I have not read any Rudyard Kipling until now. This month the kids and I are studying poetry by Kipling, and to accompany our theme, I chose Captains Courageous, for literature. Ugh! It left my tongue in knots. The dialogue is spoken in different voices, not only with seamen lingo, but also using accents from different parts of the country and world. I never warmed up to it.
Aside from that, the plot involves a 15-year old spoiled brat, Harvey, who is babied by his mother and neglected by his father, a wealthy railroad man. Harvey falls from a steamship into the ocean on his way to Europe and is rescued by fishermen off the New England coast. He demands, in typical fashion, to be immediately returned to shore; but this is only where his adventures and life lessons begin.
After a season aboard the fishing schooner with the fishermen who rescued him, Harvey does acquire a different view of the world and learns how to maintain respectful relationships with others. He now understands the benefits of hard work and earning his keep. It was a quick way to turn a feeble boy into a courageous young man.
When finally the schooner returns to land, Harvey contacts his parents, and they are soon by his side. They hardly recognize this mature, self-controlled, compassionate young man. In addition, his father learns a lesson as well: he was all wrong in his parenting, or lack thereof; from now on things are going to be different between Father and son, for good.
In addition to Captains Courageous, we have been reading out of Poetry for Young People Rudyard Kipling. We do enjoy his poetry very much. Father and son relationships were obviously very important to the poet.