The Chaplain's wife

The Chaplain’s wife's outer characterisation in “Lispeth” by Rudyard Kipling only tells us that she is the wife of a missionary with whom she has children (p. 166, l. 18). She and her husband take care of Lispeth after Lispeth's parents die.

The woman’s inner characterisation is conveyed in relation to Lispeth, natives, Christian faith, and being British.

She raises Lispeth as something between a servant and a companion because she is challenged by her beauty and intelligence. She feels uncomfortable treating her like a servant, but she still considers her an inferior: “… Lispeth became half-servant, half-companion to the wife of the then Chaplain of Kotgarth.” (p. 265, ll. 16-17); “… the Chaplain’s wife did not know what to do with her. Somehow, one cannot ask a stately goddess, five feet ten in her shoes, to clean plates and dishes” (p. 266, ll. 16-18). The woman feels stra...

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