How we cite our quotes:
Mr Brewer […] advised football, invited him to supper and was seeing his way to consider recommending a rise of salary, when something happened which threw out many of Mr Brewer's calculations, took away his ablest young fellows, and eventually, so prying and insidious were the fingers of the European War, smashed a plaster cast of Ceres, ploughed a hole in the geranium beds, and utterly ruined the cook's nerves at Mr Brewer's establishment at Muswell Hill. (4.88)
Mr Brewer is a perfect example of the British male, incredibly patriarchal and traditional. Still, he’s upset when World War I begins, because he loses some of his best workers.
Septimus was one of the first to volunteer. He went to France to save an England which consisted almost entirely of Shakespeare's plays and Miss Isabel Pole in a green dress walking in a square. There in the trenches the change which Mr Brewer desired when he advised football was produced instantly; he developed manliness […]. (4.89)
Septimus joins the war believing that it will make him a man and that it will prove his commitment to all things British. His idea of England is very limited, but he wants to be the hero and preserve what matters to people like Isabel Pole.
When Evans was killed, just before the Armistice, in Italy, Septimus, far from showing any emotion or recognising that here was the end of a friendship, congratulated himself upon feeling very little and very reasonably. The War had taught him. (4.89)
Having survived horrible trench warfare, Evans dies at the very end of it. Unable to cope with the emotion, Septimus goes completely numb and is proud for doing so.