What is the message of The Jungle Book?

The Jungle Book carries a message about the flexibility of family, caring for the environment, and humanity's place within the environment.

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The Jungle Book, though a collection of short stories, carries similar messages throughout its various adventures. Some stories are about Mowgli, a man's cub that is adopted by a wolf pack, while others are about a heroic mongoose or an old elephant. Despite the variety, the stories do carry similar messages to readers. One of these messages is that family is more than blood relation or even species relation. Mowgli is adopted by a wolf pack. He is different from the pack, but the pack also makes it clear that Mowgli needs to adhere to pack rules and traditions. He is treated like a regular member of the family, despite not being born of the pack or an actual wolf. We see this family message repeated in the story about Rikki-tikki-tavi. He is adopted by a human family and risks his own life to protect the humans rather than stay out of the snakes' way.

Another message in The Jungle Book is about the environment and the importance of caring for it, as we humans are only a small part of the whole. The book does a wonderful job of showing readers how humans are a single species among many that are present on Earth. We have unique skills that other animals do not have, but other species have unique skills that we do not have. Each creature has a unique place within the environment or biosphere, and because we are a piece of a whole, we need to help care for and maintain the whole.

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