‘The White Man’s Burden’ | Analysis | Noter

The White Man’s Burden is a poem with seven stanzas, and eight lines per stanza. It is a traditional poem, because it is written in regular stanzas.

Kipling’s target audience in the poem, is the people with northern European ancestry, that includes the Americans. Every stanza starts with “Take up the White Man’s burden”.

He describes it as though, it is a difficult job, and that they need to bring the best men. According to Kipling and his theory, the Orient people are “half devil, half child”.

He is talking about the Orient people, in a condescending and negative way. Which is clearly an imperialist and racist attitude, to have towards people outside Europe.

It is clear that there are traits of orientalism in the poem when Kipling writes “half devil, half child) about the colored people.

What he means with “half devil, half child” is that they have childish minds, and that they can’t think for themselves. They need the white men to humanize and help them.

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