Very few stories can pull off a convincing friendship, but here Kipling creates such a powerful friendship between Kim and the Lama that I actually have to remind myself that these are not real people.
In fact what at first I thought were thin characters and gross generalizations has grown to appreciate the subtly of the whole cast of characters.
They are all playing a game so exaggeration fits well here.
Everyone feels as if they are a good person and that they are hampered from being good because of external pressures. Nobody else can see anyone’s goodness, either, because it could land you in prison.
Fear runs everything and everyone is in their own prison – a whole country of prisoners – and nobody can communicate anything meaningful because that could mean treason or give someone an opportunity to rat on you.