What genre is The Jungle Book?

The Jungle Book fits into the adventure, animal tale, and bildungsroman genres.

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The Jungle Book fits several genres. Firstly, it fits into the adventure tradition. Adventure stories feature characters who embark on dangerous quests and face physical threats. Adventure stories tend to take place in far-off lands as well. Popular adventure stories in fiction include "The Most Dangerous Game," The Scarlet Pimpernel, and Treasure Island. The Jungle Book also belongs to this tradition since its characters face a multitude of dangers in the uncertain world of the jungle. In "Mowgli's Brothers," Mowgli must venture to the human village and obtain "the Red Flower," which will help him on his way to defeating Shere Khan.

The Jungle Book also belongs to the tradition of animal stories. Animal tales are often allegorical in nature, using animals to represent human qualities and make statements about human nature in general. While most of the general public associates The Jungle Book with Mowgli, the original material focuses on several different characters, many being animals like Kotick the seal or Rikki-tikki-tavi the mongoose. The military animals in "Her Majesty's Servants" also take on human qualities to discuss themes such as duty.

Lastly, parts of The Jungle Book take on bildungsroman qualities. A bildungsroman is a coming-of-age story. Mowgli comes of age over several stories, growing in bravery and cleverness as he faces a hostile jungle environment. He must also discover where he belongs: among the animals or among fellow humans. Kotick the seal also comes of age in his story as he helps his fellow seals find a new home where they will not be hunted down.

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