The Man Who Would Be King

Rudyard Kipling

BACKGROUND

This is an adventure story. It is also a pretty good movie with Sean Connery and Michael Cain. This story takes place in India.

MAIN CHARACTERS

Narrator: He is a newspaper writer. Many people believe the narrator is Rudyard Kipling, when he was younger.

Peachey Carnehan: An English adventurer/con man. He travels with Daniel Dravot

Daniel Dravot: Peachey's partner in crime. He is made king of a small town. He is also an Englishman

PLOT

The narrator meets these 2 guys named Peachey and Daniel. The 2 men are con men and like to create adventures and situations. They first meet the narrator when they lie to him and tell him that they are writers at the same newspaper he is. He busts them. Then the narrator and the 2 men become sorta friends. The 2 con men tell him that they plan to find a small town and become the kings of the town.

Then the 2 men go off on some adventures. They return periodically to tell the narrator where they have been and what cons they have pulled. Then one time they find a small town. Through fighting and some religious stuff, they get crowned kings and gods of the town. The savages think that these Englishmen are gods. Then Daniel arranges to get married to one of the natives. On his wedding day she bites him and draws blood. When the natives sees that he is bleeding they find out he is not a god (gods don't bleed because they are immortal). So they chop Daniel's head off and crucify Peachey. Peachey survives, and brings Daniel's head back and tells the narrator his story.

THINGS TO MAKE YOU LOOK SMART

  • There is an interesting relationship between the journalist (narrator) and the 2 con men. The journalist deals with the real world and the 2 guys deal with fantasy and adventure.
  • The "kingdom" the 2 men set up in the small town is Kipling making fun of the English government. It is a symbolic mocking.