(Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1988) 248. ix[ix] Speirs and Sandberg, 97. Works Cited Bloom, Harold, ed. Modern Critical Views: Franz Kafka. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1986. Boa, Elizabeth.
He learns the destructiveness of war. During the course of his experience with war, Baumer disaffiliates himself from those societal icons--parents, elders, school, and religion--that had been the foundation of his pre-enlistment days, in order to mature. His new society, then, becomes the company, his fellow trench soldiers. They are a group who understands the truth as Baumer has experienced it. A period of leave when he visits his hometown is disastrous for Baumer because he realizes that he can not communicate with the people on the home front.
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. When these armed men return to normal civilization, disappointment strikes deep in their hearts as the ignorance of those not in the war reveals itself. The now savage killing machines can no longer relate to everyday society.
New York: Bantam Books, 1981. 138-142. Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. New York: Bantam Books, 1981 Kaiser, Hellmuth.
As the soldier members Paul Baumer’s company are slowly killed in battle, he becomes more and more disillusioned with the war, especially since he and his friends had enlisted with idealistic aims fed to them by their teacher Kantorek. Instead of patriotic glory and poetic war victories, Paul and his friends found defeat and ephemeral triumphs; instead of honor, they encountered dishonor; instead of personal growth and advancement, they found stagnation and watched their youthful dreams die. Through the war experiences of Paul Baumer as depicted in the novel All Quiet on the Western Front, the ultimate tragedy of war is revealed; it destroys the lives of its very agents – the soldiers – by crashing their dreams and claiming their lives for little discernible overall gain. Going To War Ultimately, Paul Baumer and his high school mates enthusiastically enlisted and went to war first out of a sense of youthful adventure. Barely out of their teens, Paul and his high school mates are not old enough to understand the socio-economic and political factors that charact... ... middle of paper ... ... war as captured by the leaders of the war hardly depicts the futility of war, and only the through the accounts of soldiers on the front does the truth emerge, as it does in the novel – that war is counter-productive.
“Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it” (1 Peter 3:11). In the historical fiction novel All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque relates the life of a soldier struggling to do “seek peace” in the midst of a brutal, gruesome war. Remarque’s personal experience as a soldier in World War I validates the anti-war polemic he presents through the novel. The story juxtaposes the civilian’s misconstrued idea of war as a glorious, noble duty and the horror soldiers know it to be. It also addresses the problems encountered by a soldier trying to assimilate back into the life of a civilian because of the mindset he must adopt to survive in the war.
This rejection of society is fueled by the realization that the pre-enlistment society simply can not understand the reality of the Great War. Baumer then realizes that the only ones that can understand him are his comrades in the trenches. They become his new society and war his way of life. Remarque shows Baumer’s disaffiliation from traditional society by showing his views on the language used by both the pr... ... middle of paper ... ...extbook in a boring class. Baumer never finds this peacefulness; rather he finds the urge to get back to the war and his comrades that were still there.
As he becomes alienated from his former, traditional, society, Baumer simultaneously is able to communicate effectively only with his military comrades. Since the novel is told from the first person point of view, the reader can see how the words Baumer speaks are at variance with his true feelings. In his preface to the novel, Remarque maintains that "a generation of men ... were destroyed by the war" (Remarque, All Quiet Preface). Indeed, in All Quiet on the Western Front, the meaning of language itself is, to a great extent, destroyed. Early in the novel, Baumer notes how his elders had been facile with words prior to his enlistment.