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Rikki-Tikki-Tavi from The Jungle Book

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi from The Jungle Book

by Rudyard Kipling

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi from The Jungle Book Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. How similar to a human hero is Rikki-tikki? What heroic characteristics does he have?
  2. Why do you think the villains of the story are all snakes? Is it possible to read the cobras as the victims in the story? If yes, how? If not, why not?
  3. Why do you think Kipling choose a colonial British family for Rikki-tikki to protect? (Check out this Russian animated version if you want inspiration.) How would the story change if the family were native Indians rather than British?
  4. Why do you think Rikki-tikki-tavi is male? Do you think the story would have changed had he been a she? If yes, how and why? If not, then why not? Don't forget to cite some evidence from the story.
  5. Pick another story from the Jungle Books. Do you see any thematic similarities between the two tales? If yes, what are they? If no, then list the themes for both stories. Does this comparison help you see the themes of "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" in a new light? Explain your answer.
  6. Does your edition of "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" have illustrations? We sure hope so because we'd like you to take a look at them. What scenes do these illustrations depict? Why do you think the illustrator chose to focus on these scenes? (Action, character development, and plot points are all things to consider here.)
  7. Say you wanted to produce your own adaptation of "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi." How would you go about it? Would you make it an animated feature like the previous film adaptations? Would you go live-action or computer graphics? Blend Rikki-tikki's story with other Jungle Book tales? TV series? Get creative here, and pretend that money's not an issue.
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