Short Story ‘Rikki Tikki Tavi’

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Characters in all books,short stories, poems, and movies want something and will do lots to achieve this thing whatever it may be. In the short story Rikki-Tikki-Tavi there are many examples of people wanting something and achieving it through completing certain tasks. A motivation is defined as “the reason behind a character’s actions or behavior.” The following three examples show this. 

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Teddy’s parent have a motivation that keeps on showing up as you go along and sometimes it may be shown in subtle ways but is that they want to protect Teddy and keep him safe. When they first find him they keep him in hopes that he will protect Teddy from the dangerous snakes and other deadly animals that lurk in the Indian jungle. When Karait is trying to kill Teddy and Rikki fights him you can see His dad rushing from the house after Teddy screams and tries to help save his son. In the bathroom the night Nag and Nagaina tried to kill the entire family and Rikki is fighting Nag, Teddy’s dad shows up with a gun and shoots Nag in fear that he might hurt Teddy. And this is shown again when Teddy’s Dad tries to calm Teddy down when Nagaina is in position to bite him in hopes that he will not get bit if he’s stays calm. Nag’s motivation is a negative one, he wishes to get rid of all of the humans that live in the house in order to get rid of Rikki-Rikki because he stands up for the animals in the garden and Snakes and Mongooses are natural enemies anyways. Nag shows his hatred for Rikki when he comes up with a plan to kill Teddy and his family in order to drive out Rikki from the garden. He believed that if there was nobody to protect from snakes he would leave the garden and look for other humans to protect meaning that Nag would get back complete control of the garden again. He shows this again when he sneaks into the house at night through the bathroom sluice and tries to kill the entire family. He fought with Rikki trying to kill him until Teddy’s dad came in with a shotgun and killed Nag, this showing that Nag was willing to risk his life just to get rid of Rikki-Tikki. Nagaina wishes to kill the humans just like her husband Nag and drive Rikki out of the garden. She shows this by coming up with a plan alongside Nag to kill the humans and get Rikki to leave and take back control of the garden. She tries to kill Rikki early on in the story while in the garden and distracted by Nag, Nagaina sees a perfect opportunity to get him from behind but Rikki jumps away just in time. In the falling action of the story Nagaina tries to bite Teddy’s leg and get the humans to leave, she almost sinks her teeth in him but is interrupted by Rikki and her last baby Cobra egg. Then she starts a fighting/chase sequence after snatching her egg and running off, Rikki chases her into her hole and a deadly fight starts.

The outcome of the fight is a win for Rikki but she was willing to risk it all in order to put an end to Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. All three characters show a goal to achieve or something to protect and work towards doing so. This is one of the major ways that authors show how a character feels a need to do something in order to set up a story for the rest of the book. 

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Short Story 'Rikki Tikki Tavi'. (2021, Jul 01). Retrieved December 8, 2022 , from

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