Destruction of Man by War Essay

Destruction of Man by War Essay

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“I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another” (Erich Maria Remarque). 1914 and the barbaric, brutal World War 1 has just began. Young, adolescent men face the life changing war, molding them to become, no longer an average civilian, yet a man fighting for the safety of his own self. Erich Maria Remarque, whom has encountered the war front first hand, at the young age of 18, articulates the cruel, harsh times of the war which changes a man, for the worse, rather than the better. In Remarque’s novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, he portrays exactly how war affects an individual not just physically yet rather on a much deeper scale, that cannot be resolved.
First, war destroys a man on a more noticeable level, physically. As one looks at the outcome of war through soldiers eyes, they see the physical damage that they are put through. Such as Kemmerich, after he has lost his leg in the war he explains that he “wanted to become a head-forester once”, and now he is unable to do such an act (Remarque 28). In the 1914’s a man’s job was to provide for and support his family, but with a missing limb, one was no longer able to support, rather become dependent upon the others that surrounded them. Another example of how war destroys an individual physically is when both Paul and Albert are shot in the leg. When Paul and Albert are put on the train to go to Cologne, Paul tries to get out of bed to use the “latrine”, but his “foot finds no support” because “the plaster leg is no help” and he finds himself crashed on ...

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...hears the sound of bullets rushing past him. The men have lost all sense of “considerations” because “only the facts are real and important” (Remarque 21). They live in the state of mind of survival and know nothing else. When Paul goes on leave and returns home he only wishes he could “weep and be comforted” by his mother, but he is aware that he must be “strong and self-controlled” (Remarque 183). War destroys an individual mentally and emotionally by riding them of emotion and causing one to fear, even in the most innocent of places, for the safety of one’s life.

Works Cited

Remarque, Erich Maria, and A. W. Wheen. All Quiet on the Western Front. Boston: Little, Brown, and, 1929. Print.
Stramm, August. "Battlefield." N.p., n.d. Web.
Winter, Jay. "The Great War in European Cultrual History." Pembroke College, Cambridge, n.d. Web

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