The Art of Rudyard Kipling

By J. M. S. Tompkins | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SEVEN
Man and the Abyss

If the title of this chapter sounds melodramatic, it is, at least, free from pretentiousness. It does not suggest that a developed metaphysic can be found in Kipling's books, though it is consonant with the existence of a philosophy of conduct. 'Abyss', moreover, has had many applications; there is an abyss of doubt and of ignorance, the abyss of Hell and the abyss of God's mercies. It is also a word that Kipling uses himself, in poetry and prose, and its melodramatic quality reflects the force of emotion with which he regards the unplumbed blackness in which the busy fates of men are suspended. This intimation of the unknown has a positive artistic force in some of his tales. The brilliantly lit scene at some point is seen to be bordered by darkness, or rather to be a small lighted enclave in it. From that moment the proportions of the story are altered. We see that an incalculable condition enters into human effort. The moment of recognition varies greatly in tone and effect. In the earliest tales it is slight enough, no more than a jerk of the thumb at the perversity of Fate, the residue of a propitiatory gesture, an acknowledgment of an irony more obscure than human ironies. It is very different in the later tales. There is nothing jaunty here. At the end of 'The Dog Hervey', when the lovers have been restored to each other, the tale ebbs quietly away in a conversation between the narrator and Mrs Godfrey, the older woman who had introduced him to Moira Sichliffe.

'Ella,' I said, 'I don't know anything rational or reasonable about any of it. It was all--all woman-work, and it scared me horribly.'

'Why?' she asked.

That was six years ago. I have written this tale to let her know--wherever she is.

-185-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Art of Rudyard Kipling
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Chapter One - Kipling and the Novel 1
  • Chapter Two - Laughter 33
  • Chapter Three - Tales for Children 55
  • Chapter Four - Simplicity and Complexity 85
  • Chapter Five - Hatred and Revenge 119
  • Chapter Six - Healing 158
  • Chapter Seven - Man and the Abyss 185
  • Chapter Eight - Change and Persistence 222
  • List 260
  • Index 270
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 282

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.