A Brief Review on Kipling’s ‘Kim’ | Hamro Patro

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A Brief Review on Kipling’s ‘Kim’

   Eshanee Manandhar - Jan 26 2024

The title of the novel is “Kim”, an award-winning novel written by the ever famous author, Rudyard Kipling. The genre of this novel is mostly based on adventure fiction, spy fiction, travelling and mystery. The novel “Kim” is about an Irish boy named Kim O’ Hara who meets a Tibetan Lama and goes together to search for the river where Buddha has shot his arrow. However, during their travelling experience in the area of Himalayas they come across several hindrances which made their journey kind of difficult but added a little bit of spice into the plot of the novel. The novel has various reviews and most of it being positive ones. This novel could be a good example of “never judge a book by its cover” as the beginning plot could be boring but the plot in the middle part and end of the book is just wonderful and amazing.

Plot Summary :
In the beginning, we are introduced to Kim O’ Hara whose life is not going pretty well. His parents had died due to several addictions towards different things yet he still has dreams that he wants to chase. Before dying, his father mentioned that if he found a red bull between the green fields, his fate and luck would be changed. While he was roaming in the Lahore museum on his journey, he encountered a guy named Lama who was a Buddhist from Tibet in search of the river where the arrows shot by Buddha had landed. Kim O’ Hara, Kim for short, was really interested and curious about the river, so he pleaded with Lama to let him go with him to find the river. Before leaving, they decided to spend the night at Mahbub Ali who works for a secret service. After observing Kim, Mahbub instantly thought of giving him a task to make his work easier. As Mahubub knew they were going towards the south, Mahbub instructed Kim to bring an English man to Umballa. Without thinking much about the consequences, he agreed to do that work for Mabub Ali. After that, during their journey Kim and Lama were separated.

Then, Kim was sent to a school. Despite the long distance between Lama and Kim, they stayed in contact with each other showing how strong their bonds are. After completing his studies, he is assigned to go on a mission. But before that, he was provided with breaks. Kim does the work he was instructed to do, which was to obtain several maps, for the information on Russia. During his work, he also managed to save his close friend Lama. During that time, he faced several hindrances which made Mabub Ali to come and check Lama and Kim’s health but as they were nursed after some time they were okay. It turns out that the Lama had not found the river for years but had managed to finally find it that day. After finding it, Lama felt that he became enlightened. Since he wanted Kim to be enlightened, he shared his findings with Kim. The Lama taught several things to Kim during his journey which made the mischievous Kim, a wise man.

Critical Analysis:
“Kim” is a novel full of adventures and journeys. To really understand what is actually going on in the plot of this novel, we need to pay attention to the story. Kipling himself, being a part of India, wrote this novel himself showing the both good and bad sides of India as everything has its own flaws and faults. Rudyard Kipling has included Buddhism with a little bit of Indian culture alongside English and Britain characters which makes the whole novel look complete.
The novel tends to reunite the countries by using the characters with mixed races being friends with each other. However, if we look on the other point of view, it could also be seen as racist or discriminative. This novel is purely just an old folk novel with no gadgets, computers, and smartphones. While reading this, it feels like some of the forgotten moments and eras have come back together but in a more descriptive way. However, this novel cannot exactly be said as a children's novel because of the complex concept of enlightenment, the word selection, and the structure of the sentences. Before reading this novel though, we must look through new words in our dictionary and also read several articles and essays related to mixed culture and religious surroundings to understand this novel in depth.

Review and Recommendation:
I definitely would recommend this novel to people in their 20’s and 30’s as I think they would actually understand and also kind of relate towards the scenario of the novel. “Kim” is a really fun novel with different shocking plot twists. This novel seriously needs respect as we have a huge round of applause for its author Rudyard Kipling for this masterpiece. While reading the first pages though, it might feel boring but don’t ever stop until you reach the middle part where the plot goes into the next level. I liked the novel after I read the whole book, and I think that all of us should read it since the mixture of emotions while reading this novel cannot be explained by words. Thus, I would recommend this novel to those who have experience in reading long stories and genuine plots. But before reading, I would just like to request the readers to be ready for the twists and the shocking turn of events that comes in this novel

Eshanee Manandhar
Deerwalk Sifal School

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