Analysis Of Rudyard Kipling's 'The Mark Of The Beast'

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Building an Empire becomes problematic when the colonizers know nothing about the territory being colonized. Britain began colonizing India in the 1700s, completely ignorant about the people of India and their cultural and religious beliefs. Ignorance comes from a lack of knowledge. This lack of knowledge can be by choice, like in this situation. Despite their ignorance, Englishmen still came into India with an arrogant attitude. They believed they were superior to the people of India, therefore it did not matter what the people of India believed or how British actions made them feel. In “The Mark of the Beast”, Rudyard Kipling uses symbolism to portray ignorance and arrogance in India brought on during its colonization by Britain. The character of Fleete exemplifies that ignorance and insensitivity, and he ultimately pays a grave price. Rudyard Kipling was able to experience both India and Britain growing up. Kipling was born in Bombay, India and was later taken to Britain to be educated (“Rudyard Kipling - Biographical” nobelprize.org). His…show more content…
They saw themselves as superior to the people of India, and felt they were of great importance. This arrogance is shown when: “... Fleete dashed up the steps, patted two priests on the back, and was gravely grinding the ashes of his cigar-butt into the forehead of the red stone image of Hanuman” (Kipling 2). He did not try to sneak past the priests, he wanted them to see what he was going to do. Fleete was asserting dominance in a way. Kipling was showing how the Englishmen showed no respect for anyone who had lived in India their whole lives, not even priests. The Englishmen held themselves high above any important figures in India, and wanted to show that they were in charge any way they could. Fleete feeling superior to a god shows the arrogance that came with the Englishmen, and how insensitive it could cause them to

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