If - Analysis of the Poem

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“If”

Behind every mask is a poet. The poet allows the mask to become the speaker, who projects a certain tone, which has the tone of the poem spilt out across the words written down which holds an encoding. The encoding or message is what the poet truly wants to get across to you from the particular speaker or mask they are behind. In the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling, he masks himself with the face of a father reaching out to his son. He characterizes what would make the ideal person, making them seem almost holy, if they could accomplish all tasks addressed in the poem. Evidently, Kipling tries to rely to the audience through his tone and well put together examples, just the same as a father would do for a son, a roadmap to life and to the standards that one should hold within a society. Within this poem by Kipling, his mask or speaker seems to hold that of a parent, a father, providing advice for his child, his son, on how to be a perfect individual in the outside world. The speaker addresses how to behave in certain circumstances, and lets his son know that he must strive to be a nonjudgmental individual and to treat everyone with the same respect as you have for yourself. Kipling has the speaker portraying a figure that knows all that needs to be known for going into adult-hood. The speaker tries to lay out a spreadsheet of life behaviors, self-development, and self-worth. This is so that the reader can try to compare the mottos to their own life and relate to it or notice where they need to change their behaviors to fit the model. Rendered through the tone of Kipling’s poem “If”, a motivational and inspirational approach is taken. Inspiration can be taken from the words that Kipling laid out for us, such as “Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,/Or being hated don’t give way to hating” (lines 6-7). So many individuals do exactly what is described as something that should not be done. It draws inspiration from inside to be...
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