Outer characterisation

Lispeth's outer characterisation in “Lispeth” by Rudyard Kipling reveals that she is “the daughter of Sonoo, a Hill-man, and Jadeh, his wife” (p. 265, l. 9), who were Indians living in the Kotgarh valley. Her parents converted to Christianity and soon afterwards died of cholera. After their death, Lispeth “became healf-servant, half-companion to the wife of the then Chaplan” (ll. 16-17).

In the main part of the story, the narrator depicts her as a beautiful 17-year-old girl. She stands out due to her appearance and unusual height: “Lispeth had a Greek face - one of those faces people paint so often, and see so seldom. She was of a pale, ivory colour, and, for her race, extremely tall. Also, she possessed eyes that were wonderful” (p. 266, ll. 6-9). While living with the Chaplain’s family, she is “dressed in the abominable print-cloths affected by Missions” (p. 166, l. 10), but her beauty resembling “Diana of the Romans” (p. 166, l. 12) – an ancient goddess - is still noticeable. She is also probably very strong as the story reveals she goes on long walks on foot (ll. 29-31) and carries the Englishman home (ll. 32-33).

Her physical appearance changes towards the end of the story after she returns to live with the local people: “…in the dress of a Hill girl—infamously dirty, but without the nose-stud and ear rings. She had her hair braided into the long pig-tail, helped out with black thread” (p. 168, ll. 36-38). At the end, as Lispeth grows old, she picks up a drinking habit, and her beauty fades away: “It was hard then to reali...

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