Erich Maria Remarque’s classic novel All Quiet on the Western Front is based on World War I; it portrays themes involving suffering, comradeship, chance and dehumanization. The novel is narrated by Paul, a young soldier in the German military, who fights on the western front during The Great War. Like many German soldiers, Paul and his fellow friends join the war after listening to the patriotic language of the older generation and particularly Kantorek, a high school history teacher. After being exposed to unbelievable scenes on the front, Paul and his fellow friends realize that war is not as glorifying and heroic as the older generation has made it sound. Paul and his co-soldiers continuously see horrors of war leading them to become hardened, robot-like objects with one goal: the will to survive. As war wages on, the German youth continuously fight forces beyond their control leading the young soldiers to dehumanization. Remarque indicates that patriotism is a thought of the past as the young newcomers are exposed to the authenticity of trench warfare. In the beginning of the novel the German recruits experience some inhumane training in the trenches running along the Rhineland, and thus quickly learn that surviving or dying has hardly anything to do with their toughness (Napierkowski 6). This realization materializes as the young Germans start fighting fresh, well-equipped Allies troops. Not only are the Allies troops fresh and well-equipped, but they outnumber the German troops in quantity and devastating equipment. The Allies list of destructive equipment includes: tanks, airplanes, poison gas, bombs and machine guns. The Allies technology only make survival for the German troops only more difficult as the trenches offer ... ... middle of paper ... ...rman company encounters impoverished conditions, only further adding to their pain. As a result of battling unmanageable forces and dealing with shoddy trenches, the young German armed forces are no longer able to see the real world. Works Cited Barker, Christine R., R.W. Last, and Terry O' Neil. "The Structure of All Quiet Helps Carry Out the Theme of Alienation." 1979. Readings on All Quiet on the Western Front. San Diego: Greenhaven,Inc, 1999. 75-84. Print. Remarque, Erich Maria, and A. W. Wheen. All Quiet on the Western Front. Boston: Little, Brown, 1929. Print. Spielvogal, Jackson J. "The Beginning of the Twentieth-Century Crisis:War and Revolution." Western Civulization since 1300. Eighth ed. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2006. 784-85. Print. "Themes." Novels for Students. Ed. Marie R. Napierkowski. Vol. 4. Detriot: Gale, 1998. 6-7. Print.
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The story takes place through the eyes of a German infantryman named Paul Baumer. He is nineteen and just joined up with the German army after high school with the persuasion of one of his schoolteachers, Mr. Kantorek. Paul recalls how he would use all class period lecturing the students, peering through his spectacles and saying: "Won't you join up comrades?"(10). Here was a man who loved war. He loved the "glory" of war. He loved it so much as to persuade every boy in his class to join up with the army. He must have thought how proud they would be marching out onto that field in their military attire.
...be perceived: "I merely wanted to awaken understanding for a generation that more than all others has found it difficult to make its way back from four years of death, struggle, and terror, to the peaceful fields of work and progress" (Eksteins) Although we will never even begin to understand what horror these soldiers have experienced, Remarque’s novel give us a glimpse into this mindset and compels us to be grateful for the life that we have.
All quiet On the Western Front, a book written by Erich Maria Remarque tells of the harrowing experiences of the First World War as seen through the eyes of a young German soldier. I think that this novel is a classic anti-war novel that provides an extremely realistic portrayal of war. The novel focuses on a group of German soldier and follows their experiences.
Through Baümer, Remarque examines how war makes man inhuman. He uses excellent words and phrases to describe crucial details to this theme. "The first bomb, the first explosion, burst in our hearts," (page #). Baümer and his classmates who enlisted into the army see the true reality of the war. They enter the war fresh from school, knowing nothing except the environment of hopeful youth and they come to a premature maturity with the war, their only home. "We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces. We are not youth any longer" (page #). They have lost their innocence. Everything they are taught, the world of work, duty, culture, and progress, are not the slightest use to them because the only thing they need to know is how to survive. They need to know how to escape the shells as well as the emotional and psychological torment of the war.
World War I had a great effect on the lives of Paul Baumer and the young men of his generation. These boys’ lives were dramatically changed by the war, and “even though they may have escaped its shells, [they] were destroyed by the war” (preface). In Erich Maria Remarque’s novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul Baumer and the rest of his generation feel separated from the other men, lose their innocence, and experience comradeship as a result of the war.
Remarque, Erich Maria. All Quiet on the Western Front. Trans. A. W. Wheen. New York: Ballantine, 1982.
Remarque, Erich Maria, and A. W. Wheen. All quiet on the western front;. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1929. Print.
Unlike most writers, the author of All Quiet on the Western Front Erich Maria Remarque portrays war as it really is; full of visions with fear, butchery, and meaningless deaths instead of an abundance of romanticized and glory descriptions. Remarque includes the terror and savagery of war, showing the physical and mental toll taken on the soldiers. The only way for them to survive was to disconnect themselves from their emotions and the events happening around them.
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.
In All Quiet on the Western Front, Remarque tells the story of young German soldiers in World War I. Often, war novels tell intentionally exciting tales of triumph or purposefully agonizing accounts of defeat, but Remarque refuses to veil the tragic reality of war in order to make the story more entertaining for the reader. The book is meant to be “least of all an adventure.” Remarque served for the German army during World War I, and he therefore repeatedly encountered death, much like his narrator, Paul, and “death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it.” In his novel, Remarque tells a story that explains how home and identity were lost for many young men during the war. Philosophical ideas on the value of war fade
Remarque, Erich Maria. All Quiet on the Western Front. New York. Little, Brown and Company. 1957. Book.
All Quiet on the Western Front is a book written by Erich Maria Remarkque. It was a book written to reflect the human cost of war. It shows us how war has a hidden face that most people do not see until it is too late. In the novel, he describes a group of young men who at first think war is glorious. But as the war drags on, the group discovers how war is not all it is set out to be. As the war went on, they saw their friends either die or be permanently wounded. Then the end comes when there was only one person left.
The young men in this book were subject to physical torment. Eyes were blinded from such sights as, limbs being blown off, blood flowing everywhere, and their comrades dying in agony. When soldiers take shelter in the graveyard, bombs explode all around them; the living hide in coffins and the dead are thrown from their graves. The destructive power is so great that even the fundamental differences between life and death become blurred. All Quiet on the Western Front is a novel that portrayed World War I as it actually was. It told the truth and showed the effects it had on the human spirit and views of war. It began with pride and ended with