Is there any alliteration in "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi"?

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There is a significant amount of alliteration—repeated initial consonant sounds—in Rudyard Kipling's story "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi ," which helps make the story fun to read. First, let's think about the names of the characters. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi has the repeated "t" sound in the last two parts of his name. Nag...

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There is a significant amount of alliteration—repeated initial consonant sounds—in Rudyard Kipling's story "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi," which helps make the story fun to read. First, let's think about the names of the characters. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi has the repeated "t" sound in the last two parts of his name. Nag and Nagaina both have names that start with "n," so whenever their names come near each other, that's alliteration. Chuchundra speaks of his cousin, Chua—both names begin with "ch." 

Now, let's think about the sound effects Kipling incorporates into the story. The sound Rikki makes is "rikk-tikk-tikki-tikki-tchk!" The "t" sound repeats. When Nagaina takes her first strike at Rikki, Kipling writes, "he heard her savage hiss." The repeated "h" sounds make us think of the snake's hissing. When Rikki trades Nagaina a cobra egg for Teddy, he taunts her by saying, "Tricked! Tricked! Tricked! Rikk-tck-tck!" Again, the repeated "t" sounds mimic the sounds the mongoose makes. At the end of the story, the Coppersmith bird sounds the death-knell for Nagaina by saying, "Ding-dong-tock! Nag is dead—dong!" The repeated "d" sounds make us think of a bell tolling.

The author also uses alliteration in descriptions in a fun way. In the first sentence, he speaks of the war fought in the "bathrooms of the big bungalow," repeating the "b" sound. He describes Rikki's tail as a "bottle brush," and when Rikki first comes down on Nagaina's back, he should have known it was time to "break her back with one bite"—more "b" sounds. When Rikki destroys the eggs, "he bit off the the tops of the eggs as fast as he could, taking care to crush the young cobras." This sentence has repeated "c" sounds.

You can find many more examples of alliteration in the story. Alliteration is one technique the author uses to make the story enjoyable to read.

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