Kim: Native Foreignness: Book By Rudyard Kipling

Submitted By ajvh1220
Words: 1936
Pages: 8

Kim: Native Foreignness
Book by Rudyard Kipling
Review by Matthew Sergent

Matthew R. Sergent
SIS 100: Section .02
Book Review
17 October 2013 The novel, Kim¸ written by Rudyard Kipling, is about a down trodden white orphan, turned spectacular spy. The story begins in Lahore, a city in the Punjab region of the Indian Subcontinent. Kim embodies the concept of deception and truth throughout his journey in India. Kimball O’Hara, as his full name states, was born to an Irish Soldier and a poor Irish mother stationed in Lahore. However, both die when Kim was very young. Kim had to learn to adapt and overcome his surroundings and hardships. He made a meager living as a beggar and occasionally running errands for locals in the city. One of his main sources of employment was through Mahbub-Ali. Kim did not know Mahbub-Ali was an agent for the British Secret Service, which plays a crucial role in the story. Kim also meets Techoo Lama. This lama helps guides Kim spiritually through this journey. Despite these native exposures, Kim always was able to keep his notion of a foreigner at heart. He carried around papers from his father which enables him to show that he is born of Great Britain. This concept of Native Foreignness allows Kim to play a better role in “The Great Game”. The Great Game was the constant struggle between Great Britain and Imperial Russia for influence in northern India. Kim will develop throughout this book as he is pulled between deception and truth. This struggle will ultimately make Kim a man and bring out the hidden warrior that this down trodden orphan truly was. One day in Lahore, Kim encounters his first of many spiritual experiences in the novel. This comes in the form of Teshoo Lama. A spiritual leader from Bohotiyal, the lama was on a quest. Kim overhears a conversation between the museum curator and the lama and finds out this quest is one for spiritual healing. The lama was on the search for the River of the Arrow, a healing river. The Lama was surprised to find Kim in front of him while on his way off the steps of the museum. Kim pleads to be his Chela, disciple, on this journey. The lama accepts and they were on their way out of Lahore. Kim’s journey has begun. Kim’s meeting with the Lama was his first encounter with spiritualism and enlightenment. To balance this experience Kipling exposes Kim to the opposite side of spiritualism and truth, deception. This deception comes in the introduction of two characters in the novel. The first character was already established at the beginning of the novel, Mahbub-Ali. A horse merchant by trade, Mahbub-Ali was constantly on the roads through the Pakistani and Afghan Mountains. Kim meets him with the Lama while on his journey to the River of the Arrow. This made him an excellent recruit for the British Secret Service. His close connection with Kim enabled him to manipulate Kim to bring a message to Umballa. Kim goes to Umballa where he meets the next character of deception, Colonel Creighton. Colonel Creighton was a British officer in British intelligence. He accepts the message from Kim and then he begins to recruit Kim. Creighton succeeds in recruiting Kim to help the British to take northern India. Kim once again sets out with the lama to search for the river. However, Kim is now surveying the countryside for any intelligence that will impress his new benefactor. On this journey Kim finds an omen once told to him by an old Indian woman who took care of him. This was a Red Bull. It came in the form of an Irish red coat regiment, the mavericks. The regimental pastor, Arthur Bennett, recognizes Kim’s papers around his neck and explains to him that he was Kim’s father’s chaplain. The chaplain develops a plan to educate Kim at a top school. Kim was torn from his dear friend and mentor, the lama. However, the lama insisted that Kim go with the chaplain and even funded his education with the wealth he procured on his travels. Kim is sent