All Quiet on the Western Front


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All Quiet on the Western Front

 One of the best war novels that is read by thousands of
high school students each year is Erich Maria Remarque's  All 
Quiet on the Western Front.  This story depicts the life as a
solider in the German Army fighting against the Central Powers. 
The solider, Paul Bäumer tell us of the fun he indures along
with the hardships of war demonstrating an antiwar theme.  The
scene in this book that displays the antiwar theme the best
would have to the "shell hole" scene that starts on page 207
and ends on page 229 demonstrating an ironic tone that is
created wonderfully using Remarque's organizational and
dictional skills.
  
 This scene starts out by showing us how the army has
turned it's soldiers into people that feel nothing.  It does this
by describing a battle scene were a Trench Mortar was used to
kill member of their army.  These people were blown out of
there clothes into tree, some were missing arms.  But all that
they had to say about it  was that they should report it to the
stretcher-bearers' because it was not their job to help these
fellow soldiers that were fighting on the same side.  They were
fight for the same reason, for the same team and nothing even
crossed their minds that they might soon be those people in the
trees or maybe just laying on the ground, and other soldiers will
pass them and think nothing of it other than it is not their job
to help them out.  Right after this situation Paul experiences
just this he is put in the middle of the gun fire with nowhere to
go expect to say in a shell hole, not knowing if he was going to
survive.  Then another man is thrown into the same shell hole
and he just assumes that this guy is dead ,but then realizes that
he is not.  Then finally he helps the guy.  Why?  Because Paul
can not leave the trench, so he decides to help maybe to help
pass time.  After he help him all he can think about is to stop
his gurgling, to kill him, because he feels as if this is going to
kill him.  By the time this guy finally dies Paul wishes that he
was still alive to break the silence.  At this point Paul Bäumer
realizes that the guy would of been saved if he could of

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remembered the way back to the trenches, if some small thing
would of been different. 

 This demonstrates one aspect of the war, well actually
most of it.  It demonstrates to us an antiwar theme by showing
us that these young boys in the army could do nothing to save
their lives.  The put their lives in the hand of the other army
hoping that they wouldn't shoot them before they got a chance
to kill the people that were going to kill them.  This shows us
how brutal this war was and how brutal war actually is. 
Remarque uses an ironic tone to prove to us how brutal war is,
and how it doesn't care about the lives it takes, proving this at
the end of the novel when Paul himself dies.


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