How far does the poem ‘IF’ by Rudyard Kipling suggest an idea of conditional fulfillment of man?
Or, Why does the poet use the word ‘If’?
The very title of the poem ‘If’ suggests that there is something conditional in this poem. The poet here talks about some crucial qualities of human character that we should acquire in order to be successful in life, and more so to become a perfect human being.
According to the poet. if we have to achieve something bigger, we have got to possess the virtues like truthfulness, calmness of mind, mental strength, self-belief, thoughtfulness, indifference to success and failure, time sense and so on. Dealing in lies, showing hatred to others, being arrogant or breaking down on occasional setbacks are not the ways to go.
The poet sets a goal for us in the very last lines–
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it
And–what is more–you’ll be a Man, my son.
And throughout the poem, he talks about this conditional fulfillment, which a man have to fulfill if he has to achieve the goals.