All Quiet on the Western Front Essay

All Quiet on the Western Front Essay

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Warfare is a dreadful and horrifying experience that shows the violent side of humanity. War is the worst thing a human being can go through. The recruits suffer inevitable damage by the ordeals they encounter and the ruff experiences they take part in. War changes a person, from a nice boy into a stone-cold killing machine. Erich Maria Remarque, the expressive German author, shows the scenes of war in his novel All Quiet on the Western Front. In the novel, Paul Bäumer, the protagonist, journeys to war, like his fellow classmates from high school, and fights for his country. He watches slowly as each one of his friends die until he is the only one left. At the end, Paul dies on the front treating death as a friend; he is "glad the end has come" (296). Paul experiences the horror of war through the rough training, the murderous front, and the reoccurring flashbacks.
One of the worst things of war is the vigorous training that Paul and other company members must go through. Corporal Himmelstoss, the sadistic drillmaster in charge of basic training, torments Paul and the other recruits. Himmelstoss is a vertically challenged and quarrelsome man who sports a waxed mustache. He has a reputation of being the strictest disciplinarian in camp. For that Himmelstoss earns the name "Terror of Klosterburg" because of his nick-picky de rigueur style (24). Himmelstoss puts his platoon through anguish and suffering causing some of the recruits to leave the army. They would wake up very early in the morning and go to sleep late at night. Even though they crawl in the sloppy, grubby mud, Himmelstoss makes them clean it for the next morning. Paul having a very strict drillmaster only makes the war seem even more dreadful. They have to execute eve...


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...and his reoccurring flashbacks. The brutality of war robs Paul of his friends and his youth. War takes away Paul's humanity causing him to become lonesome and inhumane like a wild animal. He discovers the truth that all men are following the orders of their superiors and have nothing to do with laying the foundation of the war. Remarque reveals war to be a treacherous and blood-thirsty thing that soldiers must deal with. War's calamities are life-changing and hair-raising, causes one to lose hope and become fearful of death. War has an ever-lasting effect on its participants and raises many concerns with everyday society. Remarque displays the horrors of war to modulate his readers into anti-war pacifists. One day, Remarque may get through to leaders and may very well cease any more world wars from happening due to his nefarious novel All Quiet on the Western Front.

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