The Man Who Would Be King

by

Rudyard Kipling

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Loafer Term Analysis

A white British person living in India without personal wealth or stable employment—a former soldier or servant, for example. In British colonial India, the word was roughly equivalent to “white trash.” At the beginning of the story, Peachey Carnehan and Daniel Dravot describe themselves as loafers.

Loafer Quotes in The Man Who Would Be King

The The Man Who Would Be King quotes below are all either spoken by Loafer or refer to Loafer. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Morality and Colonialism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Knopf edition of The Man Who Would Be King published in 1994.
The Man Who Would Be King Quotes

There had been a Deficit in the Budget, which necessitated travelling, not Second-class, which is only half as dear as First-class, but by Intermediate, which is very awful indeed. There are no cushions in the Intermediate class, and the population are either Intermediate, which is Eurasian, or native, which for a long night journey is nasty, or Loafer, which is amusing though intoxicated.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker)
Page Number: 217
Explanation and Analysis:

They do not understand that nobody cares a straw for the internal administration of Native States so long as oppression and crime are kept within decent limits, and the ruler is not drugged, drunk, or diseased from one end of the year to the other. They are the dark places of the earth, full of unimaginable cruelty, touching the Railway and the Telegraph on one side, and, on the other, the days of Harun-al-Raschid.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Peachey Carnehan
Page Number: 220
Explanation and Analysis:
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Loafer Term Timeline in The Man Who Would Be King

The timeline below shows where the term Loafer appears in The Man Who Would Be King. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Man Who Would Be King
Race and Racism Theme Icon
...Intermediate, which is Eurasian, or native, which for a long night journey is nasty, or Loafer, which is amusing though intoxicated.” One of these loafers strikes up a conversation with the... (full context)
Morality and Colonialism Theme Icon
...at Marwar Junction, he finds the train car of Carnehan’s friend, Daniel Dravot, another British loafer, and delivers the message. However, the narrator becomes concerned that his two new friends will... (full context)