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A Fighter's Line by Marzuki Ali

Meaning of Stanzas:
Stanza 1:
The poet once had become a soldier and he had suffered a lot to fight for independence from
invaders.

Stanza 2:
During that time, they fought with all of their will and as the consequences now he is wheelchair
bound due to the loss of energy and he is now old enough to only be able to sit on the while
writing this poem. After years of independent, the poet sees that the people trying to destroy
themselves by engulfing into the world full of lies. The poet says that there is nothing much he
can do as these times are too challenging.

Stanza 3:
The poet now urges new generation to fight for their freedom. First we have to be united
regardless of our races or religions and fight for the sake of our nation’s country.

Stanza 4:
The poet also claims that he cannot affect others to fight for freedom as he is old and has no will
to protect the country and it is the responsibility of the young ones to speak out their opinions.

Setting:
In this poem, there are two settings. First is in an independent country- independent of colonial
rule and any foreign control. This is shown by the line, ‘and the history of the fight for
independence have forced sacrifices that know no name or life.’ The word ‘history’ tells us that
the persona is reflecting the past. The second setting is an old man sitting on a wheelchair inside
his abode- home where he sits and ponders on the day’s problems. This is shown in Stanza 2
(Line 1), ‘from the wheelchair of the rest of my days’.

Themes:
1. Patriotism.
Patriotism is one of the themes of this poem. The people in this country have made a lot of
sacrifices to fight for their freedom. They have achieved independence but now there are other
threats such as deceit. This affects the country's safety. The persona calls on the younger
generation to fight for justice and to speak up against deceit.

2. Being courageous.
Another theme is being courageous. In the past, people made many sacrifices and fought bravely
with the country's enemies for their freedom. Now, the persona urges the younger generation to
be brave and fight against other threats in the country. He tells them to stand up and speak with
courage.

3. Unity.
In the past, people were united when they fought for independence. Now, the persona
emphasises that the younger generation who has inherited a free country should unite to
preserve their freedom. They should stand united by building a wall of people or forming ranks
irrespective of racial, religious and other social differences. The "lines" in the poem, A Fighter's
Lines refer to the persona's lines and the lines or ranks formed for unity. We have to be united
and strong as in the saying, "United we stand, divided we fall".

Values:
1. We must be brave to uphold justice.
The persona urges the younger generation to stand up against the widespread lies which are
rampant in society today. This 'net of deceit' worries his as it can destroy the solidarity of the
people. Therefore, he urges them to stand united and uphold justice to preserve the freedom and
safety of the country.

2. We must be willing to make sacrifices to preserve our independence.


In the fight for independence, the persona and other soldiers sacrificed and risked their lives
when they fought for independence. Now, he is wheelchair-bound because he was either
crippled in the war or is now old and sick. Now, he wants the younger generation to make
sacrifices too to preserve their freedom.

3. We must be united to preserve our freedom.


The persona wants the younger generation to stand united regardless of their differences to
ensure their freedom.

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