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Title: Kipling's empire : the social and political contexts of the shorter fiction 1886-1906
Authors: Hagiioannu, Andrew Sophecleous.
Award date: 1998
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: The thesis explores the relation between Kipling's shorter fiction and the various cultural and political environments in which he wrote - from the Punjab, to Vermont, the Cape of Africa, and Sussex, England. After considering the problems of Kipling criticism past and present, the early chapters trace the European philosophical basis of administrative methods in the Punjab, and, in turn, the influence of the forms and languages of government upon Kipling's writings.;Outlining the intellectual and political confrontations of British India, the initial parts of the thesis highlight the resistance of the Punjab, and Kipling's writings, to Liberal reform and its utilitarian emphasis. The middle chapters cover the Vermont years, discussing the relation of the stories to an American political context riven by social division - between the industrial East and the rural West, and the various factions of a newly modernised and emergent international power. The fiction is shown to engage with the confrontation between the agrarian Populism of the West and the hegemony of Wall Street, opposing the political influence of rogue speculators and financiers in late nineteenth-century America. The American experience also contextualises the celebration of the fortitude, asceticism, and selflessness of the British empire in the Indian stories of the period.;Later chapters consider the impact of the Boer War upon Kipling's work, revealing how, in the areas of race, religion and culture, the war in South Africa precipitated a crisis of representation for British imperialists, which is reflected in Kipling's poetry and contributed to a change of focus in the stories. The final two chapters discuss Kipling's ambivalent response to social reform and modernisation in Edwardian England, citing medical and scientific works to illustrate how the stories play an influential part in, and are often cynical about, the re-emergence of a national bucolicism in the early years of the century.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: Ph.D.
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, Dept. of English
Leicester Theses

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