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How The Leopard Got His Spots.
Transcript of How The Leopard Got His Spots.
By: Rudyard Kipling
The story is set in the prehistoric Africa, at a place called High Veldt, which is a plateau in South Africa. The weather is hot and dry, with water being very scarce. Later on, the setting changes to a forest as the scene is damper and shadier. The lives of the characters consists of hunting for food and drinking at a watering hole. Each animal must always be aware of its surroundings. The mood or atmosphere in the story is rowdy and dangerous, due to the fact that we are introduced to the characters and then instantly put into an internally hostile interaction between them. A modern day connection to the setting can be our everyday lives like the mood swings we go through and we are forced to adapt to our everyday challenges and situations.
The Ethiopian: Neanderthal from Ethiopia. Hunts for food, friends with the leopard. A greyish-brownish-yellowish man, then turns himself into a black man. Round dynamic character. Used bows and arrows to catch his prey. Modern day comparison: The everyday western man.
Leopard: Ethiopians partner in crime, fierce hunter that intimidates other animals. Starts off as an animal identical to its surroundings(Brownish-Yellow), who later is given spots. Uses teeth and claws to catch his prey. Modern day comparison: The teenager.
Unlike their prey, their skin blended in well with their environment, making it easier to catch them.
Animals(Zebra, Giraffe, Eland, Koodoo, Hartebeest): 'scusively sandy-yellow-brownish all over. All of them were the Ethiopian and leopards' prey. They were easy to find because of their skin colour that was visible in the sandy-yellowish grass, making it easier for their predators to capture them.
Baviaan: Symbol of a God-like figure, a statue of an idol in the land. Knows all, sees all. The Ethiopian the leopard interact with Baviaan when in search for their ''game''. May also been seen as a symbol of a wise elder that gives advice to the naive and inexperienced.
Modern day connections:
- In this day and age, one must have the ability to adapt to his/her conditions at a moments notice. Not only adapting, but being able to maintain the same level of composure throughout the change, for better, or for worse.
- Being able to use your weaknesses and use them to your advantage when faced with adversity.
- Anyone can seek change in their lives no matter what their past tells you.
- Uniqueness is a God given gift that we all possess. One can become first rate version of oneself, or a second rate version of someone else.
Connections to the author:
Rudyard Kipling incorporates societal issues, as well as religion into his pieces of writing. The Holy Bible says Jeremiah 13:23 ''Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.'' Thus, by his subtle question, he implies not only that the Ethiopian and leopard did do these things, but also that those that are accustomed to do evil can do good.
On the societal point of view humans can make their live so bland, that they themselves start to hate it. When the animals were introduced to a new place(forest), they adapted quite confidently. This is where Rudyard Kipling is saying to the people that they can make their lives through positive change and adaptation to new environments
There are three reoccurring themes:
Metaphor- ""The Leopard and the Ethiopian ran about...wondering where all their breakfasts and their dinners and their teas had gone.""
Simile- ""then they ought to show up in this dark place like ripe bananas in a smoke-house.""
""This daylight hunting is a perfect scandal""
Repetition- "" sclusively fulvous golden-yellow from head to heel. ""sclusively speckle and sprottled and spottled. the word sclusively is repeated at least a dozen times in the short story
Anthropomorphization- So they sat down on them hard till bright morning-time, and then Leopard said. "" What have you at your end of the table, Brother?""
All of the prey are being psychologically toyed and manipulated by the predators. The prey must battle this constant state of paranoia and stay alert to react to any actions that threaten their well being.
A predator-prey relationship is a prime example of survival of the fittest. The weak will die off and the fittest will survive and reproduce. The predator is above the prey in terms of the food chain, however in this case the other animals are on the same level when it comes to strength thanks to their adaptations.
Man vs. Circumstances
The leopard lead a simple life. He hunted other animals for food roamed around High Veldt, but when his prey left He was lost. He couldn't wrap his head around the fact that his source of food was gone. He and the Ethiopian lived on rats and beetles, until they met the baboon to receive some advice. His inexperience to other circumstances inflicted great grief.
Man vs. Society
The leopard has difficulty choosing how He should change the look of his fur. He opposed the ideas set forth by the Ethiopian. The Ethiopian suggested to have stripes like a zebra or spots like a giraffe. The leopard opposed the idea of changing his appearance to become a better hunter. It was like completely altering the way He is. He was hesitant to conform to the wiser, more experienced Ethiopian.
-The story symbolizes the constant struggle for survival in nature or in the real world. It represents Charles Darwin’s theory of Evolution.
- This predator prey relationship can be related to tax evasion. A Conflict between tax collecting agencies and tax evaders.
- The preys adaptations to their environment is a symbol of human technological advances to better quality of life.
-The animals adaptations can also be compared to the development of your skills to meet the present demand in the job market.
- The departure of the animals to the forest lead the leopard and Ethiopian to eat rats and beetles. This struggle symbolizes the threat to global food security and access to fresh water.
Literary Analysis pf Rudyard Kipling's ""How the Leopard Got His Spots"" by Daniel Frankel
( February 17, 2014)