Could this story have had positive consequences? According to Rudyard Kipling probably no, but an optimistically oriented reader would make another conclusion.
"In the Pride of His Youth" by Rudyard Kipling is a sad but lifelike and good written story. It looks difficult for reading because the first paragraph includes an extract from the poem by Rudyard Kipling "Thrown Away".
It is a story about a young man just after his wedding who was attracted by a good salary and moved to India, "he had received an appointment in India which carried a magnificent salary from the Home point of view"
Despite the fact that the cost of living in India was high ("The salary that loomed so large six thousand miles"), he sent almost all his salary to his wife with his newborn son who he had never met.
At the beginning he received "big, crossed, seven-sheet letters- from his wife, telling him how she longed to see him, and what a Heaven upon earth would be their property when they met".
He struggled with keeping the money, "Dicky could not afford living in the chummery, modest as it was. He had to explain this before he moved to a single room next the office where he worked all day".
The level of the salary couldn't have been higher because of his young age.
That company believed that low salaries were appropriate for young employees. They thought that the current level of salary would be enough, but the expenses of his family ... they didn't take it into account.
The tone of letters from his wife had changed, his child had the health problems and "his own little, little son, had died and, behind this, forty lines of an angry woman's scrawl, saying the death might have been averted if certain things, all costing money, had been done, or if the mother and the baby had been with Dicky." The following letter informed him that his wife had left him for another man.
Dicky applied for resigning and after three days he received the letter from the head of the office, who " said that it was a most unusual step, but, in view of the ability that Mr. Hatt had displayed ..., he was in a position to offer him an infinitely superior post ..." with a good salary. This money was "enough to have saved the wife, and the little son, and to have allowed of assured and open marriage, came then. Dicky burst into a roar of laughter".
When he refused that suggestion, the boss was very surprised and said "The boy's mad!".
Rudyard Kipling expressed his opinion about the boss’s conclusion finishing the story this line:
"I think he was right; but Dicky Hatt never reappeared to settle the question".
The story is sad but many would agree that this situation is typical, young people wouldn’t be prepared to take the responsibilities.
Let's look at the reasons of such a disappointing final:
The two protagonists of the story had never been in love with each other. The author described this fact telling about the cheapness and quickness of their wedding. Temporary difficulties could have been endured if there had been true love between the spouses.
If a reader withdraws pessimistic feelings and thinks about Dicky's future without prejudice, the conclusion will be different. He received life experience, he would be able to create a new family and become happy.
If Rudyard Kipling were alive, we would have a good discussion on this story ...
This is a link to the resource with audio. It is possible listening to this story after making the free subscription in Podcasts "Morning Short" on the iPhone, it is also available for listening through the Internet browser: