All Quiet On The Western Front by Eric Maria Remarque

1586 Words7 Pages
Just envision you were a soldier running, ducking, and dodging bullets. The heat from exploding grenades burning the back of your neck, having to hide in wet, smelly, muddy trenches in order to survive. The only way to keep in touch with your family and friends is by writing a letter, not knowing when they will receive it or if they will even write back. Imagine having to carry a large amount of weapons, for example: machine guns, pistols, grenades, flamethrowers, or rifles. Now, we are lucky that's only a vision in our minds, because in 1914, that was reality for the soldiers of World War I. the author Eric Maria Remarque used these visions and facts in hi novel titled All Quiet on the Western Front. The question to be answered is; did the characters and setting of this novel deeply portray the time period of World War I or did Remarque make everything up?

When we think of weapons that the soldiers used in War World I we think of them as defense. But what is sort of ironic is that the same weapons the soldiers used to protect them selves were the same weapons that killed them. "The development of poison gases took on a new urgency during 1914-18." (http://www.firstworldwar.com/weaponry/index.htm) Poison gas was a lethal or incapacitating gas used as a weapon in warfare. It was used extremely between the years of 1914-1918 in order to torture enemies during war. Another major weapon used during the war was the machine gun. "The machine gun was a fairly primitive device when general war began in August 1914." (http://www.firstworldwar.com/weaponry/index.htm) The machine gun is an automatic weapon that fires rapidly and repeatedly without requiring separate squeezes on the trigger each time. This weapon was one of the most affective weapons and murdered the most enemies. These weapons were similar to the weapons that Remarque described in the novel All Quiet on the Western Front.

As stated in the previous paragraph. The weapons used in the novel and during World War I were similar, but in the novel they have a large selection of weapons. "Bombardment, barrage, curtain-fire, mines, gas, tanks, machine-guns, hand-grenades—words, words, but they hold the horror of the world." (Chapter 6 pg. 132) All these weapons played a huge role in helping the soldiers defend themselves. Every soldier used one of these weapons at least once throughout the war.

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