What is the meaning of "which is more" in "If" by Rudyard Kipling? o

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crmhaske eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The line in the poem you are referring to is:

"And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!"

The statement "which is more" is using the word which to say the fact that.  It could also be rephrased as "what is more" and it would mean something similar.  To use which in this case puts more emphasis on what comes after implying it is more important, or weighs more heavily than what came before.

The line that came before: "Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,"

So in this case Kipling is saying that, yes the Earth and everything in it is yours, but even more importantly, you will be Man.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is an interesting grammatical construction found in Rudyard Kipling's famous poem "If."  The words "which is more" could also read "even more importantly."  This is a modifier for what follows--"you'll be a man, my son."  This is, I think, an adverb clause which modifies the verb "be."  Its purpose, of course, is to add intensity and weight to the idea which follows it.  The entire poem is one of encouragement and setting priorities and overcoming adversity and obstacles; this closing line is one final reminder of what matters and how important it is to becoming a man.