Kim Questions and Answers
by Rudyard Kipling

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What is the significance of the "old soldier" in Rudyard Kipling's novel Kim?

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The "old soldier" in Rudyard Kipling's novel Kim is an old man of Indian ethnicity who once served the British government in India. The narrator describes him succinctly as

an old, withered man, who had served the Government in the days of the Mutiny as a native officer in a newly raised cavalry regiment.

When Kim playfully pretends to have mystical knowledge of a forthcoming war (knowledge he has actually acquired from overhearing the comments of a British officer), the old soldier is highly skeptical. He questions Kim relentlessly about his supposed mystical vision. However, Kim is able to provide many precise and accurate details about the British officer (including his physical mannerism and ways of speaking):

“First the great man walks thus. Then He thinks thus.”...

(The entire section contains 410 words.)

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