"Beyond the Pale"(1884)
1. What is meant by the title? What perspective is added by the Hindu epigraph? Does it seem consistent with the generally disapproving tone of the story?
2. What seems the point of view of the narrator toward the incident described? What does he claim to believe is the moral of the horrible incident he describes? Can you tell whether his views represent those of the author?
3. What view toward empire would Kipling's audience have accepted? How is this story shaped to appeal to its audience?
4. What aspects of the story of Trejago and Bisesa fit steroetypes which may exist in the British reader's mind? What seems a little surprising or different?
5. Whose views does the story present? Whose views are silenced, or presented only briefly? Whose final reflections on this episode are we left with?
6. What effect is created by the story's brevity? What are some featuers of Kipling's style?
7. What issues of gender, ethnicity and domination are explored by this story? How severely does the story critique Christopher Trejago or his social world? What aspects of Indian culture does it emphasize?
8. What meaning do you ascribe to the incident in which Trejago interprets the encoded love message?
9. What reflections would the British reader presumably have taken away from this story? Do you think the narrator's disapproval is entirely consistent with the story's content and tone? Does the story present ambivalent responses to romantic aspects of Indian life?
10. Why do you think Kipling's tale of empire were so popular?
"Story of Muhammad Din" (1884)
1. What purpose is served by the epigraph? What seems the meaning or point of this short episode? Does it have a plot in the usual sense?
2. What do we learn about the character and sensibilities of the narrator? What is his reaction to Muhammad Din, and to the other characters around him?
3. What is revealed about Muhammad Din's character and abilities?
4. How does the narrator present the responses of others to Muhammad? What may be his motives in giving this evidence?
5. How does the ending affect the story? What seems the purpose of presenting this short vignette through the lens of a British observer?
6. Apart from issues of culture and setting, what differences are explored by this tale?
7. Were this story to be written today, how might it need to be altered for a present-day audience?