Catching up on Classics (and lots more!) discussion

109 views
Old School Classics, Pre-1900 > The Jungle Book - SPOILERS

Comments Showing 1-50 of 52 (52 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Pink (new)

Pink | 6554 comments This is the discussion thread for The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, our Old School Classic Group Read for October 2017.

Spoilers allowed here.

Please feel free to discuss anything you wish, relating to the book and let us know what you thought :)


message 2: by Shauna (new)

Shauna | 32 comments I find myself wishing for a wise old Baloo to remind me how to live peaceably with others! I love the characters so much.


message 3: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new)

Bob | 4959 comments Mod
Until now, I have never read The Jungle Book or seen the movie, other than previews, so I was surprised to learn it’s a collection of short stories. After finishing I was left with the impression that these stories were not just written for the reading pleasure of children, but were intended to be instructional to children also. This instruction to children seemed to revolve around the qualities of courage, duty, honor, and accepting the differences in other members of society.


message 4: by Loretta (new)

Loretta | 2668 comments Bob wrote: "Until now, I have never read The Jungle Book or seen the movie, other than previews, so I was surprised to learn it’s a collection of short stories. After finishing I was left with the impression t..."

Well said Bob.


message 5: by Michele (new)

Michele | 1010 comments Bob wrote: "This instruction to children seemed to revolve around the qualities of courage, duty, honor, and accepting the differences in other members of society. "

Yes! Raksha's adoption of Mowgli and Akela's defense of her right to do so also emphasize the of individual choice and free will.


message 6: by Petrichor (new)

Petrichor | 300 comments Well said Shauna and Bob!

Apart from the Mowgli story, which other parts left the biggest impression with you? For me it was the story of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.


message 7: by Francisca (new)

Francisca | 368 comments I have one story left to read, but I really liked The White Seal (even though it's not actually set in the jungle). I found it visually appealing and liked the general arc of the story.

I don't know if it's because I grew up with the Disney movie or simply Kiplings writing being very evocative, but I kept imagining the stories like a film in my head, more than I do with other books. :)


message 8: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new)

Bob | 4959 comments Mod
Petrichor wrote: Apart from the Mowgli story, which other parts left the biggest impression with you? For me it was the story of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi."

I'll have to say it was the 'Servants of the Queen,' to me it was an allegory on dealing with personal fear but still summoning the courage to perform ones duty.


message 9: by Melanti (last edited Oct 10, 2017 01:09PM) (new)

Melanti | 2384 comments Petrichor wrote: "Well said Shauna and Bob!

Apart from the Mowgli story, which other parts left the biggest impression with you? For me it was the story of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi."


I remembered Rikki Tikki Tavi from having read it in grade school, so it's very memorable!

I really liked the Elephant Dancing one. It was neat.


message 10: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarath595) | 13 comments Of all the stories, I think I enjoyed Rikki Tikki Tavi and The White Seal the best. The Queen's Servants really didn't appeal to me, but whether that was because of the story or because I was distracted while reading it, I don't know.


message 11: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 587 comments Read this last year with one of my other groups.
It was very different from what I was expecting.
I didn't realize it was a collection of stories. I blame the Disney movie for making me think the whole thing was about Mowgli.
One thing I did notice: I didn't like Shere Khan in the Disney movie and I liked him even less in the book! I hadn't thought that was possible.
I enjoyed the stories about Mowgli and really liked Rikki Tikki Tavi, but was rather meh on some of the other stories.


message 12: by Cynda (last edited Oct 14, 2017 11:52PM) (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments I am just starting this book now. I am familiar with New Historicism as it was one of the new big things when I was at university as an undergrad. So I currently reading some of the extras in this edition I have from the library, a Penguin publicatioThe Jungle BooksBeast and Man in India A Popular Sketch of Indian Animals in their Relations with the Peoplen The Jungle Books. I have read the chronology, the editorial preface, am currently reading the editorial introdiction, and will read Kipling's own preface.
I like having some backgroumd information as I go into reading an important book. It makes it easier to understand /more fully understand what I am reading.
***SometimesI get to find some real gems*** Rudyard Kipling's father John Lockwood Kipling wrote book Beast and Man in India A Popular Sketch of Indian Animals in their Relations with the People, a book Rudyard seems to have relied heavily on while writing his The Jungle Books
I found images by Googling images from beast and man in india. I saw mixed in with many book covers, illustrations of the elder Kipling, Seems the father's book influenced The Jungle Books. Thanks elder Kipling👊


message 13: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments I can't't believe that it would be difficult to read this book. I thought the book was too Indian for me an American. It's just a fable, a great fable, but a fable. It was the not knowing was a fable that kept me away for so long.
Once again, Cynda, do not judge a book by its cover.


message 14: by Maartje (new)

Maartje Volder | 38 comments Sarah wrote: "One thing I did notice: I didn't like Shere Khan in the Disney movie and I liked him even less in the book! I hadn't thought that was possible."

