World Lit: The White Man’s Burden

Standard: ELAGSE9-10RL7 Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums (e.g., Auden’s poem “Musée de Beaux Arts” and Breughel’s painting Landscape with the Fall of Icarus), including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment.

Learning Target: I can analyze Kipling’s “The White Man’s Burden” and Achebe’s Things Fall Apart for their treatments of the ideas of imperialism and colonialism.

Opening Session: Crash Course: Imperialism!

Work Session: Today we’re going to read a poem about the same thing as Things Fall Apart, only, from the other perspective. This is called “The White Man’s Burden,” by Rudyard Kipling (he’s the dude who wrote The Jungle Book). Consider how dismissive the speaker in the poem is as we read, and then I have some Second Read questions for you to answer. Remember when it asks for textual evidence, I’m looking for you to find quotes from the poem to prove what you are saying.

Second Read Questions

  1. What is “The White Man’s Burden” according to Kipling?
  2. Find textual evidence of how the poem portrays non-white people.
  3. Find tone words that show the narrator’s attitude towards colonialism.
  4. How does this attitude compare with that of the narrator in Things Fall Apart?
  5. How are Europeans’ views of Africans and the Africans’ views of whites represented in both “The White Man’s Burden” and Things Fall Apart?
  6. What is it today’s reader finds so repugnant about Kipling’s poem?
  7. If you were a citizen of a colonized territory, how would you respond to Kipling?

Closing Session: Ticket out the door!

3 things about Imperialism
2 connections between the poem and the novel
1 example of imperialism found in the poem

Assessment: Informal (questions check)

Differentiation: Process (scaffolding)

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