Started conversation Jun 14, 2010
Most critics of Kipling seem to have missed the point. Far from being prejudicial himself, Kipling is merely stating the prejudices apparent in the British Army of the time. The rank and file soldier of the time and indeed continuing to this day, look upon servile people of color with disdain. This stems from the class system of treatment by so called "Officers and Gentlemen" of the rank and file. The acceptance of "knowing ones place" in this system extends to those being paid to serve the rank and file soldier. They accept the treatment being meted out to them in the same way the soldier accepts the treatment recived from those of higher rank. What Kipling was pointing out was the unfairness of this system, not condoning it or decrying it, just reporting it.