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The Real White Man's Burden - Irony and Symbolism

Keywords: white mans burden poem research, real white mans burden poem

I try to measure the use of irony and image in the poems "The White Man's Burden" and the "Real White Man's Burden" to see how effective both writers were in using these elements to convey meanings. Regarding Kipling, I'll consider two tips of views. The first viewpoint is the fact Kipling was an imperialist who supports the take over of other governments to show superiority. The next point of view is the fact that Kipling was an imperialist who supports the dominate of other governments as an act of humanity to bring civilization to the uncivilized and, that he warns of the perils of demonstrating superiority as oppose to taking true liberation. In the case of Crosby, since he presents a single view point, I am going to evaluate his success of using irony and symbolism in parodying the task of Kipling. Effectively used, irony and icon could convey a message with more than one meaning as showed in Rudyard Kipling's poem "The White Man's Burden" or, they could express a single meaning exhibited in Ernest H. Crosby's poem "The Real White Man's Burden". In the final analysis, I submit that the effective use of the elements of poetry, in cases like this, irony and symbol, are essential to the correct interpretation and understanding of the meaning of both poems.

In order to establish a well-rounded knowledge of the basis for the two interpretations of Kipling's work and the solitary interpretation of the work of Crosby, I send definitions for the terms 'imperialism', 'irony', and 'image'. These explanations will also provide to show whether or not there was effectiveness in the use of the elements of poetry, in both poems. As identified by Dictionary. Com:

Imperialism is "the policy of extending the guideline or authority of any empire or country over foreign countries, or of acquiring and possessing colonies and dependencies. Irony is the discrepancy between what is said, done, expected or intended, and what's meant, what happens, and what others understand. Satirical irony is the coverage of the vices or follies of an individual, a group, an institution, an idea, a contemporary society, usually with a view to improve the folly. Image is whatever stands for another thing". (Dictionary. Com)

Having establishing the definitions, I will now analyze the use of irony and symbols in Ruyard Kipling's poem. While Kipling uses both irony and symbols, his use of irony is greater. Kipling's expertly uses irony to effect a result of the intended final result of two opposing perspectives concerning whether imperialism is for 'human being good' or 'elitist gain'.

In the first view point, Kipling uses the poem "The White Man's Burden" to encourage America to dominate the Phillipines imperialistically or, for elitist gain. Kipling writes:

Take the White man's burden / Send forth the best ye breed / Go bind your sons in exile / To provide your captives' need; (1-4)

The first observation of the poem is Kipling's decision to call the poem "The White Man's Burden". Undoubtedly, the utilization of the word 'White Man' is the lightening pole that sparks the view that Kipling's position was that of your imperialist having at its main the tenets of Community Darwinism. Matching to Kretchner, the concept of Social Darwinism purports that "natural order obligates powerful, civilized countries to appropriate the limited resources of the poor. " (Kretchmar) Hence, Kipling's urging of America to assist the Phillipines to attain civilization may be interpreted as him promoting the imperialistic movement.

Even further, Kipling's encouragement that the empire should 'send forth the best ye breed' has very strong racial connotations. During that time in history, blacks weren't considered as equals to whites in America. The unequal treatment of blacks was so widespread in America's monetary, political, and public systems that Wayne Weldon Johnson, creates "Lift Every Tone of voice and Sing" also known as the "Black National Anthem", to encourage black people to sing and march until victory is won. This cry for equality remains in 1968, with Martin Luther Ruler still only possessing a dream of equality. Though, in 2008, Barrack Obama becomes the first black Chief executive, there still remains the cry for true equality.

In addition to the charges to "Take up White Man's burden / Send forth the best ye breed"(1-2), Kipling's use of phrases such as "To veil the risk of terror / And check the show of pleasure. " (11-12) asserts that the Empire should do what is necessary to eliminate resistance and to subdue insurrections against Imperialism. Not merely should the Empire silence the voices of the captives, but she must also limit or remove any symptoms of take great pride in that they could muster.

Further, Kipling's characterizations of individuals as "On fluttered folk and wild / New caught- sullen peoples, / Half-devil and half-child. " (6-8) may be easily construed as connatively condescending. Kipling seems to imply the empire must anticipate to reinforce her position "By open speech and simple / 100 times make plain" (13-14). Kipling's distinction of the empire appear to be lofty in its build. By marrying the icons of the captives to be inferior people to the santimonious responsibility of the Empire to bring civility to the uncivilized, you can conclude that Kipling helps that the Empire is superior and therefore gets the responsibility to bring civility to the uncivilized.

