All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque

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All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque

All Quiet on the Western Front, written by Erich Remarque is a novel dealing with one young mans transformation from an average person into a hardened man that eventually turns away from the society that he once was a part of. Remarque wrote this novel to emphasize the disorder and chaos that is created in war. This sense of disorder was felt within the soldiers as well as the civilians that have no part in the fighting. Civilians often had a glamorous portrayal of war that was preached to many but it soon became a harsh reality, the horror for the many that saw it.

The novel centers on a young German soldier, Paul Baumer and his experiences throughout a period of World War I. The reality of the war and the horror that it truly is transformed Baumer very quickly. There were many false pretenses that Paul had been taught growing up in a “Hitleristic” society. He quickly adapted to war and the ways of it. Baumer transformed from a rather innocent romantic to a hardened and somewhat bitter veteran. He was changed for the worse by the war. He became disaffiliated with all icons or people that had been the foundation of his pre-enlistment days. Communication with his parents, friends, elders, as well as the recollection of school, and religion were lost. 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...

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...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.

Remarque wrote a great novel, I would not consider this to be a universal novel. This shows the torments and terror of war but I do not think that you have a full feeling of the truth in it. Paul Baumer is a young man thrown into a world in which he thinks is a glorious thing but realizes that lies and trickery have led him to where he is. After all that Baumer goes through, he is left with the point of view that: war is war. It can not be defined; it can not even be discussed with any accuracy. It has no sense of feeling or personal emotion involved. War is its own being that is fueled by hatred. This is what Remarque’s purpose was in writing this novel, to show the disorder and chaos created by war.
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