Study Guide

Reverend Arthur Bennett in Kim

By Rudyard Kipling

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Reverend Arthur Bennett

The Reverend Arthur Bennett is the Anglican chaplain for the Irish Mavericks regiment. Because Kim looks like a Hindu boy when they first meet, Bennett assumes from the start that Kim is a thief and a liar who isn't worth listening to. Even when Father Victor starts to put together the truth of Kim's identity, Bennett has trouble believing his conclusions because he is so stubborn about letting go of his prejudiced assumptions.

We know that Bennett's judgment is terrible because when he sees the lama for the first time, he looks "at him with the triple-tinged uninterest of the creed that lumps nine-tenths of the world under the title of 'heathen'" (5.104). In other words, Bennett has no interest in the lama because the lama is a "heathen"—he is not Christian. Like the regimental drummer-boy, Bennett's hidebound attitudes make him totally unsympathetic in this novel—he is, as Kim calls him, "a fool" (6.46).

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