divendres, 8 de maig de 2009


KIM (2)
The journey
The story begins when Kim teams up with a Tibetan lama who wanders into Lahore to look at the Buddhist relics in 'The Wonder House' (Lahore museum) with the 'Keeper of the images' (the curator). From then on the plot develops two strands which run in parallel, and to a large extent overlap:
- One strand concerns Kim's discipleship to the lama, who is an abbot in his own country:
· Kim is fascinated by the wandering stranger, and when the lama assumes that Kim has been sent to him as his 'chela' (disciple) Kim readily accepts the role and joins him on his journey, with the intention of also following his own quest, to find the meaning of a prophecy that was made by his father. This prophecy eventually gives rise to the second strand of the plot - Kim's recruitment as a spy in the British Secret Service.
· The friendship between this unlikely pair is one of the main attractions of Kim, which is a novel about male friendships.
· One of the bonds uniting Kim and the lama on their respective quests is that both reject relationships with women since they both see women as dangerous distractions from their higher goal.
· Kim and the lama have in common that:
1. neither has any real family ties or sense of belonging,
2. and their quests have in common that both are esoteric, beyond the reach of ordinary people, and both require the renunciation of normal life.
· But the two companions are in many ways very different:
1. Kim is young, the lama is old.
2. Kim is knowledgeable and streetwise, the lama is naive and inexperienced.
3. The adolescent Kim is mature beyond his years, while the aged lama is childlike.
4. And in some ways the tactics they employ to achieve their aims are opposite too.
a) The lama adopts an attitude of honesty and openness,
b) while Kim adopts an attitude of deception, manipulation, and lies.
- And yet the two become interdependent, :
· Kim's association with the lama providing him with an excuse to travel around India, and an ideal cover for his true role as a spy,
· while the lama often relies on Kim to do their begging and find them shelter, often physically leaning on Kim's shoulder as they travel.
· They sustain each other, the lama providing Kim with emotional and spiritual support, while sustaining himself by drawing on Kim's youthful energy.
In the final chapter, Kim comes as close as he ever does to feeling he has discovered his identity.
There is no definitive statement, but at the end he seems to have arrived at a sense of self towards which he has been struggling, and which he has been defining cumulatively through his experiences.
He seems to have found an adult role in which he can be true to himself as he really is,:
- a 'mixture o' things', neither wholly Indian nor wholly British,
- and in which he can maintain the detachment from everyday life and commitments which united him to the lama.
- As a secret agent his being a mixture of Indian and British will be an advantage, and he can devote his life to helping to preserve the stability of the British-Indian world he grew up in, which nurtured him like parents.
- He has found an adult role in which he is special, above the rest, and in which he can work on his own initiative, just as he did as a child on secret missions across the rooftops of Lahore.