Rudyard Kipling is a man of immense diversity. He successfully managed to write for over half a century in a variety of genres: short story, travelogue, ballad, personal narrative, and news reporting, to name only a few. While doing so, Kipling readily interacted with a range of subjects and created a multitude of ideas. Likewise, on a personal level, Kipling led an immensely diverse life. He could easily claim four separate continents as home, living variously in India, the United States, England, and South Africa. By profession he was a writer, but as an observer he was so skilled that he learned by heart a variety of professions ranging from street beggar to statesman. Both before and after his life, this variety and complexity has been a subject of debate. Some ignore it, others focus on a particular side of it, but for all it represents an interesting challenge in both studying and classifying Kipling. This thesis seeks to address that challenge by focusing on how Kipling's varying and competing images and ideas work together to assert Kipling's independence. In doing so, this work will look specifically at how Kipling uses multifaceted techniques in his public speeches. In looking at the speeches, the thesis explores three ways in which multiplicity reinforces independence: the combination of privacy and creation, the refashioning of expert detail and self-image, and the fusion of simplistic structure and subtle complexity.



College and Department

Humanities; English



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Rudyard Kipling, Kipling, speeches, speech, public speaking, speaking, self-representation, self-image, image, privacy, complexity, expert, simple, simplicity, multi-layered, multiplicity, multilayered, multitude, hybridity, Victorian, British, literature, independence, subtle, A Book of Words