British Colonial: My Own True Ghost Story

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How are ghosts described in this story?

Ghosts are described as "fat, cold, pobby corpses." They are also described as having their feet turned backwards so the living can recognize them. Kipling also describes the ghosts as terrible.

Do the Indian words in this story add to the mood or take away from it?

Yes: The Indian words in this story add authenticity to the story. By using Indian words, Kipling makes the story feel more like a story that a friend is telling you and adds a sense of realism. No: The Indian words take away from the flow of the story. Running into an Indian word is a distraction and makes the story harder to read.

How is the dak-bungalow where the narrator stays described?

The dak bungalow is described as being very worn down. Words like "old," "rotten," "worn," "filthy," and "black" are used. Furthermore, outside the bungalow is rainy and windy and the sounds are compared to bones.

Why is the narrator excited to have his own true ghost story?

The narrator has his own story and can now write to the Society of Psychical Research all about it. He feels that this will paralyze the Empire. He feels he must do so quickly before the Society sends their own investigator to steal his thunder.

How does this story demonstrate Kipling's skepticism about the existence of ghosts?

The narrator hears ghosts next door and is very excited about having his own authentic ghost story, just as most people would be. But upon staying another night, the narrator finds a much more rational explanation for the sounds. This shows that Kipling believed that if people who believe in ghosts look hard enough, they too will find rational explanations.

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