The Theme of Patriotism and Honor: Poetry Seminar Analysis


The theme of patriotism and honor is a crucial element in understanding the literature and film created to depict World War I. The poem “The Absorption” in particular focuses on the ideas of patriotism because Sassoon contrasts the horrors of wartime with the soldier’s changing attitudes towards the battlefield and their developing comprehension of the fact that they fight for freedom. Similarly, “From the Soldier” emphasizes the patriotism of each soldier who dies at the battlefield, by showing that the place of their death is “forever England.” In the movie “The Paths of Glory,” the soldiers are seen at the battlefield, fearlessly running under fire to attack the enemy. This essay will explore the topic of the soldier’s patriotism and honor during the war reflected in the “Absorption,” “From the Soldier,” and “Charging the Ant Hill.”


Personal connections with the poem “Absolution” relate to the experience of feeling patriotic about my country. Mainly, I feel grateful for the ability to live in a free state, where people’s opinions are valued. In “The Absorption,” there is a line stating “and, fighting for our freedom we are free,” which, to me, means the readiness to stand up for what one believes is right. Although luckily, I did not have to face the need to protect my freedom on the battlefield, I think we all have moments where we have to show courage to protect what we value. For instance, I know that for me, my personal independence is essential, and I want to protect it, which means that I need to not be afraid of saying something or doing the things I perceive as right. To summarise, I think that in the modern era, people face a different type of combat for their freedom, which is mainly connected to their ability to stand up for what they think is right.

The movie clip from “Paths of Glory” showcases soldiers’ readiness to die for their state as they fearlessly run towards the enemy. The poem and the movie share a theme of patriotism and honor because incredible courage is required to be on the battlefield. These soldiers are unified by the idea of protecting their state from an invasion, similar to the soldiers in the poem. For example, in the “Absorption,” there is the following passage – “horror of wounds, and the anger of the foe … we are a happy legion,” which contrasts the terrific nature of war and the honor of the soldiers participating in it. The soldiers from the poem risk their lives on the battlefield, disregarding the danger and the horror they encounter. In the “Charging the Ant Hill” clip, the soldiers are on the battlefield, and they run towards the enemy under the attack of bombs and other weapons. Therefore, even though these soldiers are under attack and explosions, and some of them are killed as they run, the others continue to attack the enemy because of their patriotism and courage.

The passage in the poem “From the Soldier” can be viewed as one’s reflection on the meaning of life and death during the war, the acceptance of death as a probable outcome, where the soldier is guided by his honor and patriotism. For example, in the poem, there are the following words – “that there’s some corner of a foreign field, that is forever England.” Here, the author highlights the idea that the soldier knows that there is a great probability of not returning home from the war. Yet, he does not reflect on his fear of death or the horrors of the war, instated focusing on the fact that “that rich earth a richer dust concealed.” The “rich dust” is the soldier’s body after his death, and the word “richer” is used to reflect the meaning of his death. When people die on the battlefield, they are guided by the idea of protecting their state, and the honor that comes with these actions. Similarly to this, the soldiers in the “Absorption” state that”fighting for our freedom, we are free,” which reflects the idea that the soldiers feel honor and patriotism at war. The parallel can be drawn between “freedom and “this is forever England” because, in both cases, the soldiers have a clear understanding of why they are on the battlefield – they fight for their state, to ensure that it remains free.


Overall, this essay reviewed two poems and a movie clip that share a common theme of patriotism and honor. From my personal experience, I can say that the feeling of pride for one’s s state and the gratefulness for living as a free person is very important to me, and I would stand up for these freedoms if I had to. The movie clip shows the courage of soldiers running towards their enemy, which cannot be done without an understanding of what they are fighting for – which is their state. The soldier in the poem “From the Soldier” emphasizes his patriotism by stating, “this is forever England,” when referring to the place where his remains will be left, meaning that he is a patriot, proudly fighting for his country.

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