Kipling's Singing Voice

Setting the Jungle Books

in Critical Survey
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  • 1 Brunel University s.benson@uea.ac.uk
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Bringing the jungle to book, in the case of Kipling’s Jungle Books, involves representing it by the book, according to an organic, hierarchical division of the space. We first meet the toddler Mowgli when he has just learnt to walk, so initially he must be spoken for, but the narrative then skips ‘ten or eleven whole years’ (43), by which time Mowgli has grown into his voice and the central discursive space of the jungle, that of the ‘Free People’. Around this space are organised peripheral sites and inhabitants which serve to establish and maintain its legalised centrality.

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