The Camel’s Hump by Rudyard Kipling as a Depiction of Satire


This post answers to the question ‘The Camel’s Hump is a satirical depiction of people’s laziness, discuss.’ which was composed by a secondary grade student Dewni Nawajana.

Satire is like a mirror where the world can see and reflect upon their flaws. The laziness and obesity lead to the destruction of anyone. Laziness is common to any human being which can harm the efficiency of them making their quality of life a slump. The poet Rudyard Kipling utilizes satire to a great effect to show an ugly picture of a lazy person and suggests remedial measures for laziness in his poem, The Camel’s Hump.

The statement brought out in the question to the poem ‘The Camel’s Hump’ by Rudyard Kipling is a satirical depiction of people’s laziness. The poem is about a Camel’s hump which compared to the laziness of people. The poet describes laziness by taking examples from day to day life, colours, and using literary techniques like visual imagery, auditory imagery, alliteration accompanied by use of satirical language. He also gives us a typical solution for this laziness through this moral poem.

On the outset of the poem, the poet introduces the camel’s hump as an ugly lump and generates a negative impression about it. He conveys the idea that hump is really unpleasant.

“THE Camel’s hump is an ugly lump. / …But uglier yet is the hump we get…”

The poet brings out the idea that the lazy people are likely to develop a hump- physical deformity. The very idea that lazy people are to develop a hump generates humour. Kipling has used a metaphor, ‘Hump’ which stands for obesity caused by laziness. The camel’s hump introduces as something ugly in order to suggest that the physical deformity, obesity caused as a result of being lazy that gives that particular person an odd look. In the poem, the poet brings out the idea that children, ‘kiddies’ and adult, ‘grown ups’ are likely to become the victims of obesity irrespective of their age if they happen to be lazy. The poet has invented the words like ‘cameelious’ to generate humour. The poet also uses the literary technique like alliteration and visual imagery in the phrase, ‘black and blue.’ Here he uses these colours to symbolize certain qualities. Black for shame and blue for pain. If we do not engage in any work, there, it is a shame and the hump will take black colour. If we may be prompted to work by a pain, then the hump will get blue. This is also used to show the laziness by using the above mentioned satirical depictions.

The poet satirically depicts the people’s laziness by getting examples from day to day works like describing how a lazy person gets up in the morning. The day break is not a blessing for him but a curse. So he gets up with a confused state of mind.

“We climb out of bed with a frowzy head,

And a snarly-yearly voice.”

Getting out of the bed in the morning is such a difficult task for anybody. The poet describes how a lazy person attempts to his day to day activities such as bathing, playing and trying boots. A lazy person has a very lazy approach when he attempts to do these activities.  The different sound in the phrases ‘shiver and scowl’, ‘grunt and we growl’ which are pretty similar to these sounds of the animals. He used alliteration and onomatopoeia to generate humour. In the poem, he makes the others aware about the negative effects of being lazy. In a very friendly manner he tells them that lazy people are likely to be ostracized in the society once they are labelled as lazy people. The lines” ‘when we get the hump- Cameelious hump,” has been repeated in order to generate humour and to emphasize that the hump we get is unpleasant.

Kipling gives us a typical solution for this. He encourages the lazy people to get themselves engage in vigorous activities to get over laziness or else avoid being a victim of obesity.

“The cure for this ill is not to sit still…”

“And then you will find the the sun and the wind/

And the Djinn of the garden too,”

The poet brings out an advice by these lines. The metaphor, ‘this ill’ is used to show the laziness, obesity caused as a result of being lazy and odd body shape given as a result of being lazy. According to the poet, reading a book is not the remedy for laziness or obesity. So he does not encourage a lazy person to do so. The 2nd and 3rd lines mentioned about as evidences are present the benefits of working outdoors. Working outdoor benefits man in many ways. First he gets the chance of getting himself exposed to the benefits of nature and sun will provide him with the energy he needs while the winds will make him feel comfortable. In the last stanza of the poem, the poet used some long vowel sounded words like ‘yoo – oo- oo’, ‘do –oo –oo’ generates humour. This makes the poem interesting for children to recite it. By repeating the lines. ‘we all get hump, cameelious hump,’ the poet stresses the idea that anybody irrespective of age could be the target of obesity as a result of being lazy to do some hard work at outside.

 In conclusion, the poem ‘The Camel’s Hump’ is a satirical depiction of people’s laziness and this very statement is clearer to us by the above descriptive analysis.

We think that the answer is a fair analysis to the question. What is your idea about the attempt of Nawanjana. Kindly leave a comment to leave constructive criticisms. Share the post if you find it useful to others. The content belongs to her and all the credit go to her hard work and our purpose of posting this to encourage her and others to take an education out of this.  



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