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How should I approach a line-by-line understanding of the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling?
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- The narrator suggests events when the boy may be challenged:
- When others blame him for something that he did not do
- A person should trust himself even if others do not but do not be over confident. Listen to what others have to say.
- Be patient
- Do not lie.
Never hate others.
- Do not become a braggart by showing off his looks or intelligence.
- It is good to dream, but there is more to life than dreaming.
- It is good to think, but the thoughts must be put into action.
- There are two opposites that a man must be able to master: winning and losing.
- If a man wins, it is a good thing but it is not the only thing in life. If a man loses, he must be able to accept defeat and go on with his life.
- Sometimes people twist what a person says in order to try to make a man act foolish.
- When a person has worked on something and it is ruined, the only thing to do is to begin again with whatever is available.
- A man must be able to communicate with anyone whether it is nobility or the common man.
- Do not give into petty quarrels with friends or enemies. Everyone should be important to a man, but never be consumed by any one person.
- A man’s day should be filled with a full day’s work. Never waste time.
- If a man can follow these life principles, he will grow to be worthy man.
“If” by Rudyard Kipling was written over one hundred years ago. Its application may be more relevant today. The poem serves as a plan for living a life of integrity and honesty. The father in the poem provides a set of guidelines with which to live for his son.
If you can keep your head when all about you
are losing theirs and blaming it on you…
This verse speaks to not losing a person’s temper.
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are goneIf
Sometimes a man must gamble everything he owns on one thing…if a man loses, then he must start again. He should not tell others about his loss.
When a man works, he must give everything he has to it. Even when the man believes that he cannot do anymore, he must go on until the job is completed. This shows a man’s character when he is able to never give up.
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
What a beautiful poem with brilliant maxims purporting the way for a man to live a mature life!
Posted by carol-davis on July 31, 2013 at 4:09 PM (Answer #4)
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