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The Stranger Analysis

Author: Poetry of Rudyard Kipling Type: Poetry Views: 2093

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The Stranger within my gate,
He may be true or kind,
But he does not talk my talk--
I cannot feel his mind.
I see the face and the eyes and the mouth,
But not the soul behind.

The men of my own stock,
They may do ill or well,
But they tell the lies I am wanted to,
They are used to the lies I tell;
And we do not need interpreters
When we go to buy or sell.

The Stranger within my gates,
He may be evil or good,
But I cannot tell what powers control--
What reasons sway his mood;
Nor when the Gods of his far-off land
Shall repossess his blood.

The men of my own stock,
Bitter bad they may be,
But, at least, they hear the things I hear,
And see the things I see;
And whatever I think of them and their likes
They think of the likes of me.

This was my father's belief
And this is also mine:
Let the corn be all one sheaf--
And the grapes be all one vine,
Ere our children's teeth are set on edge
By bitter bread and wine.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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Why did Kipling choose “within”? Does he intend to say that it is already too late, the hoards are upon us? Notice how he uses “good” and “kind” as opposed to “talk”. This stanza constantly juxtaposes measurable physical characteristics with the immeasurable, (face, eyes and mouth as opposed to soul).
In this stanza notice how Kipling uses action verbs when talking about his men “do” and “tell” “buy” and “sell”. They are men who get things done.
The stranger, on the other hand is controlled by powers, he doesn’t control. And the things that control him have control over his blood – Wow!
Again here, his men hear, think and see. The only passive verb “be” is used to insinuate that they might not have the best moral character. This shortcoming is no problem though since they have a similar frame of reference.
Really???? I set my children’s teeth on edge every day several times a day as a matter of fact. Is this the worst thing that could happen? Does he really mean this is bad or is he saying that separation of the various peoples will lead to a weak, one-dimensional population? Doesn’t one type of crop in great quantities create an invitation for disease and failure? Maybe Kipling knew nothing about farming. But isn’t he the fellow who wrote about a boy who was raised by wolves and turned out ok in the end? How much less segregated can you get than that? ;~)

| Posted on 2011-07-12 | by a guest

.: "The Stranger" :.

This poem very eloquently describes a man's fears and uncertainty with other races and cultures being intermingled with his own. It goes on to render the idea of a man's loyalty to his own race and the people he belongs to. He maintains this loyalty in spite of the shortcomings of his own culture, because it is the civilization he and his fathers created.

| Posted on 2008-05-02 | by a guest

.: :.

This poem THE STRANGER was an extreamly fascinating poem to read i could picture the sranger standing there as i read it, i cound see his eyes his face, i really felt i got into the poem it explained all about the stranger and now after reading it i can reakky see why rudyard has called the poem a stranger, this poem is amazing i dont know how rudyard thinks of these amazing poems i love his poems i didnt realise it till now. i know i will carry on reading the poems.

| Posted on 2005-11-13 | by Approved Guest

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