Analytical Paper for the White and Black Man's Burden

What is the term White Man? What is the Black Man’s burden? What is the overall issue in both poems? In “The White Man’s Burden”, Rudyard Kipling presents a European view of the world, where non-European cultures are seen as childlike and extremely cruel. His view proposes that white people as a result have an obligation to rule, and encourage the cultural development of people from different cultural backgrounds. The white people should only rule until the “non-whites” can completely learn how to live their lives under the Western ways.The term “the white man’s burden” can be taken to be racist.

Others may say it is a disrespectful term to categorize everyone who is not European through their cultural and economic status. Kipling’s poem also can be viewed as that the rich have a moral duty and obligation to help the poor “better” themselves whether the poor want the help or not. On the other hand in “The Black Man’s Burden”, Edmund Morel presents a hurtful outcome of imperialism’s critical impact on Africa.

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His view presents how the European attempt to imperialized culture throughout the world, though their intentions where good within the European eyes, but failed in the end and destroyed Africa and their natives. The Africans suffered tremendously and in this response he describes how the abuse had fatal consequences and how they are permanently damaged within themselves. It has poisoned not only their bodies but also their souls. This is a very strong piece and brings one to see the harsh ship the Africans had to go through and what was done to them.Their traditions and cultures were ruined and they were forced to practice the lifestyles of the European imperialists and this slowly began to kill the Africans. One can compare the differences in the point of views of each writer. In “The White Man’s Burden” the view the writer had is that imperialism and colonization was an effective way for the Non-Europeans in the United States to live a decent life and live equally without much struggle.

But as one see on the opposing side in “The Black Man’s Burden”, colonization and imperialism had a negative effect on African natives and their families. They were enslaved for the whites through force but still managed to survive while others tried to destruct them. Edmund Morel says, “In the process… the white man has carved broad and bloody avenues… . The African had resisted, and persisted. ” (Page 600) This line one can say is powerful and strongly meaningful for it leads one to imagine the destruction that was caused in Africa during this time period of imperialism.

Author: Clinton Nash


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