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The Jungle Book is a collection of stories written by Rudyard Kipling, an English novelist. The majority of the characters are animals, such as Shere Khan the tiger and Baloo the bear, although one of the main characters is Mowgli, a kid or “man-cub” reared by wolves in the forest. The stories are set in an Indian jungle, and “Seonee” (Seoni), in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, is referenced several times.
As in the life of Mowgli, a prominent subject in the novel is desertion followed by nurturing, matching Kipling’s own boyhood. The success of characters like as Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and The White Seal over their opponents, as well as Mowgli’s, is reflected throughout the story. Another major theme is that of law and freedom; the stories are about human archetypes in animal form, not animal behavior or the Darwinian battle for existence. With “the law of the jungle,” they teach respect for authority, obedience, and understanding one’s position in society, but the stories also demonstrate the freedom to roam between various realms, like when Mowgli wanders between the forest and the village. The stories’ fundamental wildness and uncontrolled impulses have also been recognized by critics, portraying the irresponsible aspect of human nature.
The Jungle Book has remained popular, thanks in part to its numerous film and television adaptations. Even people who were critical of Kipling because of his alleged imperialism praised the force of his narrative, according to Swati Singh. The scout movement, whose founder, Robert Baden-Powell, was a friend of Kipling’s, was influenced by the novel. Percy Grainger based his Jungle Book Cycle on the book’s quotes.
In 1893″94, the stories were initially published in publications. Illustrations by the author’s father, John Lockwood Kipling, are included in the original editions. Rudyard Kipling was born in India and spent his youth there for the first six years of his life. He returned to India after around ten years in England and worked there for about six and a half years. These stories were written while Kipling was living at Naulakha, a house he built in Dummerston, Vermont. A first copy of the book with a handwritten message from the author to his little daughter Josephine, who died from illness in 1899 at the age of six, was discovered at the National Trust’s Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire, England, in 2010.
The stories in the book (as well as those in The Second Jungle Book, published in 1895 and featuring five more stories about Mowgli) are fables that use anthropomorphized animals to impart moral lessons. For example, the verses of “The Law of the Jungle” provide principles for the protection of people, families, and communities. Kipling included almost all he knew, “heard, or imagined about the Indian forest” in them. Others have seen the work as allegories of the time’s politics and society.
The Jungle Book’s storylines were influenced by ancient Indian fable manuscripts like the Panchatantra and the Jataka tales. For example, Book 5 of Panchatantra has an earlier moral-filled mongoose and snake version of Kipling’s “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” narrative. Kipling wrote to American novelist Edward Everett Hale in a letter,