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Comparison Of Rudyard Kipling And Joseph Conrad Work English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1236 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Rudyard Kipling who was born in the year 1865 December 30th in Bombay, India, was an architectural sculpture teacher and an artist. He was Alice’s husband and John Lockwood’s son. Kipling spent most of his early life in India and was later sent to England by his parent for education. He made significant contributions to the English Literature through his various works which included short story writing, writing novels, and contribution in poetry. While in England, he lived a misery life due to victimization through beatings and mistreatment and later suffered from insomnia. He is an individual’s greatly remembered due to his celebration of the imperialism in Britain, poems and tales of England both in verse and prose formats in the late nineteenth and twentieth century’s.

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To begin with, both Rudyard Kipling and Joseph Conrad have interest in artistic and made contribution in the English literature. They both wrote short stories and novels although Kipling went ahead to writing poetry. Although Conrad was affected by Polish accent unlike Kipling, they both were regarded as good novelist and wrote predominantly with a seaboard or nautical settings which depicted human beings trial. They both featured the aspect of colonialism in their works. In the year 1907, unlike Conrad, Kipling was awarded as the Nobel Prize winner in the literature field. This made him the first writer in English Language to receive Nobel Prize and he still remains the youngest Nobel Prize winner recipient to date.

Some of Conrad’s works have a strain of romanticism unlike Kipling’s work which is entirely based on imperialism, colonialism and children’s tale. However, both Kipling and Conrad are viewed as precursors of the modern literature whose narrative styles and anti-heroic characters have influenced different many authors (Raskin 62).

Both Conrad and Kipling tries to show how the trial of the weak in the human spirit through the demand of honor and duty. For instance, in Rudyard Kipling’s work on “Kim” and Joseph Conrad’s 1902 book on “Heart of Darkness”, they both tries to show quintessence descriptions on what happens when Europeans makes effort in forcing their cultural values on other countries (Moore 3). Although Kipling’s book on “Kim” is less cautionary and much milder than that on Conrad; both Conrad and Kipling have something valid and important to say on the horrors and evils of colonialism impose on those who are colonized.

In his work, Kipling takes the character on the both sides of the Indian and the British unlike Conrad who did not portray India anywhere in his works. However, both view culture blending as an important aspect in their work. However Kipling’s views on colonialism differs with Conrad since when Conrad views the downsides of colonialism, Kipling on the other hand view it as being right. In Kipling’s work on “Kim”, he presents colonialism in two sides, both in British and India. He however, presumes the British colonialism side as being right. However, both Conrad and Kipling have different many works with different views on colonialism.

Both Kipling and Conrad criticize the British in their work. For instance, In Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”, Conrad harshly condemn the oppression and terror which results from domination, and mainly from the European domination of Africa (Raskin 133). Just like Kipling, Conrad, has enough personal knowledge and especially from experience on such subject matter. This is because Conrad had been to Congo in his 1890s and therefore provides his views through his work. Conrad is shocked by his experience in Congo in the 1980s and hence views colonialism just like a cultural bully and a moral vice of the Europeans. Kipling as well hated the United States and they both evidently elucidated western culture vices in Africa and both thought it useless in imposing western culture structure in Africa.

Unlike Kipling whose writing was not developed from the parents; a Victorian Sister (mother) and pottery and sculptor designer, and the professor and principal of architectural sculpture, Conrad literature skills emanated from the family. Conrad’s father was Korzeniowski Apollo (1820 to 1869) was a writer, a patriot and a translator of different authors work such as William Shakespeare and Victor Hugo. Conrad was therefore inspired by his father’s work in becoming interested in English literature and a novelist. He would also read William Shakespeare and Victor Hugo’s work and even those of Charles Dickens (Merriman 1).

However, the artistic trends of both Kipling and Conrad were influenced by their personal background where they grew up. For instance, Conrad as one of the members of the Polish noble gentry, living in the Ukraine under Tsarist autocracy was a very chaotic time politically and they were therefore under constant surveillance (Merriman 1). In the year 1861, Conrad father together with her mother were arrested since his father was a nationalist and a serf’s supporter as well as an opponent of Poland’s oppressors. They then exiled to Northern Russia in Vologda when Conrad was four years old. Due to harsh climatic condition, his parents contracted tuberculosis and later died in 1865 (mother), and 1869 (father).

After the death of his parents, his life changed as he moved to Poland, Cracow, to live with his maternal uncle, Bobrowski Tadeusz. Later, after attaining education with a tutor student from Cracow University and with his uncle’s blessings, Conrad moved to Marseilles, a bustling port in southern France to accomplish his sea life desires. Life here was not simple but very challenging and he was involved in smuggling and gunrunning. He also tried to commit suicide by shooting himself over his chest due to several debts which were later paid by his uncle leading him to lose his French merchant position and joined English ship. He later retired from his sea life and returned to England with fragile health, gouts and depression due to harsh travelling over different countries conditions. This life made Conrad to view life in a different perspective but still with a sense of irony and humor.

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Finally, Conrad’s life influenced his thinking to his English literature to becoming one of the greatest 20th Century novelists, known for his dramatic realism and mastery of atmosphere, at times compared to Kipling Rudyard (Merriman 1). On the other hand, Kipling after living his homeland to England and the hard life after mistreatment made him desperately unhappy with this experience influencing and coloring his later writings.

Work cited

Merriman, C.D. Joseph Conrad. 2007. Web. 28th April. 2011

< http://www.online-literature.com/conrad/ >

Moore, Julie. Rudyard Kipling, Joseph Conrad and Colonialism. 2007. Web. 28th April. 2011

Raskin, Jonah. The Mythology of Imperialism; A revolutionary critique of British literature and society in the modern age. 1971. Web. 28th April. 2011

< http://readingfromtheleft.com/Books/MR/Mythology-C1.pdf>


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