“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.
Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet in the Western Front expresses the emotions and physical states that soldiers experience in battles. The novel illustrates great struggle that Paul, a young soldier that voluntarily enrolled in war has to go through in order to survive. Eager and ready to join Paul sees the horror of war. In contrast, Joseph Boyden tells a story between two best friends that join the war and become professional snipers. Elijah and Xavier, growing up from a native culture, Xavier strictly follows his native beliefs while Elijah loses knowledge of his native background and adapts to the white culture.
The First World War was the most horrific war of human history, leaving soldiers traumatized and heartbroken. The novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, written by former soldier, Erich Remarque captures this suffering. Remarque had fought in the war until 1918, before being sent home on a medical discharge. He returned home as a changed man, with little hope for the future. The dark shadow of his wartime experiences hung over him until he decided to put pen to paper and write this novel, along with others.
Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front, a novel set in World War I, centers around the changes brought by the war onto one young German soldier. During his time in the war, Remarque’s protagonist, Paul Baumer, changes from a rather innocent romantic young man to a hardened and somewhat caustic veteran. The story also focuses on the lives of Baumer’s comrades. They all begin by patriotically marching off to join the army. However, their visions of the glories of war are soon swept away with horror as true friends die in the battlefield.
One night in battle Paul killed a French soldier. Once he killed the solider he begins to regret that he killed him. He looks at the pictures of the soldier's family. Paul says that "they could of been brothers". Paul trys to save the soldier's life but, cannot.
During a bloody battle, 120 of the men in Paul's unit were killed. Paul was given leave and returned home only to find himself very distant from his family as a result of the war. He left in agony knowing that his youth was lost forever. Before returning to his unit, Paul spent a little while at a military camp where he viewed a Russian prisoner of war camp with severe starvation problems and again questioned the values that he had grown up with contrasted to the values while fighting the war. After Paul returned to his unit, they were sent to the front.
All Quiet on the Western Front is a powerful and beautifully written war novel written by author Erich Maria Remarque that touches on different aspects of human nature, the costs of war and the impact it has soldiers . The novel succeeds in capturing and depicting the tragedy of war and the loss of innocence that inevitably befalls the soldiers who fight them. Remarque's experience as a writer and teacher as well as his own experience in World War I informs the novel's graphic battle scenes and the emotional journey his characters endure. Remarque wrote the book to raise awareness of the costs of war and the devastation it leaves behind. The novel is a counterpoint to the more romanticized and nationalistic depictions that were common at the time.
Strange Meeting ‘Strange Meeting’ by Wilfred Owen is a poem about a soldier in war who makes contact with the spirit of a dead soldier. The poem begins with the relief of a soldier as he escapes the war; but then realizes where he was when he sees the dead soldier. The spirit tells him that joining war is simply a waste of your life. The poem describes the cruelty and harshness of war, and what it’s like to be in it. Owen’s main aim was to open up the truth about war and the horrific and gruesome reality of being a soldier, contradicting the propaganda illustrating soldiers as heroic, honorable, and proud.
However, the feeling that one gets from each of them is different. The death in the poem is a very tragic and demoralizing but in the photograph the soldiers who have been killed seem to be happy now that they no longer serving in someone else’s war. The first stanza of the poem, “Dulce Et Decorum Est”, helps to set the scene; it tells of soldiers who are beaten down and in horrible condition. They are limping back from the front lines of the war. Owen paints a terrifying picture of these tired and wounded soldiers.
For a young boy, it may occur when war first breaks out in his country, such as in “Song of Becoming.” Yet, in “Dulce et Decorum Est” it took a man dying in front of a soldier's face for the soldier to realize how awful war truly is. Both “Song of Becoming” and “Dulce et Decorum Est” are poems about people experiencing the monstrosity of war for the first time. One is told from the perspective of young boys who were stripped of their joyful innocence and forced to experience war first hand. The other is from the perspective of a soldier, reflecting on the death of one of his fellow soldiers and realizing that there is nothing he can do to save him. While “Song of Becoming” and “Dulce et Decorum Est” both focus on the theme of the loss of innocence, “Song of Becoming” illustrates how war affects the lives of young boys, whereas “Dulce et Decorum Est” depicts the affect on an experienced soldier.