Rudyard Kipling wrote Kim during a very important historical period in India, while it was under British rule. In Kim, Kipling writes about the colonialism, the racism, and prejudices that were common place during that time period. Kipling incorporated cultural influences into each of his characters. This helped to establish the characters behaviors in particular and discernible ways. The four main players of the Great Game were: Colonel Creighton, Lurgan Sahib, Mahbub Ali, and Hurree Babu. They each are distinct characters who used their different personalities throughout the Great Game. Kipling not only explores the cultural and ethnical attributes that each player has in the Great Game, but he also exemplifies the societal and personal influence that could not be solely identified by the color of their skin.
Kipling conveyed a strong imperialist point of view in Colonel Creighton. Colonel Creighton displayed this characteristic in his old-fashioned approach to playing the Great Game. He was patient and had long term vision for Kim and the Great Game. Creighton is settled and confident in the established society of India. He interacted with others in the Great Game that showed that same confidence and a directive that displayed his imperialist point of view. Though he was not domineering, he distanced himself from others in the game and assumed his role accordingly. Creighton was decisively English in character.
Creighton conveyed himself as an elusive member of the boring Ethnological Survey. Kipling wrote that he would be content among the old order in London as much as he was in India. He displayed a calm structured demeanor that came from the very structured English way of life. He patiently approached Kim and saw value in Kim apprenticing for the Great Game. On page 111, Kipling wrote “But you’re not far wrong. That boy mustn’t be wasted if he is as advertised.” Creighton identified the value that Kim can have for the empire and further the imperialist goals of Britain.
Kipling offset the imperialist attitude of Creighton by developing Lurghan Sahib as a mystified and diverse Englishman. Lurghan did not have an imperialist attitude. Any English characteristics that he had were dominated by the multicultural fashions by which he lived. He had masks and trinkets from other cultures that decorated his house. Lurghan was deceptive and saw value in illusion and disguise. He valued the different cultures and understood that not being “English” was a very important trait for the Great Game.
Lurghan surrounded himself with objects that mystified him and he separated himself from the imperialist nation. He embraced India better than Creighton in that he developed himself apart from the goals of Britain. He did provide a very important role for the Great Game but it was characterized by his understanding of disguise and culturalism. Throughout the story Lurghan emphasized these features.
In Chapter 9, Lurghan attempted to deceive Kim with...