I agree on not liking Shere Khan, but I do find myself unstanding him more in the book than in the movie. The legend of the Tiger being the Stripeless king of the jungle until he killed and released fear (opened Pandora's box in my mind) gave greater meaning of the role of a tiger in the jungle.


message 15: by Petrichor (new)

Petrichor | 300 comments Thanks for the answers!

It's interesting that many different stories were mentioned. Some of which I also found to be 'meh'. But it looks like those stories meant something to other people, just not to me.

In the Mowgli story I found the different stereotypes for different animal groups interesting. That the monkeys are pretty much excluded from the rest of the animals, the elephants are wise, but demand respect. I also liked the different aspects of the jungle law and/or lore we get to learn. As Maartje mentioned, the story how the tigers got their stripes. Or that every animal species has master words and things like that. You can tell that Kipling must have spent a log time thinking about how this community without a clear leadership could be organised.

I also really liked the expressions the animals came up with to describe some of the humans' things. First and foremost the "red flower". I just think it's a nice insight that the animals wouldn't call it fire, but describe it in their own way, using words that they are more familiar with.


message 16: by Cynda (last edited Oct 19, 2017 10:37PM) (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments Readinf "Kaa's Hunting"
Baloo is a poor teacher.
Most of his students quit before long.
He beats Mawgli, so he probably beat the others.
Baloo fails to warn Mawgli of the Bandar-log.
So Baloo gives beatings and poor informatiom.
He sounds like the teachers of 19th-century novels.

EDIT. I see that Baloo has taught Mowgli enough to survive in the jungle/among the Bandar-log.


message 17: by Cynda (last edited Oct 19, 2017 05:49PM) (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments Finishing" Kaa's Hunting"
Shakespearean Clowns.
The Bandar-logs go to an abandoned city, playing and being silly without my idea of proper respect, Clowns in the tradition of Shakespearean Clowns. If Shakespeare had wrotten this novel, I would expect that to mwer clowns like the Bandar-logs.


message 18: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments Finishing "Kaaa's Hunting"
Hidden Cities
Early last year I re-read Then & Now. In this book, Perring has presented an image of the city as it is now and overlay pages shkwing what the city may have looked like centuries ago. I am fairly sure that one of the cities was an old Indian city. Now of course, we don't really need books like this as these images are kften readily available online.


message 19: by Cynda (last edited Oct 19, 2017 10:20PM) (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments Finishing "Kaa's Hunting"
The Bandar-logs as Variation of Yahoos in Gulliver's Travels.
Humans can sometimes let their animalistic side get too strong. I think this is what Johnathan Swift and Rudyard Kipling are showing us. If I change my mind, I will re-post,


message 20: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments Yep to Message 19 😃
Reading "Tiger-Tiger!"
Mowgli notes, "They have no manners, these Men Folk. . . .Only the gray ape would behave as they do."


message 21: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Shepherd (abiwriting) | 1 comments Why is Kaa nearly always portrayed as bad in films? He is my favourite character in these books!


message 22: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments Abigail wrote: "Why is Kaa nearly always portrayed as bad in films? He is my favourite character in these books!"

My memory of the old cartoon movie comes back to me bit by bit. I remember those swirling eues 😊
So to answer your question:
1. In a movie much must be communicated in a short time. Fear as hate is easily protrayed.
2. In the novel. Bagheera and Baloo respetfully and fearfully manipulate Kaa into helping them find and rescue Mowgli. Fear as usual avoidance,
3. In the novel, when Kaa has helped rescue Mowgli , he lures both the Bandar-lot to step into his mouth/be eaten and Baagheera too. Note that Bagheera asked Mowgli to keep Mowgli's hand Baaghera's shoudler to help keep him frkm steppjng into Kaa's mouth. Good healthy fear.
Hope this helps some.


