What is meant by "Man" in the last line of the poem "If"?

Expert Answers
Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The speaker capitalizes the word "Man" to emphasize the qualities that he hopes his son will embrace.   "If" he has managed to be a person of integrity:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If he can be ambitious but stay grounded: 

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same

If he can be humble but respected and respectful,

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; 

then he is worthy of being a Man, not just a "man" in the common sense, not distinguised from his fellows who have not mastered these life lessons, but a MAN, capitalized, a person who deserves the title.