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Kipling’s Imaginary Construction of Empire

Author Wu
Tutor ZhangXuChun
School Sichuan International Studies University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Rudyard Kipling Kim Orientalism Imperial discourse
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Rudyard Kipling, the first Englishman to win the Nobel Prize for literature, is severely controversial for his imperial arrogance and his Indian complex. The present thesis is a tentative study which purports to argue that Kim, as a conspicuous postcolonial novel, is full of imperial discourse and Orientalist mentality for the ideal construction of the colonial empire.The thesis is composed of three parts. The first part is a general introduction of the thesis, which includes a brief introduction of Kipling and his works, as well as the literary theory applied in this dissertation. The second part consists of three chapters. With the application of Orientalism, the author endeavors to make a panoramic analysis of the imperial discourse in the respective presenting of the East and West. At the same time, Kipling’s affection for India is shown which reveals his ambivalence in the novel. The last part makes a conclusion according to the above analysis and confirms that Kipling is still an imperialist. All he defines and formulates is merely for his utopian dream of ideal empire construction which could not be realized in reality.Kipling takes pains in the definition, the imagination, the formulation of what India is to the British Empire in its mature phase, just before the whole edifice begins to split and crack. His narrative is full of imperial discourse, even though he shows ambivalent affection for India. He still can not overcome his innate Orientalist mentality and undeniably contribute to western colonial domination with his own ideal empire construction.

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