The King and I Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 52 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The King and I.
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Custom and Tradition

The King of Siam announces from the very beginning of The King and 1 that he wants to lead Siam into the modern world. He says "Siam is to be modern, scientific country." However, when it comes to renouncing traditional attitudes in order to replace them with modern thinking, the King himself is the last to change. He maintains a chauvinistic posture toward women and his subjects, snapping his fingers to call them to attention or to do his bidding. He might admire Abraham Lincoln and express agreement with abolishing slavery, but he is blind to the slavery in his own palace. Anna chides the King for treating Tuptim like a possession, just "a bowl of rice," Then she realizes that he treats her, an English schoolteacher, in the same way, presumptuously demanding that she "take a letter" for him and ordering her about as though she...

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This section contains 1,035 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The King and I Study Guide
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The King and I from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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