Sexual Fables
This article accompanies the fable
Oz is China

The White Man’s Burden

Rudyard Kipling’s satiric poem, The White Man’s Burden was published in 1899 and it was a direct attack upon the U.S. annexation of the Philippines (its sub-title was “The United States and the Philippine Islands”).  It was the same year Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Octave Mirbeau's Le Jardin des supplices (literally The Torture Garden) were published and there is a common theme here - savaging Western hypocrisy. In the Mirbeau novel, the tortures and executions occur in a lush Chinese prison garden, witnessed by the sadistic and erotic Clara - this was an illustration for the book, by Rodin.


Mark Twain wrote articles attacking the U.S.'s imperial adventures and he was vice president of The American Anti-Imperialist League from 1898, when it was formed, until his death in 1910.  Twain's thoughts on the matter are no better represented than in The War Prayer and Incident in the Philippines, which were written between 1904 and 1906, and neither of which was publishable during his lifetime (they eventually slipped out in 1923 and 1924).  The latter article referred to the Moro Crater Massacre, as it became known, when 600 Moros were killed by American troops. Here is a link to The War Prayer:


Copyright © All rights reserved. Homepage | Contact | About | Search