Study Guide

The Jungle Book Principles

By Rudyard Kipling

Principles

You may have heard someone exclaim, "It's a jungle out there," by which they mean that it's dangerous and chaotic (or they're watching Jumanji). Because of the meaning of this idiom, you might be scared in the jungle—those animals could do anything to you. Well, that's not exactly true. The animals we meet in The Jungle Book often abide by a strict moral code. They have honor to uphold, after all, so you can sleep safely in your tent knowing they'll only devour you if they have a really good reason to!

Questions About Principles

  1. Mother Wolf and Father Wolf may be honorable, but does the rest of the Wolf Pack have strong principles? What does this say about them, and what does this say about Ma and Pa Wolf?
  2. What promises does Mowgli make, and how does he keep them?
  3. Why is Kotick so determined to save his fellow seals, even though they don't seem to care for themselves?
  4. How have Kala Nag's principles been altered and shaped by his captivity?

Chew on This

Baloo is honorable for honor's sake. He has no reason to stand up and care for Mowgli other than the fact that he cares about him.

Kotick might be the only seal with principles. He risks his own life for the lives of the other seals, even though those seals don't care for their own lives.