“Brotherhood” in War: A Rhetorical Approach to Understanding the Unity Among Soldiers
My research will elucidate the idea of “Brotherhood” as it relates to the soldiers fighting for our country. First, I will attempt to define a clear concept of Brotherhood as it relates to the American Armed Forces. Then I will approach the questions: What does it entail to be enveloped in the overarching promise of Brotherhood? What does it mean to be a “brother” to your fellow soldier? Where did this commitment to the brotherhood develop? Finally, is the Brotherhood gendered? The rhetoric of Brotherhood may date as far back as Shakespeare’s Henry V and is embodied in the lines, “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.” Does the current embodiment of the Brotherhood tie back to this early incarnation? More importantly, when does Brotherhood truly begin to affect a soldier’s life? I will investigate possible forms of initiation into this association within the American Armed Forces, whether explicit or not, to begin breaking down the rhetoric of the term. I will explore the rhetoric through the following guiding questions: Is the rhetoric of Brotherhood coherent, or does its meaning possibly transform situationally? More specifically, how does Brotherhood play a role in determining current American masculinity?
Cotton, Jacob W (2017). “Brotherhood” in War: A Rhetorical Approach to Understanding the Unity Among Soldiers. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from