What is the theme of Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If”?


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The premise of Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If” is his son’s coming of age, and the poem outlines various traits that will help him grow into a man. The poem’s final sentence addresses the son directly, making it sound far more intimate than it did at the start.

The majority of the lines in the poem begin with the word “if,” which is intended to establish the attributes that are required in a man; the last line, “you’ll be a Man, my son!” is the second portion of all the conditional sentences. The first verse emphasises the ability to be calm and trust oneself while remaining humble and honest.

The second stanza is about character; the adressee must strike a balance between dreaming and being rational, as well as discover the strength to deal with both sorrow and triumph. The following section is about taking chances and being able to recover from a terrible outcome. The son, according to the final stanza, should be able to engage with men of various socioeconomic classes while being pious but not arrogant. Kipling avoids mentioning fame or fortune because he prefers stoicism and humility to grandeur.

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