Speaker

The poem is written as a call to action to the White Man, asking him to take responsibility as a civilising force and make an effort to improve the lives of the inhabitants of the places he colonises.

The speaker is the one making this call – “Take up the White Man’s burden” (p. 263, l.1) - which suggests that he is in favour of colonising native people. Moreover, the speaker believes that bringing civilisation into so-called savage places is not only a burden, but a burden that belongs specifically to the White Man. This suggests that the speaker believes that civilising others is a moral duty for the White Man.

The speaker is highly subjective, which can be seen through his preconceived ideas about the peoples that the White Man colonises. He portrays them as ignorant savages ...

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