message 23: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments Finished "Tiger-Tiger"
You look like us, maybe a bit rough on the edges, but look like us.
Then your personal super powers become apparent, so now we are scared.
We use our spiritual/religious/superstition tradtions
An proclaim yyoy definitely not loke us.
Fear of what is not familiar.


message 24: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments Starting "The White Seal"
In the edition I am reading, Pequin Classics, I see this stoey is set on St Paul, on the Pribilof Islands off the coast of Alaska--the Aluetian Islands it seems.
So far seems very strange that the Jungle Book set in India moves its setting to Aluetian Islands.


message 25: by lethe (new)

lethe | 127 comments Cynda wrote: "So far seems very strange that the Jungle Book set in India moves its setting to Aluetian Islands

There was an interesting comment in the non-spoiler thread about that: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 26: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments lethe wrote: "Cynda wrote: "So far seems very strange that the Jungle Book set in India moves its setting to Aluetian Islands

There was an interesting comment in the non-spoiler thread about that: https://www.g..."


Thank you Lethe. I see Messagea 9 - 11.👍


message 27: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 627 comments In my area (Cincinnati), there is a children's play called "The Garden of Rikki Tikki Tavi" that I have seen performed at school assemblies several times.

In the play, it turns out that cobras are mean because they're worried that people will not like them. Rikki Tikki learns that talking is better than fighting, and chooses to make friends with the cobras. They all live happily ever after.

They changed a few things, is what I'm saying.


message 28: by lethe (new)

lethe | 127 comments Phil wrote: "Rikki Tikki learns that talking is better than fighting, and chooses to make friends with the cobras. They all live happily ever after.

They changed a few things, is what I'm saying."


Haha!


message 29: by Melanti (new)

Melanti | 2384 comments Phil wrote: "In my area (Cincinnati), there is a children's play called "The Garden of Rikki Tikki Tavi" that I have seen performed at school assemblies several times.

In the play, it turns out that cobras are..."


Wow...
Just a couple of things!


message 30: by Michele (new)

Michele | 1010 comments Sarah wrote: "I didn't like Shere Khan in the Disney movie and I liked him even less in the book! I hadn't thought that was possible."

Really? I kind of liked him. I very suave and slinky villain :)


message 31: by Michele (new)

Michele | 1010 comments Phil wrote: "They changed a few things, is what I'm saying. "

A bit of an understatement lol


message 32: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments I see that I will have to read Book 2 because that is where the Laws are listed, and the laws arevso important in some of Book 1. It seems I will follow my curiosiry 🙄


message 33: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 587 comments Michele wrote: "Sarah wrote: "I didn't like Shere Khan in the Disney movie and I liked him even less in the book! I hadn't thought that was possible."

Really? I kind of liked him. I very suave and slinky villain :)"


I was an adult before I started liking villains in movies and such. By that time Shere Khan was so firmly entrenched in disliked villains there was no changing it!

Nikki wrote: "I knew the general story of Mowgli from the Disney-ized version of the story, but had never read The Jungle Book until now. I had no idea the stories went beyond Mowgli, Baloo, Kaa, Bagheera and Sh..."

I was the same way.
I had heard the story of Rikki Tikki Tavi before, but couldn't have told you it came from the Jungle Book if my life depended on it.


message 34: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 627 comments When I was in Cub Scouts in the '80s, the Cub Scout Handbook was written with a Jungle Book theme. We were supposed to compare ourselves to Mowgli and call the Scoutmaster "Akeela."


message 35: by Michele (new)

Michele | 1010 comments One of my favorite scenes has always been the part where Raksha brings him out with the other cubs for inspection by the pack, and Akela is lying there on the rock above reminding them to "Look well, O wolves, look well..." I love how he's totally unfazed by this naked "little frog" in amongst the wolf cubs.


message 36: by Macala (new)

Macala | 10 comments I was so excited to find this reading group that I instantly started "The Jungle Book" the same night I joined the group, and i finished it a couple hours later. Like some of you, I was surprised to find more stories then just Mowgli's story. I think my favorite story, besides Mowgli's, would have had to be the "White Seal". I think it is a very telling story of somebody trying to make a difference in the world by going against the grain of society. I liked all of the little stories though. It was very interesting to read "The jungle Book" after i have seen the Disney movie. It changed some of the story, which most movies do of course. I just usually see it from the other way by reading the book first and then watching the movie. I see "The Jungle Book" just like most other fables, trying to get a moral or value across to the readers.


