Study Guide

The Jungle Book Violence

By Rudyard Kipling

Violence

A website for family-friendly movie reviews ranks The Jungle Book (1994) a 3/10 on the violent scale, with 1 being a cuddly puppy barking loudly and 10 being a Rob Zombie movie. We'd have to rank the book a little higher, though. In the book, the animals of the jungle (or beach, or bungalow) are constantly aware of the violence around them. They have to hunt to survive and they have to fight to show their strength. Pacifists need not apply.

Questions About Violence

  1. Who is more violent—man, or animals? Why? Support your answer using the text.
  2. Are any animals especially violent? Are you surprised that any animals are more peaceful than you'd expect them to be? If yes, then who? If not, then what does this say about violence in this book?
  3. Does the violence, whether from man or animal, always serve a purpose? Is it always justified? Is it ever gratuitous?

Chew on This

The jungle may have a law, but it doesn't have a court system, so the punishment is often death.

Both man and animal are seen hunting for survival, but in the chapter "His Majesty's Servants," the animals don't understand why men fight each other, seemingly just for the sake of it. They understand survival, not war.

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