In the novel, the reader is allowed to travel along with Kim and his master the Lama all over northern India, where they are constantly reminded of how life can take a very different path when one least expects it. The Grand Trunk Road along which Kim and his Lama travel could be seen as a symbol of the River of the Arrow, the object of their quest.
When Kim was first conceived, Kipling has just married Catherine and was eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child while living in Vermont. For Kipling, this was a time of much inner contemplation and his thoughts were invariably directed to the two subjects closest to his heart, being childhood and India. Like most writers, Kipling distanced himself, at least in his mind, from all the turmoil and tragedy that was occurring in India during the early years of the 20th century with most of it centered on Indian independence from Great Britain which was accomplished with the arrival of Gandhi. Through this ability, Kipling allowed the narrative to flow uninterrupted which gave the novel a feeling of openness and freshness.
In addition, Kim is replete with instances where the child/adult relationship is reversed, especially in regard to the relationship between Kim and his Lama. During their travels, Kim proves many times that he is more practical and effective than his revered Lama. For instance, Kim understands how the trains work, knows the best ways to beg for food and even reacted like an adult when the Russian attacked the Lama.
Also, Kim displays his abilities concerning language, for he acts as an interpreter between the Lama and two regimental chaplains, neither of which can communicate effectively without the assistance of Kim. Also, Kim is a very worldly young boy, due to feeling at home wherever he ends up in his travels. This ability is undoubtedly a reflection of Kipling himself, for as a young boy in India, he experienced many cultural differences and had to adjust to life's endless changes and challenges in a land far removed from the typical propriety and gentility of Victorian England.
After his experiences in the Boer War, Kipling returned once again to England and took up residence in the seaside village of Rottingdean, a place filled with lush grasslands and verdant meadows which Kipling soon came to love and appreciate. By now, Rudyard Kipling was a wealthy man, due to the great popularity of his Barrack-Room Ballads and his most famous literary character, namely Gunga Din.
When World War I broke out in 1914, Kipling found himself not only famous as a literary master but also for his often controversial opinions on English politics. Personally, Kipling considered himself to be an imperialist, meaning that he supported and defended England's God-given right to invade, conquer and dominate all other nations, especially his beloved India which was under British rule up until the middle years of the 20th century. However, prior to World War I, Kipling received one of his greatest honors -- the Nobel Prize for Literature which was considered quite appropriate for such a literary master as Kipling despite his personal opinions on British imperialism.
Between 1913 and 1923, Kipling wrote two plays, the Harbor Watch (1913) and the Return of Imray (1914); however, his skills as a playwright were obviously not as prominent as that of a novelist, for these two plays were criticized and failed miserably. While the ear was raging in Europe, Kipling took it upon himself to become a propagandist for the cause of England in the "Great War" through the writing of several politically-motivated books. One of these, the Irish Guards in the Great War, was rather prophetic, for Kipling's only son had been killed in action as part of this Irish regiment.
Some of Kipling's later works include Debits and Credits (1926), Thy Servant a Dog (1930) and Limits and Renewals (1932). On January 18, 1936, at the age of seventy, Rudyard Kilping died after a short illness, leaving behind his daughter Elsie.
As an author, Rudyard Kipling deserves much more praise and recognition than he has received recently. After all, by the time he was thirty-three years old, he had written and published thirteen books, comprised of poetry, novels and short story collections. Some of his best work was also accomplished at this age, such as Barrack-Room Ballads, the Jungle Book, Captains Courageous and the Second Jungle Book. As a literary specialist, Kipling has been noted for inventing India as a literary subject, at least in the West, admired for his poetical output, classed as an innovator of children's literature, and viewed as one of the leading exponents of the short story format.
In addition to his Nobel award for literature, Kipling received many high honors in a number of fields which only increases his importance in English letters. In 1926, he was given the Gold Medal of the Royal Society of Literature which placed him in a very influential group of authors, such as Sir Walter Scott and Thomas Hardy. Kipling also received honorary degrees from Oxford, Cambridge, the University of Edinburgh and several other prestigious schools. Thus,…