message 37: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments I've started reading Book 2. I enjoy how sometimes the animals are animals that speak and sometimes the animals are really humans in animal costumes almost. I see in "How Fear Came" how the elephant Hathi is the leader of the animals, telling stories of the past. In pre-literate societies, the story-tellers are held in high esteem. That explains how the animals are really humans in costumes. Also when Haithi the elephants tells the stories from time unknown, describing how the animals of the Jungle ate plants. This what the Amerindians sometimes speak of. And why they thank the animal for giving their lives for human sustenance. Again, animals being human-like.


message 38: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments As I read on in "How Fear Came", I am seeing Hathi is recounting a whole mythology that either Kipling made up in whole or that he borrowed from Indians. Animals as Humans.


message 39: by Michele (new)

Michele | 1010 comments Cynda wrote: "...I see in "How Fear Came" how the elephant Hathi is the leader of the animals, telling stories of the past. In pre-literate societies, the story-tellers are held in high esteem. ..."

Interestingly, the name of the largest collaborative digital book repository ever is HathiTrust :)


message 40: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments Michele wrote: "Cynda wrote: "...I see in "How Fear Came" how the elephant Hathi is the leader of the animals, telling stories of the past. In pre-literate societies, the story-tellers are held in high esteem. ......"

Oh that is interesting. I have known if Gutenberg for several years. Now I can look at HathiTrust :-) Thnx.


message 41: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments Michele wrote: "Cynda wrote: "...I see in "How Fear Came" how the elephant Hathi is the leader of the animals, telling stories of the past. In pre-literate societies, the story-tellers are held in high esteem. ......"

I am looking at HathiTrust right now. Oh so clearly this digital book depository outdoes Guttenberg. Thanx again.


message 42: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments Reading "The Miracle of Purun Bhagat"
Find this quote interesting: He knew there was nothing great and nothing little in this world. Interesting because I say to my students: You are as wonderful as everyone else and no more wonderful than anyone else. I will keep my saying because self-esteem remains a big problem for the people I help.


message 43: by Cynda (last edited Oct 28, 2017 11:59PM) (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments Reading "Letting in the Jungle"
Mowgli Expresses Angers and Scares Others
Mowgli returns to the Jungle after having spent time in human world. Shere Khan followed Mowgli to human village with the intent to kill Mowgli. Instead it is Mowgli who kills Shere Khan.
Back in Jungle, Mowgli shows an uncomfortableness with being both wolf and human. The wolf family and Bagheera and Akela are uncomfortable with him too.
How we feel can affect others.
Edit: Mowgli is nkw a young man learning of his powers. The others are scared of his humanity.


message 44: by Cynda (last edited Oct 30, 2017 03:27PM) (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments Reading "The Undertakers"
Story about crocodile of the Indian rivers.
While the crocodile is alive and scary powerful, the stork and the jackal are scared of the crocodile, being watchful of his body and working to not offend the crocodile who brags about his strength and his being a minor diety of a local village.
The crocodile tires of holding court and goes to lie on the shore. Two English men walk up to him with an elephant gun. Dead.
The stork and jackal are relieved.
What hard work being polite and aware of danger can be.


message 45: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments Reading "The King's Ankus"
An ankus is a tool elephant trainers use: A long pole with both a spike and a hook at the endl a tool of torture. Thks kne has a large lovely ruvy on it. Sparkles. Enchants. Ultimate Bling.
When the old cobra without venom guarding the long-deas king's treasures warns Mowgli and Kaa his python friend that stealing the ankus will lead to death.
Mowgli doesn't believe him Kaa is a friend, not nkt the ruler of Mowgli, so Mowgli steals it, Kaa tosses it aside whkle Mowgli sleeps. Everyone else who picks it up dies. They pick it up, others want it, beat and kill the precious owner of it, Happens several times by the time Mowgli and Kaa find the dead bodies and evodsnce of scuffles.
Moral #1: Listen to your elders.
Moral #2: Somethings are better left alone.
Age Itself says exercisse more, and take your vitamins, leave off the sugar. Seems as though we never age out of listeninf to oir elders and leaving things alone.


