What were They Fighting for?

The Soldier by Rupert Brooke demonstrated a British soldier was running out of options being on the battlefield, but to only to serve his nation and face the death soon. From the first two lines “If I should die. Think only this of me: That there’s some corner of a foreign field,” the only thing from the soldier wanted others to remember was he on the battlefield, instead of other personal things, such as: hobbies, favorite music, or music. How sad to see a British soldier was suffering the ruling of imperialism. His body and mind were no longer belonging to himself. The only goal he had to focus on was to serve his country. From line 5-8 provides solid evidence of it, “A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam; A body of England’s, breathing English air, Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.”

In order to make the soldiers completely obey the wills of the country, the propaganda of the death on the battlefield has to be beautiful and convincible. “And think, this heart, all evil shed away, A pulse in the eternal mind, no less/Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;” Indeed, the soldiers would never what they died for. Were they died for the country? A victory was far away from them? Or maybe they all did not matters, after all, they were only products were able to be sacrificed under the ruling of imperialism.



That's a good point about how the poem seems to follow the recruitment propaganda, which included defining death in the conflict as serving a worthy and beautiful purpose much greater than the individual. How does this compare to what the other poems say about a soldier's death?

As you mentioned, the death of an anonymous soldier is promised with an illusionary picture of heaven, and thus patriotism is demystified with imperialist ideology--invasion can, accordingly, be euphemized as preemptive defense.