Study Guide

The Jungle Book Revenge

By Rudyard Kipling

Revenge

You've heard the phrase an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth before. In the jungle, you have to add a fang for a fang or a hide for a hide or a thirty-foot-long recently shed snakeskin for a thirty-foot-long recently shed snakeskin to the mix. Animals take their revenge seriously in The Jungle Book. With all that Law of the Jungle talk, you'd think they'd be more civil, but mostly the Law encourages sweet, sweet revenge. Watch your back.

Questions About Revenge

  1. Why is Mowgli expected to kill Shere Khan? What does Shere Khan have against Mowgli?
  2. Why does Kaa hate the Bandar-log? What does he do to exact his revenge against them?
  3. Does Mowgli take revenge on the wolves for kicking him out of the Pack? Or the humans for kicking him out of their village? Why or why not?
  4. Why doesn't Kala Nag ever try to take revenge against the men who have captured him?

Chew on This

Revenge is a dish best served cold, which is why Mowgli bides his time before putting an end to Shere Khan—when the not-so-vicious tiger is napping.

If Shere Khan had gone away, Mowgli never would have tried to kill him. Mowgli's revenge kill of Shere Khan is more a result of the tiger bothering the wolves than the tiger actually being a danger to Mowgli.

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