Ironically, the same body of work that interpretively champions the Empire to be superior to the captives, implores the empire to be good and complete in its liberation of the captives. The second perspective to the work of Kipling in the "The White Man's Burden" is 4that he advocates for the reasonable treatment of the captives. Kipling's urging of the empire to liberate the captives also to look after their needs can be found throughout his poem. Regarding to Bonamy Dobree, while speaking to Canadians in 1907, Kipling said:

"I've, I confess it now, done my best for approximately twenty years to make all men of the sister countries within the Empire interested in one another. Because I understand that in mind all our men are just about alike, in that they may have the same aspirations, and when all is said and done we've only one another to rely upon. " (Dobree 80)

Kipling demonstrates a view steady to prospects who believe true liberation is not oppressive. For instance, he creates:

Take in the White Man's burden-- / The savage wars of calmness- / Fill up full the oral cavity of Famine / And bet the sickness stop; (17-20)

Further, Kipling warns the Empire that of its actions or inactions, everything it say or not say will regulate how the captives view the Empire and its own God. Here's what Kipling says:

By all ye cry or whisper, / By all ye leave or do, / The silent, sullen individuals / Shall consider your gods and you also. (45-48)

In addition to the way the captives view the Empire and its own God, Kipling writes that other countries and future generations will also look at the treatment of the captives and judge the Empire. Kipling continues on to share the empire not to celebrate its triumph or relish in the compliment, since these serves are 'childish', but that the Empire should become more concern with the way the work would be judged by the Empire's peers for years to come. To encapsulate the view that Kipling desired the Empire to bring civilization without displaying superiority, his closing verse from the poem is posted. Kipling writes:

Take up the White Man's burden-- / Did with childish times-- / The casually preferred laurel, / The easy, ungrudged reward. / Comes now, to find your manhood / Through all the thankless years / Chilly. Edged with dear-bought knowledge, / The wisdom of your peers! (49-56)

These words evidently indicate that Kipling encourage the Empire to be honorable in its dealings with the Natives.

Contrary to the institution of thought that Kipling advocates civilization with true liberation, is Crosby's position that the Empire uses 'blessings' as a doorway to visit in and 'take away' the true riches of individuals and in exchange offers them an oppressive life style. Unlike Kipling's making of his poem, "The White Man's Burden" where he shows his trust for the Empire, Crosby in his parody "The Real White Man's Burden", blatantly shows his mistrust of the Empire. Most of all, though he utilizes heavy use of irony and icons to show his opposing view of the Empire, Crosby does not dillute the sole meaning of his poem.

First, Crosby's title of the poem is a clear sign of his dissent from Kipling's views. He uses the word "White Man" to solidify the object of his remarks, but, he runs further by using the phrase "Real" which ironically means that there is a masking of the truth. Crosby's title talks strongly of his judgment up against the Empire. Historically, his viewpoint is attracted from his experience as a public activist so when a black man residing in America during the Spanish American War. According to the essay by Andrew Hebard, Crosby's position on Imperialism mirrors that of Amy Kaplan who says imperialism is "as a network of vitality relationships that changes over space and time and is riddled with instability, ambiguity, and disorder, rather than as a monolithic system of domination that the very term 'empire' implies. " (Hebard)

Next, are observations of the blending of symbol and irony employed by Crosby to demonstrate his view of the Empire. Crosby thinks that the purpose of the Empire is ill-willed. He also thinks that their 'chaiotic sytems' bring failure, and the Empire dangle 'proverbial carrots' in trade for a lot more valuable increases. Crosby's position would be that the eventual result of imperialism will be sociable, economical, and political oppression.

At this time around, a detailed look at Crosby's use of irony and symbols to depict the interpersonal climate that prevailed in the us, the local climate which he against being presented to the Natives, is warranted. Crosby asserts:

Take in the White Man's burden; / Send forth your sturdy sons, / And fill them down with whisky / And Testaments and guns. (1-4)

Ironically, these lines subliminally say that the drinking alcohol of whiskey mask the reality, since it is widely known that individuals who ingest too much liquor aren't as cognitively aware as they must be and, therefore, not able to think properly are apt to believe anything told to them. Further, being packed down with whiskey causes a usually sturdy person to stagger, and even land. More overtly though, is the actual fact that "Testament" symbolizes fact and wholesomeness, and "guns" represent power and destruction. But, because the intellects are improved with liquor, the masking of the real motive is easily perpetrated. There is a strong probability that the military will introduce the social sick of alcoholism to the natives, and will also help spread propoganda about the 'good' of imperialisim in so doing leading to the natives to become drunk and misinformed. The abililty of the natives to think reasonably accurate about their condition will be reduced.

