Analysis Of The Poem If

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The 1895 poem IF by poet Rudyard Kipling is addressed to his son John Kipling and centres around the ideals and guidelines of becoming a man. The context of the poem discusses the philosophies and advice from a father figure addressing his son about the principals and ideals of embracing manhood according to the standards of early 20th century stoicism. The poem is written in first person in which the context is the ideology of ethics and principals taught to the intended audience to learn to overcome difficulties of life and adapting into manhood, which is done through the use of poetic device choices emphasising the poet’s perspective.
The purpose and context of IF is a set of valuable philosophies and ideologies taught to a son by a father
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The ideologies included in the poem is targeted towards young men who are growing and embracing the foundations of adulthood, but is not limited to only males. The poem is male dominated but the values of life and character can be interpreted by both females and males. The male pronouns present are on line 3, “If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you”, line 28, “If all men count with you, but none too much”, but more importantly line 32, ‘And-which is more-you’ll be a Man, my son!”. The male pronouns used in the poem may have more of a response in males than females, though the values of life within the poem is not limited to the male gender. On line 32 the word man has a capital letter despite being in the middle of a sentence displaying a clear exaggeration of the male pronoun. The principals of living with sincerity and having a wholesome character can apply for both genders to relate to or feel inspired by. Furthermore, the intended audience of the poem IF by Kipling projects the Victorian-era principals to young men but is not ostracised against the female…show more content…
Within the poem Kipling utilizes many popular literacy devices to communicate his message, which include repetition, rhyme, enjambment, metaphors, alliteration, personification, and anaphora. The poet’s perspective is reflected in the speaker as the poem is in first person. The combination of literacy devices communicating the poet’s perspective of life in which both genders can relate to in some degree. On lines 9 and 10 an anaphora is used, “If you can dream-and not make dreams your master” and “If you can think-and not make thoughts your aim”. These two lines demonstrate personification, anaphora and repetition. The anaphora has been effectively used twice within lines 9 and 10, the first obvious example is the “If you can”, but “and not make” is also another example of anaphora. The effect of anaphora is used to persuade the reader into believing their point of view, this technique is a form of repetition but also creates an effect of sound. The purpose of anaphora is to emphasis a certain subject within the poem, and Kipling exercises this technique to persuade the intended audience that the values of living with integrity present in the poem is how a man should live. Overall, Kipling uses an array of literacy techniques to persuade the intended audience
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