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

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What is the theme of the poem, “If” by Rudyard Kipling?

Overview of “If” by Rudyard Kipling

“If” by Rudyard Kipling is a poem of advice, it revolves around the definition of self-suffice male virtue. It begins with a series of suggestions. It seems that a wise man is addressing his subordinates to tell them the greatest virtues of leading a successful life. To him, one should remain calm when others freak out or blame you, and be confident when no one trusts you. In other words, one should not be self-centered, he should consider others’ concerns as well.

Similarly, patience is the key to unlocking success, staying honest when others lie about you, and being virtuous even when life puts you under hard tests. Moreover, the speaker believes no matter what happens, it is important that people control their nerves even when everyone around them loses composure. He emphasizes that life may put you on tests a lot of time, but it is important to remain reasonable and diligent during tough times.

To him, composure leads to integrity and strength. He believes by adopting good values in life, one can learn resilience and discipline. These qualities will also help people achieve the established measures of masculinity. To sum up, the poem serves as a moral compass, guiding individuals to navigate the complexities of the world with dignity, courage, and a steadfast commitment to personal values.

To read the full poem, please click here.

Themes in “If” by Rudyard Kipling

Although many themes run parallel in the poem, masculinity, morality, and personal character development are the major themes of the poem. The poem focuses on maintaining stoicism and resilience during adverse situations. It stresses the ability to keep calm and not be swayed by blame, doubt, or chaos.

Through this simple poem, the writer encourages the readers to face challenges with self-confidence and equanimity. Kipling also stresses the need for self-belief and self-trust as these traits help individuals to make valuable judgments even when others blame or doubt them. Moreover, by attaining these virtues, one can pave the way for personal growth and success.

The poem also underscores the value of perseverance. The writer encourages the reader to exercise patience as success demands enduring setbacks. Other essential virtues that a true man can possess are honesty and integrity. Since life is a mix of positive and negative emotions, one may face hatred and deceit from others. However, one should uphold their integrity and moral principles to establish the truth.

Toward the end of the poem, the writer puts great emphasis on the power of dreams. He thinks that they can play a pivotal role in one’s growth and achievement. He thinks that one should dream and put all his efforts into chasing them. It seems that the speaker fully understands the psychology of the human brain. He knows that many individuals lose faith when they face failures and setbacks in life. Therefore, he encourages them to be practical and avoid making hasty decisions in life. Rather, they should equip themselves with positive attributes to excel in life.

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“If” by Rudyard Kipling Analysis

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