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Blount, Margaret. Animal Land: The Creatures of Children’s Fiction. New York: William Morrow, 1975. Analyses the Mowgli stories as variants on the school story. Discusses the inversion of moral order between the animal and human worlds.

Frey, Charles, and John Griffith. The Literary Heritage of Childhood: An Appraisal of Children’s Classics in the Western Tradition.Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1987. Analyzes Mowgli as a character situated between two cultures, unable to fit into either fully, and connects Mowgli’s situation to Kipling’s position in regard to Indian and English society.

McBratney, John. “Imperial Subjects, Imperial Space in Kipling’s Jungle Book.” Victorian Studies 35, No. 3 (Spring, 1992): 277-293. Detailed examination of Mowgli stories in relation to contemporary categories of race and ethnicity. Argues that the stories are an attempt to create in fiction a society in which distinctions of caste and race do not operate. Kipling is a “quiet rebel” against prevailing racial ideas.

McClure, John A. Kipling and Conrad: The Colonial Fiction. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1981. Examines The Jungle Books in relation to the politics of imperialism. Mowgli stories offer Kipling’s conception of the ideal education for imperial rule. The beast fable structure obscures the flaws in his concept.

Murray, John. “The Law of The Jungle Books.” Children’s Literature 20 (1992): 1-14. Provides a good summary of earlier writings on Kipling’s concept of law and argues that this concept must be understood in the context of group survival against inimical forces, rather than as natural or ethical law.

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Critical Evaluation