Does the speaker warn readers to be careful in spite of his ideals? Give two example to explain.
In this poem, an apparently older speaker offers advice to a younger boy, perhaps even his son (as the speaker refers to him this way in the poem's final line). The older speaker does, in fact, warn his audience, this younger boy, against placing too much stock in his ideals.
An ideal can refer to a standard of perfection or excellence, or it can refer to a goal or one's ultimate aim. In the poem, the speaker tells his listener to "dream—and not make dreams your master," and to "think—and not make thoughts your aim," and in this way, the younger boy will eventually become a man some day. It seems that the speaker does warn the younger boy not to become a slave to his dreams (the effect of making them his "master"); if he only lives for one particular dream, then he might never achieve satisfaction or contentment with any other accomplishment. Likewise, he does not want the boy's reflections to become his ideal; he must live in the real world of action. If one lives for one's ideals only, then one will likely never be satisfied. Thus, the speaker does warn the younger boy, perhaps his own son, as well as readers, by extension, of the danger placing too much emphasis on ideals.
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