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White man’s burden. Poem Analysis. Rudyard Kipling - 1899. Take up the White Man’s burden- Send forth the best ye breed- Go bind your sons to exile To serve your captives’ need; To wait in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild- Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half child.

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White man s burden
White man’s burden

Poem Analysis

Rudyard kipling 1899
Rudyard Kipling - 1899

  • Take up the White Man’s burden-Send forth the best ye breed-Go bind your sons to exileTo serve your captives’ need;To wait in heavy harness,On fluttered folk and wild-Your new-caught, sullen peoples,Half-devil and half child


  • “The White Man's Burden” is significant in its depiction of both the colonized and the colonizer. The poem is addressed to a colonizing nation.

  • In the first stanza, Kipling calls on his audience to “Take up the White Man's burden— / Send forth the best ye breed— / Go bind your sons to exile.”

  • He thus frames the colonizing nation as one making a great sacrifice and the colonial troops as being the best of the nation, being sent “to serve your captives' need.”

  • He depicts the colonizer as a servant to the colonized people, which he describes as ungrateful “sullen peoples, / Half-devil and half-child.”