(Notes edited by
Alan Underwood and John Radcliffe)
|notes on the text|
''The wild sweep of the narrative is inimitable'.Elliott Gilbert (The Good Kipling) comments that 'this is a retelling of the expulsion from Eden story ... with its picture of Adam and Eve defying God and going out to make their own way in the world' :
All the elements of the Garden of Eden myth are here: the perfect peace and innocence of the world at its birth, the act of disobedience, the ejection from paradise into a universe of fear and dread. Even the mark of Cain comes into the story, for the stripes of the Tiger, we are told, will scar the first killer and his descendants forever.Shamsul Islam (p. 124) echoes this view:
The parallel between Hathi's narrative and the story of the Garden in Genesis is quite striking. Hathi's story makes us see God as the source of all law; the Law of the Jungle therefore assumes the proportions of divine positive law - the law given by God to man in addition to the natural law.Mark Paffard (p. 93) also stresses the idea that:
The Law of the Jungle is based on five essential elements: (i) Reason, (ii) the Common Good, (iii) Ethical Values, (iv) Law-making Authority and Promulgation, (v) Custom ax Tradition.
... the jungle world is in a fallen state, from which the rigid hierarchies of 'caste', the division into Eaters of Grass and Eaters of Flesh, and so on, has evolved.