Name: Hiba Majdoub
Professor: Laura Rice
The British Empire and Colonial Literature
19 November 2014
The White Man's Burden: Rudyard Kipling 1898
During the 18th and 19th century, the bloody wars of colonialism seemed to echo the fierce debates, over the same issue, in newspapers, articles and also in poetry. While soldiers were struggling in the battlefields, intellectuals were wrestling with their thoughts and ideologies and reflecting them in different kind of writings. Opinions about imperialism were diverse and clashing even among the same group of people. But what made most of them consider their expansionism as the right thing to do, is their belief that it was "God-given mission" and responsibility to civilize the rest of the world.
But what is it really the "white man's burden" or is it just the white man's excuse to expand and colonize and satisfy his greed? And how the colonial discourse was used to impose and justify power?
The White Man's Burden, a poem by the English poet, novelist and short story writer Rudyard Kipling, is one of the well-known and poems about Imperialism.
It was first written to convince the United States to follow in Britain's example and begin building an empire and join imperial powers by annexing Philippine.
It is as describe it by Franklin D Roosevelt "rather poor poetry but good sense from the expansion point of view". The expression "white man's burden" was widely used in that era and employed to justify their deeds, as it was their duty to rule the rest of the world in order to spread civilization, cultural and economic development.
In Kipling's poem, the sentence the "Take up the White Man's burden" is repeated in the first verse of every stanza, emphasizing the huge responsibility given to the white man...