To the British, India served as the jewel of the British Empire. The coffers of Britain overflowed with wealth extracted from the subcontinent. The initial acquisition of India under the British East India Company and the ongoing domination under the British Raj of a population many times the size of the occupying force proved to be a remarkable feat. Beyond the economic justification, the British believed the Indians constituted one of the many inferior races around the world and that a strong European influence would enlighten the people of India.
This attitude was clearly expressed in Rudyard Kipling's poem, "The White Man's Burden." Kipling spent his childhood in India and shared the British perception of the Englishman's place in the world. After the poem was published in Harper's Magazine in 1898, a flurry of responses were penned throughout the globe attacking the attitude and motives of the British.
TASK: Write a REACTION POEM to Rudyard Kipling's "The White Man's Burden" from the perspective of a colonial in either Asia, Africa, or India. Use what you have learned so far about IMPERIALISM (particularly British Imperialism) and include some specifics from our study in your poem.
His poem has SEVEN stanzas, your poem should have at least THREE. Be ready to SHARE with the class.
REMEMBER- You are writing a RESPONSE to what he has said in his poem! You are writing from the point of view of a person that has been CONQUERED by this man and his EMPIRE...what is your response to what he is saying?
PODCAST: Unit 7 Day 5 (Part 2) The White Man's Burden
(An explanation of the poem)