Rudyard Kipling

Start Your Free Trial

Explain one metaphor or a simile and its effectiveness in the poem "IF" "IF" by Rudyard Kipling

Expert Answers info

S.L. Watson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write580 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

"If" by Rudyard Kipling was said to be inspired by Sir Leander Starr Jameson, who led the British to overthrow the Boer government in 1895. This didactic poem focuses on the virtues of manhood and leadership, emphasizing stoicism and righteousness.

In the second stanza, Kipling uses the metaphor of "worn-out tools" (line 16) to refer to the strength a person must conjure up to rebuild his life once it is broken. Those tools consist of the human potential all men have when faced with failure. Specifically, the tools could become endurance, patience, and fortitude. When all looks lost and one feels everything he has worked for and given his life for is destroyed, a virtuous man will take those tools and find the strength to use them once again.

Therefore,...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 404 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,149 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial