What does Kipling mean by writing the lines 29, 30 & 31 in the poem "If"?    

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frizzyperm's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #1)

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And -- which is more -- you'll be a Man, my son!

Basically, he says that endeavor and perseverance are the key to success and time-wasting is a sin. Kipling is praising the Victorian 'Protestant Work Ethic'. The Victorians had a deep mistrust of 'pleasure' and 'me-time'. They believed it was every white Englishman's God-given duty to perservere and labour whenever possible and to ignore frivolous distractions. Preferably while wearing big bushy moustaches!

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