The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book Irony

Tribe of Man (Irony)

Mowgli comments, "No one then is to be feared" and under his breath Bagheera replies, "Except his own tribe" (27). This is ironic because Mowgli should be part of his "own" tribe of Man; after all, he is a man and came from a society of men long ago. However, Man is apprehensive about this jungle-child and poses a greater threat to him than one might imagine.

Monkey-People (Verbal Irony)

Baloo tries to convey his dislike for the Monkey-People by using verbal irony. He suggests that they are just as capable of having pity as the mountain stream is of being still and the summer sun of being hot. He scoffs, "The pity of the Monkey-People!... The stillness of the mountain stream! The cool of the summer sun!" (27).

Man and Wolf (Situational Irony)

Mowgli rues, "Again? Last time it was because I was a man. This time it is because I am a wolf. Let us go, Akela" (64). This is situational irony because the reader would think that Mowgli would be accepted by the community of animals given his mastering of the Jungle Law, and that he would be accepted by Man given the fact that he is a man, but he is an outcast from both.

Purun Bhagat (Dramatic Irony)

The readers of "The Miracle of Purun Bhagat" know that the holy man in the Himalayas was once the Prime Minister and thus an incredibly powerful, influential figure, but the villagers have no idea about his true identity. They think he is merely a Brahman and "their" holy man.