The White Mans Burden

This assignment is asking you to do two things. 

First, analyze the language and overall themes of the poem.  Think about the poem analysis we did at the beginning of the semester, all the way back in January.  In the first part of this assignment, analyze the structure and the meaning of the poem.  Pay careful attention to the language presented in this poem.  What words does the poet use?  What are the connotations of those words, are they positive or negative?  How does Kipling structure the poem to create meaning?  What literary devices and poetic language does Kipling use to convey meaning and tone (repetition? rhyme? imagery?)?  What do you think is the main theme of this poem?  How do you know?  You should be using evidence from the text to support your thoughts and ideas.In the second half of your writing, make connections between the poem, the historical context you have learned about colonization, and our novel Purple Hibiscus.  See more details at

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In what ways do you see a connection between the themes presented in this poem and the themes in Purple Hibiscus?  This poem was written roughly 65 years before the setting of our novel – how can you connect the ideas presented within the novel to the ideas in the poem?  Think about ideas/concepts like language, religion, power, and gender roles when comparing the novel and the poem.  In what ways do you see similar themes being presented in both pieces of writing?  How is it different to explore these themes in a text written by a white, British man vs. in a text written by a black, Nigerian woman?  Do you think that there is something we can learn from each piece of writing? 

There are many questions offered in this assignment; you may respond to the questions that you feel most strongly about.  However!  You must make sure that you complete BOTH parts of this assignment.  Your response must be 2-3 pages in length, between 600 – 800 words.  You may write more if you have more to say, but do NOT write more than 4 pages! Your response should follow all MLA formatting instructions.  This means Times New Roman font, size 12, double spaced.  In your response, you must use at least TWO (2) quotes to support your ideas.  One quote must come from the novel, Purple Hibiscus, and one must come from the poem.

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