At the center of “The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes” is a pattern of reversals: Servants become masters, and the dead rise up to live again. Morrowbie Jukes seems almost to be living through a bad dream, except that the horrors he experiences are real. Kipling achieves a plausible basis for this dreamlike atmosphere, however, by presenting his readers with a protagonist who has been suffering from a fever that has weakened him and left him disoriented, as one sees when he tries to shoot the baying dog.
“The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes” can be seen as the strange ride of humankind. The galloping pony takes Morrowbie to the brink of the crater, and they both fall in. Morrowbie is powerless to control the force that takes him to the crater, just as people, perhaps, are powerless to control the forces that direct their destinies.