Other characters

The White Man

The White Man is a collective character in the poem. The expression is a metaphor for colonial powers and a symbol of Western “civilisation”.  At the same time, it represents every white man sent to the colonies, such as soldiers, missionaries, clerks, etc. They are depicted as the best among the white men; however, their burden is to live in exile, to serve those that they have captured:

Send forth the best ye breed -
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need; (p. 262, ll. 2-4)

The White Man’s influence on those he has captured is depicted as exclusively positive. For example, he feeds the native peoples and bring cures for their diseases:

Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease; (p. 262, ll. 21-22)

The White Man is not depicted as a conqueror, but as a protector of those he colonises:

The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard (p. 263, 3-4)

Here, the speaker also suggests that The White Man is misunderstood and judged by those h...

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