The poem titled “The White Man’s Burden” urged the United States to take up their burden of the empire like all other states had done. The thesis statement is that the injustice that Africans faced could be dealt with and that the Africans would be free at last. The articles have the themes of linking racial ideology with imperialism, anti-imperial protest and the class conflicts. The skills that they have used help to analyze poetry where the literature helps to understand the history of the people and the history of racism (Morel 2, 1).
The article shows that the colonies were exploitative and always relied on slave labor. The ships that left the colonies were full of chains, ammunition and guns with no commercial goods but the ships that came in were full of ivory and rubber and other valuable products. The non-European culture is viewed as demonic and childlike. This means that the white people have the right and the obligation to rule over, and also encourage the development of culture of people from all other cultural and ethnic backgrounds. This would end after they have transformed all cultures into their Western ways. The meaning of the term “the white man’s burden” is interpreted as racist, and can be taken as a metaphor to mean cultural imperialism which is the sense of European ascendancy and referred to as the condescending view of the non-Western national economic traditions and culture. The rich are said to have the moral obligation and duty to give help to the poor regardless of whether the poor want the help or not (Morel 2, 3).
The prevalent attitudes that made colonialism to proceed are made clear in these articles. The belief of virtues of empires was well known in the time that these articles were written and also there were many dissenters. These articles caused flurry of arguments from the African side and also from the Europeans side. The introduction of the Western ideas to the other cultures would have beneficiary roles because they would be lifted from extreme ignorance and poverty. The lines 3 and 5 in the white man’s burden show that both the native people and the Western culture are enslaved. The functionaries of the empires are caught up in the colonial service. In fact the articles are used to undermine imperialism in a satirical manner (Morel 2, 4).
The approach of the articles especially in their last stanzas about the modern era is that the arguments of empire and race are real. The two articles have helped to lament on the burden that the white man that should not be judged on the grudging natives. The weariness that is seen in the constant work of the colonies represent a positive movement towards modern sensibility and the positive move towards modern writing by moving from the traditional writings.
The British Empire is shown to be industrious and having a lot of imperialism whereas the natives are shown to be ungrateful and slothful people. The Africans in particular carry the Black man’s burden and this is used to show that the Africans have not emaciated away before the occupation of the white man. Africa has absorbed Caucasian into their culture because the white settler had massacred them in heaps but they were able to survive. The empires carved bloody and broad avenues in the whole of Africa but the Africans were able to resist persistently. The Africans were transported in ferocious cruelty after they were enslaved by the whites though they still survived this and their numbers continued to increase. This article has social values and it is very reliable and credible for giving more information about the relationship between the empires and their colonies in their history. Slave trade is a social issue which is well shown by this article (Kipling 2, 1).
The article is very important in giving and showing the extents of the relationship between the whites and the Africans. It gives better understanding of the world history and the slave trade that was very rampant in the ancient days though it has greatly reduced in the present days. The lessons we can learn is that everyone can seek for justice and that it is better to live what one profess. The whites claimed that they followed the Christian teachings but did not follow them (Kipling 2, 4).
The white man mistreated the black men for not only working for his farms and the other lowly assignments, but also inferior dignity that was held by the white people. This reflects the superiority complex held by the whites as demonstrated by the clergyman who wrote the poem. The imperial capitalistic mentality held by the white, African American did not have a position in the capitalistic dominated society. White people did not believe that African American were entitled to own properties in their territories despite their imperial capitalistic economic and political representation in the society. The injustices that are in the value system of the American culture did not allow African American receive any moral or legal liberties and rights.
The White man’s burden presents a scenario that white Americans viewed and regarded African American as captives despite the end of slave trade decades ago. Whites have never regarded African as equal beings since the mentality created during the slave trade was still held long after the end of the trade. Therefore Africans did not own up the imperial slogan of capitalism that was held by whites. Unfortunately, Africans also held on to the same mentality and this greatly limited their potentials.
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