrator a character who is ultimately entirely incidental to the story himself. He is not truly a participant in the events of this story—rather, he is, himself, being relayed this information. Furthermore, there is the added detail that he is employed as a correspondent (an appropriate note, which parallels his role within the story itself).

Ultimately, this is a story set within Victorian India abour two would-be-adventurers, Daniel Dravot and Peachey Carnehan. From a certain perspective, they seem like people from another time, ill-fit to the bureaucratic, industrialized world of the Victorians. Indeed, as Carnehan says, "India isn't big enough for such as us." This represents one of the great tensions of the story: the tension between the larger-than-life self image of the two would-be tricksters, who perceive themselves as coming from the same mold as Alexander the Great, and the reality that they are ultimately far more limited in their capabilities. This tension ultimately turns tragic, as Dravot is mistaken for a god and is carried away in his own increasing megalomania (which ultimately proves fatal). When the truth is revealed, Dravot is killed and Carnehan is tortured. By the time Carnehan returns to civilization (at which point he relays his adventures to the narrator), he has been reduced to a wreck.

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