The Dreadful Aftermath of War

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Who are the real victims of war? Unfortunately, many people ask themselves this question after they return home from battle as a completely different person as than they were before the devastation. Much of this group asking themselves this question were young when they enlisted, so they don’t know how to deal with the world they are in. Erich Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front brings about this very group of young men during World War I. These boys are also vastly known as the Forgotten Generation, because they lost everything in the war so they were pushed aside. The men of the Forgotten Generation returned from the war a completely different person and were impacted more harshly than the older men, Remarque points this out multiple times in his work.

A whole forgotten generation to us in the present sounds absurd, but it was the harsh reality for the young soldiers of WWI. Young men were coaxed into the war by the only thing they believed in: their parents and schoolmasters. Paul Baumer and his friends had just turned 19 when they enlisted hoping to find heroism and recognition of bravery from their peers, only they soon found out that was not the case. After going through weeks of training camp Paul makes this realization, “The war swept us away. For the others, the older men, it is but an interruption. They are able to think beyond it. We, however, have been gripped by it and do not know what the end may be. We know only it some strange and melancholy way we have become a wasteland” (20). The young men of the war do not know their outlook, they have lost the few things that were steady for them and cannot see past the war. Experienced men of the war know how to move on after the war, but for these young men the wor...

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...s did not know how to handle the pain they felt in the war or how to keep to their former lives close to them, while the old men had felt burdens previously so they knew how to return to normal lives.

The Forgotten Age of men in WWI had to return to a harsh, unforgiving world in which they had no experience. Old men had it better off, because they knew how to deal with their pain and stress from the war. Unfortunately, the young men could not handle their emotions so they could go into the normal world. To these lamentable young men the world was foreign and strange, many of them did not return from the war but the few that did faced more hardship than their fallen comrades. Erich Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front showed the true inner battle of emotion, these young men went through during and after the war that the prepared, older soldiers did not face.
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