Study Guide

The Jungle Book Courage

By Rudyard Kipling

Courage

We often associate animals with courage and bravery, like the three animals fearlessly searching for a way home, or the noble pig fighting for his farm. So it's unsurprising that the animal heroes in The Jungle Book are overflowing with courage, too. That and, of course, courage and hero-status pretty much always go together. It's kind of their thing.

Questions About Courage

  1. Is Mowgli naturally courageous, or does his courage grow as he does? Explain.
  2. Which other characters in the Mowgli stories show their bravery, and which are cowards? Are any characters a mix of the two?
  3. Why is Kotick brave when all the other seals are content following the pack?
  4. In "Her Majesty's Servants," which of the animals are courageous? Which are cowardly? Which are both? Are any of the animals afraid of the same thing?

Chew on This

The animals in the chapter "Her Majesty's Servants," which live among men, are much less courageous than the animals in the rest of the chapters, which are raised in the wild.

Tigers are often associated with courage, but ironically, Shere Khan might be the least courageous creature in the book.

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