To further support his view of sociable failure and also to show that the Empire believes that the Natives have limited information and can be easily captured if not military services, certainly they could be captured through the pass on of socially communicable diseases. Crosby creates:

Throw in a few diseases / to spread in tropic climes, / For there the healthy niggers / Are very behind the times. (5-8)

Crosby bolsters his position of interpersonal oppression by stating:

Give them electrocution chairs, / And prisons too, galore, / And if indeed they seem

inclined to kick, / Then spill their heathen gore. (21-24)

The symbols of 'electrocution seats', 'prisons', and 'gore' ironically talks of loss of life both in physical form and psychologically. Physically speaking, there is the death of the individual whether by electrocution, or the spilling of the blood. Then, there is death of experiencing liberty of space, since prisons limit motion. While subtle, predicated on Crosby's bank account, the goal to kill the dreams of the natives, screams from the pages of record. Crosby is aware from his experience, that if any form of amount of resistance, whether through word or action, is shown, if any attempt to follow any dreams, ideologies, or customs that threatens the goals of the Empire is made, that the Empire would by any means necessary, ensure that the quest for those dreams was deferred and dry up like "A Raisins in the Sun". (Diyanni 1870 )

In addition to social oppression, Crosby purports that the Natives will be opressed financially through hard labor as well as through the Empire's system of taxation and personal debt. The view point of oppresive labor is aptly projected by using irony. Crosby says:

And remember the factories. / on those benighted shores / They have no cheerful iron mills / Nor eke departmemnt stores / They never work twelve hours per day, / And stay in bizarre content. (9-14)

Through his masterful use of irony, Crosby argues that the natives, who did not work as extended hours as does the Americans, were very content with what little they thought they had. However, the larger issue for Crosby appears to be that Empire recognized that the natives were actually very successful and prosperous and looked for to make them assume that their way of life was inadequate, also to turn them from being 'owners of the land' to 'laborers in the land' so that the Empire may be expanded. (An ideal mixture of imperialism and colonialism!) A lot more indicative of his stance against economical oppression, Crosby decried the imposing of taxation and credit debt. He creates:

Take in the White Man's burden, / And train the Phillipines / What interest and taxes are / and just what a mortgage means. (17-20)

Again, in Crosby's thoughts eye, you have the irony of a folks who are successful in their simple but, impartial way of life who being militarily substandard are consequently forced to become failures by their dependence on a monstrous financial system.

In a final attempt to show the fallacy of the Empire, Crosby features the political weather that the Empire embraces. He pens:

They need our labor question, too, / And politics and fraud. / We've made a fairly clutter at home; / Let's make a mess abroad. (25 -28)

The irony in these lines humorously measure the undertaking of the Empire to repair another's problem, when it cannot solve its problems. The bottom line is, Crosby believes that Imperialism is a preposterous veiled attempt to cloak greed in kind deeds by using methods that are disfunctional.

In summarizing his solitary communication of the failure and hypocrisy of the Empire, Crosby does three things. First he mocks what the Empire respect as a valiant mission, Next, he shows the unparrarel trade that the Empire wishes, and then, he addresses the faade of the scripting of the quest that the Empire would rather be written in the history of history. The usage of satirical irony and symbols are well armoured vehicles to deliver these details. Crosby declares:

Take the White Man's burden; / to you who thus succeed / In civilizing savage hordes / They owe a debt, indeed; (33 -36)

Crosby questions the validity of the quest. He goes on to weigh the exchange between the Empire and the Natives. He gives:

Concessions, pensions, salaries, / And priviledge and right, / with outstretched hands you raised to bless / Get everything around the corner. (37 -40).

In conditions of irony, not only is there a compare between how much is given verses how much is considered, but, also of what is given verses what is used. The natives receive a few limited handouts like 'agreements', 'benefits', and' paychecks' and, in exchange the Empire takes possession of the natives' land and naturual resources. Interpretively, Crosby demostrates this purchase as a slipping leap by going from buying to owing; which is very much an uneven trade. Finally, he disorders the hypocrisy of using the skill of writing to distort the issue and hide the true purpose of the Empire. It's important to present the catalog of words Crosby uses to expose what he views to be socially, financially, and politically inappropriate. Crosby concludes:

Take in the White Man's burden, / In case your write in verse, / Flatter your Nation's vices, / And strive to make sure they are worse. / Then learn that if with pious words / you ornament each saying, / In an environment of canting hypocrites / This kind of business gives. (41 - 48)

Fittingly, Crosby uses satirical irony to show you the true motive of the insincere enthusiam that Crosby thinks Kipling is exhibiting for the Empire's high ideals of pious goodness. Crosby is prosperous in delivering the single point of view of the Empire's greed disguised as taking civility to the uncivilized.

In conclusion, the expert use of irony and sign by both Kipling and Crosby end up being excellent conveyors of the poets' communications. Kipling's use of irony and icon brillantly delivered two very contradictory positions. He lauds Imperialism by advocating that it's the responsibility of civilized nations to help bring civilization to underdeveloped nations. He also decries the satisfaction of pondering to be superior and being unfair to the people recognized to be less finanically fortunate, much less socially advanced, and not as politically savvy. Like Kipling, Crosby uses irony and symbols to provide his solo concept. Crosby's message is usually that the Empire is hypocrital in its purpose and that the gist of what they really wanted to do was camoflagued by missions to mankind, and described as helping to bring civilization to the uncivilized. Clearly, the poets' use of irony and sign formed the understanding and interpretation of the poems meant meanings. The use of Irony and Sign was so well carried out, there remains no discussion regarding the value of these elements in both poems.

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