What does Rudyard Kipling's poem "The White Man's Burden" reveal about his attitude towards Africans and Asians?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Kipling primarily looks upon colonial subjects as backward and primitive, as considerably less developed than the white man. The picture he paints of colonial subject peoples ("half devil and half child") is deeply offensive in its suggestion that there's something strangely exotic and dangerous about them. As such, he asserts that their savage, lawless impulses must be kept in check by the firm, controlling hand of the white man, whom Kipling regards as their racial superior.

At the same time, Kipling is keen to stress just how onerous the burden of the imperial project really is. He wants to give his American audience the benefit of British experience in managing an empireā€”to show just how...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 348 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team