Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The White Man's Burden & Imperialism

After one look at the poem, it didn't seem to make sense. Then after a few times reading it and paying closer attention, there seemed to be connections to slavery. After a while I concluded that the White Man's Burden was meant to be the stop of imperialism and the taking over the weaker countries and territories, especially in that of Africa. Kipling seems to believe through his poem that imperialism could be compared to slavery. He also believes that, even though ending the conquering of the weaker countries was a good idea to him, to a white man the idea was, as he put it, a "burden". His justification on the subject I believe was mainly supposed to appeal to the American audience. This is because the United States just left a gigantic Civil War which slavery was a large part of no later than 30 years beforehand. Kipling most likely wanted to see the U.S. take action against the spreading empires.

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