Study Guide

The Jungle Book Family

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The jungle isn't all death, destruction, and disease in The Jungle Book, and animals often stick together. Wolves have their packs, seals have their pods, and mongooses (unofficially) have their troubles, although you don't have to remind Rikki-tikki-tavi of that.

Although most of these families only care about their children until they're old enough to fend for themselves, they play a critical part in raising these kids to survive in the wild. The animals who stick together, survive together.

Questions About Family

  1. Why do Mother and Father Wolf decide to take Mowgli in and raise him? Why can't they do anything to allow him to stay in the pack?
  2. Why does Mowgli have a hard time finding a family? Why does he end up alone in the end?
  3. Could Messua be Mowgli's actual mother? Why or why not?
  4. How is Toomai's relationship with his father similar and different to Kotick's relationship with his father, or Mowgli's relationship with his ersatz families?

Chew on This

While our protagonists—Mowgli, Kotick, Toomai—each have a family (or foster family), they all have to go off on their own in order to achieve their goals.

Mowgli and Rikki-tikki have something in common: Neither has a family, but they get taken in by a family of a different species.

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