message 46: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments Reading "Quiquern"
I settled into this story rather quickly. In live in Texas where the heat seems to want to kill me. Bearable with medication and air conditioning. The heat holds no charms for me, Cold is the good stuff of life. My windows have neen open at njht evem whe the chill factor is in the 30s.
Good time to read this charming piece. A story set inside the Arctic Circle, the northernmost settlements on Earth.
Also being partly Amerindian, the story charms. The story inclides cultiral elements of fishing and survival and close communities and a shaman and legends.
I am glad Kiplin inclided a cold region of jungle,


message 47: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments Reading "Red Dog"
Mowgli continues to mature and continues to have more independence from the Pack. The pack has almost disbandsd as the generation older than Mowgli either die or weaken. Mowgli has become so powerful that he masterminded the undoing of red pack (wolf-type animals) that was scavenging and destroying animals in the jungle. Mowgli and Kaa the python work together with the aid of Mowgli's wolf brother.
Akela who cam barely move gets involved, gets knifed by Mowgli, and tells Mlwgli that it is time to return to humanity. Akela accelted Mowgli into the Pack because Mowgli had some supporters. Now Akela tells Mowgli to go away. Mowgli is strong now and can move on. He is no longer a child who needs protecting. He is on the edge of making problems for the Pack.


message 48: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments Reading "Spring Running"
Mowgli completes his growing up. Since the time of Mowgli rescuing hs biological parents from being burmed at the stake for having that crazy Man-child for a son, he has been wiser than the other's of the Pack. Now only Kaa of the Jungle, not the Pack, is wiser. Now that Mowgli is stronger than anyone of the Pack, tje ,embers of the Pack fear him more completely, try to stay away from him and take longer to respond than Mowgli would like. Beause Moowgli is uncomfortable with himself and says thinga in a sharp manmer, he is actually alienating himself from the others.
One early spring day, Mowgli travels further into the Jungle than he ever has. He finds himself at the edge of a human village, stands there, ignores the dogs barking at him, sees a woman he recognizes open the door to a hoipuse, recognizes her. Mother. Mowgli visits with mother and 2-uear-old brother. Father is dead. Mowgli leaves, unsure if he will come back. He sees a beatiful girl (Movie scene?). Mowgli goes back to the Pack meeting. He decides to leave when Baloo says that kf ever there is a small service the Pack can do for him, they will. Thjs is the last story of The Jungle 2Books.


message 49: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3051 comments Some General Comments.
I am glad I read all the stories.
The over-lying arc of Mowgli's stpry makes sense.
He has wolf parents who nurture him.
He has two other protectors: Baloo who trains him in the Law and and Baaghera who pays for the boy's life by donating a young elephant? for the Pack to feast on. Bagghera becomes a guide to Pack life,
From a young age, the Pack me2mbers have difficulty making eye contact with Mowghli. The Pack becomes so uncomfortable that they want to kick him out. But Akela the head of the Pack wants Mowghli to stay.
Mowglhi becomes wiser than the others, He helps his biological parents escape being killed by their village members. Members of the Pack start licking his foot in subserviance. Even his wolf mother who still uses "thee/thou" when speaking with her human cub.
Mowghli becomes physically stronger than the others of the Pack. The Pack members and other members of the Jungle mostly avoid him althouh he calls himself the Leader ofmthe Pack. They resent him, his wisdom and his strength, hks outsoder-mess.
The older generation--which allowed Mowghlkiinto the Pack--is weakening and dying. Both wolf parents dead. Akela dead. Baaghera slowing dowm. Balaoo is slowing down. Baaghera and Balaoo can no longer defend him and are finding the young man difficultmto deal with.
Mowghli fknds himself difficult to live with, At first he thinks he has eaten something posioned. No. He begins to realize that he different from the others of the Pack. He doesn't fit in where he so insists thst he fits in.2
Moghli wanders further into the Jungle. He stands at the edge of a human village. He sees hks biological mother from tjemother side of the farm field. He calls out to her. She says that her husband, Mlwghli's father is dead. The 2-year old child here is Mowghli's brother,
Mowghli leaves the house to return to the Pack, as he is leaving, he says a beautiful young woman. He decides he mist leave the Pack--maybe. He calls a ,eetjng of the Pack. Onky Balaoo and Bagghera can encourage Mkwghli to leave, They will provose any small service Mowghli should ever need. He leaves with his mentlrs' blessings.


message 50: by Michele (new)

Michele | 1010 comments Shere Khan is one of the best villains ever :)


« previous 1
back to top