Anyone else think that Kipling's "White Man's Burden" is obviously satire?
Anyone else think that Kipling's "White Man's Burden" is obviously satire? stories
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EDIT: Sorry for the formatting issues. [Here's](http://www.fordham.edu/ha...) the poem for reference. >Take up the White Man's burden--
Source: mthmchris https://www.reddit.com/r/...

Anyone else think that Kipling's "White Man's Burden" is obviously satire?

by mthmchris

EDIT: Sorry for the formatting issues. [Here's](http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/Kipling.html) the poem for reference.

>Take up the White Man's burden--

Send forth the best ye breed--

Go bind your sons to exile

To serve your captives' need;

To wait in heavy harness,

On fluttered folk and wild--

Your new-caught, sullen peoples,

Half-devil and half-child.

>Take up the White Man's burden--

In patience to abide,

To veil the threat of terror

And check the show of pride;

By open speech and simple,

An hundred times made plain

To seek another's profit,

And work another's gain.

>Take up the White Man's burden--

The savage wars of peace--

Fill full the mouth of Famine

And bid the sickness cease;

And when your goal is nearest

The end for others sought,

Watch sloth and heathen Folly

Bring all your hopes to nought.

>Take up the White Man's burden--

No tawdry rule of kings,

But toil of serf and sweeper--

The tale of common things.

The ports ye shall not enter,

The roads ye shall not tread,

Go mark them with your living,

And mark them with your dead.

>Take up the White Man's burden--

And reap his old reward:

The blame of those ye better,

The hate of those ye guard--

The cry of hosts ye humour

(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:--

"Why brought he us from bondage,

Our loved Egyptian night?"

>Take up the White Man's burden--

Ye dare not stoop to less--

Nor call too loud on Freedom

To cloke your weariness;

By all ye cry or whisper,

By all ye leave or do,

The silent, sullen peoples

Shall weigh your gods and you.

>Take up the White Man's burden--

Have done with childish days--

The lightly proferred laurel,

The easy, ungrudged praise.

Comes now, to search your manhood

Through all the thankless years

Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,

The judgment of your peers!

In the first stanza, he talks about how we should "Go bind your sons to exile/To serve your captives' need;" - how in the world can this be taken directly?

Furthermore, while Kipling felt that the West had a responsibility to modernize the world (and convert it to Christianity),

his thinking appears far more nuanced than branding conquered peoples as "Half-devil and half-child.

" - especially juxtaposed against his works like *Gunga Din*, which is clearly an indictment against the racism of British soldiers.

In the second stanza, he equates "The White Man's Burden" as "To seek another's profit/And work another's gain." Another line that I think would be patently absurd to take at face value.

In the third to last stanza, his criticism of imperialism is too loud to ignore: "Take up the White Man's burden--/And reap his old reward:/The blame of those ye better,/The hate of those ye guard--".

While you could argue that there are certain undertones of an implied racial superiority, it is at the very least,

clear that the only 'reward' of imperialism is the hatred of the people that you govern.

The last stanza I feel is almost written directly to the United States - seeing as the poem was a response to the US taking over The Philippines.

Talking about how the US was done with "its childish years" and was going to "search for its manhood" and "earn the judgement of its peers".

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