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White Man's Burden

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Autor:   •  May 1, 2011  •  781 Words (4 Pages)  •  311 Views

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The, "White Man's Burden" is a controversial poem that has many different interpretations. I am going to tell you about my personal interpretation from this poem and the interpretations and reactions the poem got from different audiences. I think that this poem is one of the highlights of its time and it really shows what kind of thinking the Imperialists had about going to Africa. Let's take a look, first, at what exactly the, White Man's Burden" is.

In the late 18th century early 19th century, Europeans got the idea of Imperialism. Europeans began to think that they needed to spread their culture and technology all across the world; this led to the invasion of Africa, Asia and the Philippines. In the, "White Man's", Europeans and some Americans, point of view they were better than all others. Each country's people developed a nationalist point of view. Each country felt that they were the best and that they needed to spread their culture to the rest of the world. In this poem, this is the, "White Man's Burden." They took upon themselves this, "Burden" because they felt that it was their duty as a country. They convinced themselves that they were doing it for the benefit of others, not for their own profit. It would seem that the, "White Men" were very good at lying to themselves to make them think that they were doing it for the right reasons, when in reality they were doing it to expand their country in a conquest to dominate the world. This is obviously a load of Bull****! The Europeans expected to reap the rewards of profit and pride as Kipling clearly states in lines 11-16. Belgium was the first to take a land grab in Africa, and with that began the Age of Imperialism.

Now let's jump to the poem itself. After reading this poem I thought to myself, "What kind of sick, diluted person could write this?!" But when I take a closer look at the poem I realize that he is actually speaking against Imperialism in Africa. This is clearly satire. Satire is the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc. I think that he is using satire in a sense that he is being sarcastic. In my opinion he is supporting Anti-Imperialists, and when I take a look at his life at the time, it shows that he definitely could have thought that way. But me, thinking in an Anti-Imperialist point of view, I would interpret this in an Anti-Imperialist way. However, in Europe this poem was quite popular. Therefore this poem creates two different points of view, Anti and Pro Imperialism. In the eyes of the Europeans, this poem made sense in what they were striving toward because the words

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