Lost: unable to find one’s way; gone, no longer in existence; confused; destroyed; lacking morals, or spiritual hope; forlorn.(Encarta Dictionary) The word lost takes on a whole new, three-dimensional meaning when used to describe a generation of young soldiers in Erich Maria Remarque’s novel, All Quiet on the Western Front. This fictional account of the First World War traces its effects on the protagonist, Paul Baumer, and his German comrades. As written in the preface, the novel is an attempt “to tell of a generation of men, who even though they may have escaped the shells, were destroyed by the war”. The author of All Quiet on the Western Front utilizes the brutality of war to demonstrate how young enlisters, as they become alienated from their past and future, learn of war’s terrible effects and consequences.
All Quiet on the Western Front details the time spent by a group of young German soldiers on the front lines of the Great War. The protagonist, Paul Baumer, along with his schoolmates, Muller Leer and Albert Kropp, enlist in the army at the ripe age of eighteen. Their fellow soldiers: Tjaden, Haier Westhus, Detering, and Katczinsky (Kat), whom they quickly form a bond of comradeship with, experience the same hopelessness as Paul and his schoolmates. Remarque introduces Paul and the other characters as cynical soldiers lacking the ability to reconnect with humanity because of the harshness of combat. Due to their current emotional state, the young soldiers are alienated from memories of their past. Upon his return home on leave, Paul discovers that he is not only disconnected from the world he left behind, but also incapable of regenerating a desire to live life. As a...
... middle of paper ...
Remarque uses the contrast between the older generations of soldiers, schoolmasters, and men with higher military rank to convey how the youth at war are more negatively affected. As Barker and Last conclude, “ only the older generation, like Kat, will be able to slip back more or less unscarred into civil life....”(82) Paul argues that the older generation “represented the world of maturity” that was “associated with greater insight and a more humane wisdom.”(Remarque 12-3) However, this ideal in which their elders signified was quickly shattered by the reality of war. Remarque conveys in his book that the older generation had suffered less because the war was a mere “interruption”, the young men, in contrast, “have been gripped by it and do not know what the end maybe. We know only that in some strange and melancholy way we have become a wasteland.” (20)
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Horrors of War Throughout their lives, people must deal with the horrific and violent side of humanity. The side of humanity is shown through the act of war. This is shown in Erich Remarque’s novel, “All Quiet on the Western Front”. War is by far the most horrible thing that the human race has to go through. The participants in the war suffer irreversible damage by the atrocities they witness and the things they go through. One of the worst things about war is the severity of carnage that it bestows upon mankind.... [tags: All Quiet on the Western Front Essays]
728 words (2.1 pages)
- At the beginning of the 20th Century, the great powers of the world engaged in the largest war concerning deaths in modern times. This war, which is often called the Great War, or World War I, had serious consequences that have affected our world today a great deal. One novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, has been considered a classic and possibly "the greatest war novel of all time". The story follows the adventures of a German solider, Paul Baumer, from the time he enters the military to his unfortunate death at the end.... [tags: Quiet Western Front War Remarque]
1007 words (2.9 pages)
- Indifference to War in Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front In Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front, characters such as Paul and his friends become indifferent to shocking elements of war through constant exposure to them. For example, the characters are unconcerned about the dangers of the front because they are accustomed to being on the front. In another instance, Paul’s friends show no emotions when they witness snipers killing enemy soldiers. Also, Kat finds the unusual effects of mortar shells amusing.... [tags: All Quiet on the Western Front Essays]
483 words (1.4 pages)
- Remarque’s novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, transpires in the trenches of the Nazi Western Front, which is protected by the young German soldiers World War I. Paul Bäumer, the narrator; enters the war under pressure to enlist; goes to the front and learns about the brutality of war. Paul witnesses the extreme violence that defines war during his time spent on the Western Front. Bäumer and his cronies learn to except the war as part of their lives, but the pains of battle which tear the young soldiers apart inside never leave.... [tags: All Quiet on the Western Front Essays]
1263 words (3.6 pages)
- All Quiet on the Western Front: Nature of War In the books All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque and The Wars by Timothy Findley, there is clear evidence of the nature of war. With all the efforts of preparation, discipline, and anticipation, false hopes were created for the young individuals, who leave the battlefields with numerous emotional and physical scars. The propaganda and disciplinary training to convince naïve young men to go to battle to fight for their country, the death of their comrades, and the physical breakdown are all part of twentieth century warfare.... [tags: All Quiet on the Western Front Essays]
1336 words (3.8 pages)
- At the beginning of the 20th Century, the great powers of the world engaged in the largest war concerning deaths in modern times. This war, which is often called the Great War, or World War I, had serious consequences that have affected our world today a great deal. Many great novels were written this century dealing with the Great War. One book, All Quiet on the Western Front, has been considered a classic and possibly "the greatest war novel of all time." The story follows the adventures of a German solider, Paul Baumer, from the time he enters the military to his unfortunate death at the end.... [tags: Quiet Western Front Great War]
930 words (2.7 pages)
- The Comradeship of War in All Quiet on the Western Front War can destroy a young man mentally and physically. One might say that nothing good comes out of war, but in Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front, there is one positive characteristic: comradeship. Paul and his friends give Himmelstoss a beating in which he deserves due to his training tactics. This starts the brotherhood of this tiny group. As explosions and gunfire sound off a young recruit in his first battle is gun-shy and seeks reassurance in Paul's chest and arms, and Paul gently tells him that he will get used to it.... [tags: Papers]
452 words (1.3 pages)
- Horror of War Exposed in Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front is one of the greatest war novels of all time. It is a story, not of Germans, but of men, who even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war. The entire purpose of this novel is to illustrate the vivid horror and raw nature of war and to change the popular belief that war has an idealistic and romantic character. The story centers on Paul Baümer, who enlists in the German army with glowing enthusiasm. In the course of war, though, he is consumed by it and in the end is "weary, broken, burnt out, rootless, and without hope" (Remarque pa... [tags: All Quiet on the Western Front Essays]
1078 words (3.1 pages)
- All Quiet on the Western Front: Effective Criticism of War All Quiet on the Western Front was a sad tale of Paul Bäumer, a lad just entering adulthood, who fought in a war that he did not even believe in. Erich Maria Remarque wrote this novel to show the war through the eyes of Paul, who saw everything that happened; every death, every horror, and all the bloodshed. Remarque denounced war by showing how it destroys human lives and, more importantly, how it devours the human soul.... [tags: All Quiet on the Western Front Essays]
1310 words (3.7 pages)
- The Effect of War on Paul in All Quiet on the Western Front In All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul is morphed from an innocent child into a war veteran who has a new look on society. Paul used to have a carefree life where he was able to be a kid, but when he enlisted into the army it all changed. Paul became a person whose beliefs were changed because of the war. Paul doesn't believe in society anymore especially parents, elders, and school, which used to play a big part in his life. He changed his beliefs because society does not really understand how bad war really is and pushed many young men, who were not ready, into the army.... [tags: Papers]
542 words (1.5 pages)