The White Man's Burden

The White Man's Burden

To me “The White Man’s Burden” refers to the idea of colonization and the need and desire to do so.   That it was white man’s destiny and responsibility to colonize.   The “White Man’s Burden” by Kipling was his artistic take on the Americans attempting to colonize the Philippines. The thought was that the white man was put on earth to make the rest of the world that same as them and it was a “burden” to bear. Europeans justified racist policies in their imperial ventures by having the mindset that they were benefiting the colonized land.   The imperialist people were very ethnocentric and thought that their ideas and way of life was the better way of life and by forcing it upon the other nations they were giving them a better life.  
In “The Gold Watch” by Mulk Raj Anand portrays roles that are similar to the ideas of imperialism.   He relates the social hierarchy of Indian to the relationship of colonized people to the people colonizing. The story depicts the idea that even if you are on the lower end and feel less meaningful (colonized) you still respect what you do and desire to keep doing it.
Reading the excerpt from “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad you get the idea that he did not agree with what most Europeans believed about colonization and taking over another nation.   He felt it was brutal and unnecessary.
The short story (A Drink in the Passage) by Alan Paton to me also is a negative reaction to the ideology of Europe at the time thinking that they have the right to conquer as “the white man”.   He talks about two individuals, both intelligent, just not from the same up bringing and culture.   His story explains the differences not just that one is better than the other.

View Full Essay