The Jungle Book Questions and Answers
by Rudyard Kipling

The Jungle Book book cover
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What problem did Mowgli have and how did he solve it?  

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Lynnette Wofford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The Jungle Book consists of a series of linked stories about the life of Mowgli, a young Indian boy who over the course of the stories gradually comes of age. The major issues he faces are ones of loyalty and identity. He is torn between his human heritage and the jungle world in which he has been adopted, and he struggles to find a place for himself that can reconcile these two parts of his life or nature. 

In his process of maturation he must overcome many obstacles or problems. The first is an external conflict with the tiger Shere Khan; this conflict, in which the tiger is trying to hunt and kill Mowgli and Mowgli and his friends are trying to kill the tiger in self-defense, occupies a considerable part of the narrative. He also has a conflict with the red dogs, who are a similarly destructive natural force. His efforts to save Messua from the greed and stupidity of people form another set of problems. 

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jayneaire eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Mowgli, the main character in The Jungle Book, faces many dangerous problems through Rudyard Kipling’s legendary tale. From facing down Shere Khan’s threats, to escaping the Bander-Log tribe of monkeys, to being ostracized from a human village, Mowgli’s conflicts mainly seem to sprout from the main problem that he does not know where he fits in the world. He is clearly not an animal, but he does not feel like a human either. As he searches for who he really is and where he truly belongs, Mowgli learns lessons about what it means to be a kind, intelligent human and a caring friend. As he vacillates between the jungle and human society, Mowgli finally sees the solution to his inner turmoil: a young woman walking down a path in the jungle. By the end of the story, Mowgli understands that he will only be able to start a family in the human world. As he grows into a man, Mowgli accepts that his true home is with the humans, and he leaves his jungle past behind.

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