Moral Code of a Person

Cognitive Approach to Interpretation of R. Kipling’s “If”


  • Eldar Veremchuk Zaporizhzhia National University, Ukraine



R. Kipling, moral code, character feature, ethical value


The paper reveals the moral code, extolled in the renowned Kipling’s poem “If” by means of cognitive interpretation. The author’s message containing his idea of moral code is unraveled in minimum meaningful spaces of the poem (usually one or two lines), which are analyzed in depth. Each space highlights the trajector features of character and the corresponding reference frames (domains), which serve as background for their understanding. The peculiarity of moral concepts consists in the fact that they are based on the evaluative component and therefore they form binary oppositions. The antagonist for the moral concept within such opposition serves as its benchmark, since the essence of a moral value is revealed only when it is contrasted to its opposite, therefore the paper makes an attempt of alignment trajector domains with the benchmarks. In order to delve into the Kipling’s understanding of moral code the distinguished ethical values were arranged in the form of field model. The nucleus of the model comprises most frequently actualized values from the moral code, while periphery includes values with lower rate of actualization. Along with cognitive analyses of Kipling’s moral doctrine the paper highlights the peculiarities of poetic narration, which include abstract dictum, use of subjunctive mood and symbolism. Particular attention is also paid to the use of personification and metaphor.


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How to Cite

Veremchuk, E. (2021). Moral Code of a Person: Cognitive Approach to Interpretation of R. Kipling’s “If”. Acta Neophilologica, 54(1-2), 123–137.