Themes and message

Faith and religion

Religion is an important theme in the short story “Lispeth” by Rudyard Kipling. Lispeth is christened at an early age and grows up in the family of a missionary chaplain. Since she grew up in this faith, and at first she embraces it fully: “Lispeth took to Christianity readily, and did not abandon it when she reached womanhood, as do some Hill girls.” (p. 266, ll. 13-14)

However, members of the local community judge her and are against her faith and her adoption of British ways: “Her own people hated her because she had, they said, become a memsahib [a white woman] and washed herself daily.” (p. 266, ll. 14-16)

Furthermore, the narrator suggests that he does not believe in the superiority of the Christian faith. This is first hinted at through the epigram before the story (p. 265, ll. 1-6) and reconfirmed later: “Whether Christianity improved Lispeth, or whether the gods of her own people would have done as much under any circumstances, I do not know” (p. 266, ll. 3-5). The use of the first person suggests that the narrator does not believe it was necessarily Christianity that made Lispeth grow into a better person.

Also, due to the deception and lies of Christians around her, Lispeth eventually decides to abandon the Christian faith and return to her native people and their beliefs: “ ‘I am going back to my own people,’ said she....

Teksten herover er et uddrag fra webbogen. Kun medlemmer kan læse hele indholdet.

Få adgang til hele Webbogen.

Som medlem på får du adgang til alt indhold.

Køb medlemskab nu

Allerede medlem? Log ind