Rudyard Kipling's "If"

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Rudyard Kipling Jack Ellington “Rudyard Kipling was the most beloved writer of his time, and his most famous work was the poem ‘If” (Fernando 60). Kipling was a powerful, creative poet whose ideas ran off of pure intuition and the belief that imagination should be held at a higher regard than knowledge of reason. Kipling used imagery in ‘If’ to provide readers with pictures of familiar scenes that are relatable, such as the obstacles in the climb to manhood, the difficulty of finding balance in life, or the sadness involved watching a lifelong dream slowly slip away from one. The way Kipling uses imagery puts the reader in the poem and affects the tone he puts forth. Rudyard Kipling was born on December 30th, 1865 in Bombay, British India. Kipling did not grow up in a necessarily religious house, therefore he was able to study the religions he was exposed to in Asia along with Christianity, Fernando wrote “Kipling was throughout his life intently interested in Eastern religions and held their philosophies higher than Christianity”(Fernando 62). Kipling’s most famous work, “If”, shows characteristics of both Christianity and Buddhism. “The style of the poem ‘If’ is reminiscent to the Proverbs of the bible”, although many readers have found references of eastern religion as well (60). Kipling is said to have gotten his creativity and open minded writing style from his childhood. As being a British boy growing up in a strange land he was exposed to a much different culture and it shows in his writing. In ‘If’, Kipling provides an instructional guide to life. Fernando wrote, “This poem is a rather inspirational instruction in the achievement of idealized ethical & moral behavior” (60), Kipling emphasizes the need to find a middle balance of behavior in this instruction. An example of this is shown in the lines “If you can dream and not make dreams your
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