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Word Count: 788
Who Is Kim What Is Kim By birth Kim is a white Irish boy Kimball OHara whose father was a soldier in an Irish regiment But as we see in Chapter 1 he has grown up as an orphan on the streets of Lahore a poor white of the very poorest looked after by a half-cast woman probably a prostitute she smoked opium and pretended to keep a second-hand furniture shop by the square where the cheap cabs wait With his skin burned black as any native he looks and lives like a low-caste Hindu street-urchin unable to read or write or speak English very well and known to all as Little Friend of all the World So right from the start he is neither wholly British nor wholly Indian and his being neither wholly one nor the other but a unique mixture o things Ch6 p160 remains a constant in his quest for his identity As a spy Kim will have to renounce ordinary life He will lead a life of disguise and deception never able to reveal his true motives to anyone Any attachments he makes to other people will have to be subordinate to his obscure mission his secret commitment to an ideal And just as the lamas mission will only be understood by a select few among Buddhist holy men Kims mission will only be understood by a select few among the British Secret Service These two quests the lamas for the Great Soul and Kims to play the Great Game of spying seem as different as can be One could hardly imagine that two such contrasting ambitions could be yoked together And yet the two become interdependent Kims association with the lama providing him with an excuse to travel around India and an ideal cover for his true role as a spy while the lama often relies on Kim to do their begging and find them shelter often physically leaning
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