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"The Elephant's Child" by Rudyard Kipling

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Daniel Pham

on 26 March 2013

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Transcript of "The Elephant's Child" by Rudyard Kipling

"The Elephant's Child" Plot Exposition: In the beginning, the elephant used to have no trunk. Then a new elephant came; one that was full of curiosity. "...the Elephant, O Best Beloved, had no trunk...But there was one Elephant--a new Elephant--an Elephant's Child--who was full of 'satiable curtiosity, and that means he asked ever so many questions " (Kipling 1). By Rudyard Kipling Rising Action The Elephant's Child persistently asked questions to his family, which gets him spanked each time. One day, he asked what crocodiles eat. He was hushed and spanked even more. Desperate, he asked the Kolokolo bird, who gave him directions to find a crocodile to find out for himself. He sets off to find the crocodile. When he reaches his destination, he meets a snake. When he asks the snake what crocodiles eat, the snake spanks him, so he leaves. Climax: The elephant meets a crocodile. When asked what it eats, the crocodile had the elephant come near, and it bit the elephant's nose. The elephant, along with the snake, pulled one way while the crocodile pulled the other way, until it let go. "So he pulled, and the Elephant's Child pulled, and the Crocodile pulled, but the Elephant's Child and the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake pulled hardest; and at last the Crocodile let go of the Elephant's Child's nose... " (Kipling 5). Falling Action Resolution: The elephant comes home to his family, who attempts to spank him. However, he spanks them. When questioned by his astonished family, he explains to his family that he met the crocodile and that it gave him a new nose. His family members leave to visit the crocodile to get new noses from it. From that point on, the family members never spanked one another again. The elephant's trunk is now long (like it is now.) He attempts to shrink it, but fails. The snake tells the disappointed elephant all the benefits of having a long trunk. Setting By Rudyard Kipling The setting of the short story is in Africa, long ago (before elephants had trunks.) "...the Elephant, O Best Beloved, had no trunk. He had only a blackish, bulgy nose, ...And he lived in Africa, and he filled all Africa with his 'satiable curtiosities " (Kipling 1). Theme By Rudyard Kipling The theme of this short story is that curiosity can open up new abilities, ideas, and knowledge. Even though everyone told him to stop thinking about the crocodile, he kept pursuing his quest, and now he has a full-grown trunk. Tone By Rudyard Kipling In this short story,
the narrator has a
tone of amusement
when he talks about
how persistently curious
the Elephant's Child was. "And still he was full
of 'satiable curtiosity! "
(Kipling 1) Irony By Rudyard Kipling Verbal "'Have I seen a crocodile?' said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake, in a voice of dretful scorn " (Kipling 2). Characterization By Rudyard Kipling In the short story, the elephant is described as having no trunk, with a black, bulgy nose. The elephant was also described as being very curious. "O Best Beloved, had no trunk. He had only a blackish, bulgy nose, ...But there was one Elephant--a new Elephant--an Elephant's Child--who was full of 'satiable curtiosity, and that means he asked ever so many questions " (Kipling 1). In this story, the crocodile
is clever yet cruel. "'Come hither, Little One,' said the Crocodile, 'and I'll whisper.' Then the Elephant's Child put his head down close to the Crocodile's musky, tusky mouth, and the Crocodile caught him by his little nose, which up to that very week, day, hour, and minute, had been no bigger than a boot, though much more useful.'I think,' said the Crocodile--and he said it between his teeth, like this--'I think to-day I will begin with Elephant's Child!' " (Kipling 3-4). Point of View By Rudyard Kipling I believe the story
is in 3rd person. This is because the narrator uses "he said" instead of "I said" "At this, O Best Beloved,
the Elephant's Child was
much annoyed, and he said,
speaking through his nose,
like this, 'Led go! You are
hurtig be!' " (Kipling 4). Also, I think it's limited 3rd person point of view because the story follows only one character, the Elephant's Child. "He went from Graham's Town to Kimberley, and from Kimberley to Khama's Country, and from Khama's Country he went east by north, eating melons all the time, till at last he came to the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, precisely as Kolokolo Bird had said " (Kipling 2). Foreshadowing By Rudyard Kipling "He asked, 'What does the crocodile have for dinner?' Then everybody said, 'Hush!' in a loud and dretful tone, and they spanked him immediately and directly, without stopping, for a long time " (Kipling 1). This foreshadows that if the elephant meets the crocodile, something bad will happen. Conflict By Rudyard Kipling One conflict in this short story is that the Elephant's Child is always curious, but other animals spank him whenever he questions them. Another is that the crocodile tries to eat the Elephant's Child. Figurative Language By Rudyard Kipling Personification: Animals in the story are given the ability to speak to and spank one another, both of which animals can't usually do. "He asked questions about everything that he saw, or heard, or felt, or smelt, or touched, and all his uncles and his aunts spanked him " (Kipling 1). The narrator used a simile to describe an elephant's nose before it became a trunk. "He had only a blackish, bulgy nose, as big as a boot, that he could wriggle about from side to side;... " (Kipling 1). Picture Sources By Rudyard Kipling http://majic13.com/art/img/elephants_child.jpg
http://0.tqn.com/d/taoism/1/0/0/-/-/-/yinYang.gif "''Scuse me,' said the Elephant's Child, 'but could you kindly tell me what he has for dinner?'
Then the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake uncoiled himself very quickly from the rock, and spanked the Elephant's Child with his scalesome, flailsome tail " (Kipling 2). This also foreshadows that bad things will happen if the elephant meets a crocodile. The End Prezi by Daniel Pham Situational At first, I believed that the story would have a sad ending, because it was forshadowed that something bad was bound to happen once the elephant meets the crocodile, but it turns out to have a happy ending when the elephant has a new trunk. Dramatic "Now you must know and understand, ...this 'satiable Elephant's Child had never seen a Crocodile, and did not know what one was like " (Kipling 2). The Elephant's Child does not know anything about crocodiles, or how they are carnivorous, but the audience does.
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