All Quiet on the Western Front Essays: Can’t Go Home Again

All Quiet on the Western Front Essays: Can’t Go Home Again

Length: 579 words (1.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓


Can’t Go Home Again – All Quiet on the Western Front

 

During his leave, perhaps Baumer’s most striking realization of the vacuity of words in his former society occurs when he is alone in his old room in his parents’ house. After being unsuccessful in feeling a part of his old society by speaking with his mother and his father and his father’s friends, Baumer attempts to reaffiliate with his past by once again becoming a resident of the place. Here, among his mementos, the pictures and postcards on the wall, the familiar and comfortable brown leather sofa, Baumer waits for something that will allow him to feel a part of his pre-enlistment world. It is his old schoolbooks that symbolize that older, more contemplative, less military world and which Baumer hopes will bring him back to his younger innocent ways.

I want that quiet rapture again. I want to feel the same powerful, nameless urge that I used to feel when I turned to my books. The breath of desire that then arose from the colored backs of the books, shall fill me again, melt the heavy, dead lump of lead that lies somewhere in me and waken again the impatience of the future, the quick joy in the world of thought, it shall bring back again the lost eagerness of my youth. I sit and wait (Remarque, All Quiet VII. 151).

 

     But Baumer continues to wait and the sign does not come; the quiet rapture does not occur. The room itself, and the pre-enlistment world it represents, become alien to him. "A sudden feeling of foreignness suddenly rises in me. I cannot find my way back" (Remarque, All Quiet VII. 152). Baumer understands that he is irredeemably lost to the primitive, military, non-academic world of the war. Ultimately, the books are worthless because the words in them are meaningless. "Words, Words, Words—they do not reach me. Slowly I place the books back in the shelves. Nevermore" (Remarque, All Quiet VII. 153). In his experiences with traditional society, Baumer perverts language, that which separates the human from the beast, to the point where it has no meaning. Baumer shows his rejection of that traditional society by refusing to, or being unable to, use the standards of its language.

     Contrasted with Baumer’s experiences during his visit home are his dealings with his fellow trench soldiers.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"All Quiet on the Western Front Essays: Can’t Go Home Again." 123HelpMe.com. 13 Nov 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=5786>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

All Quiet on the Western Front Essays: Can’t Go Home Again

- Can’t Go Home Again – All Quiet on the Western Front During his leave, perhaps Baumer’s most striking realization of the vacuity of words in his former society occurs when he is alone in his old room in his parents’ house. After being unsuccessful in feeling a part of his old society by speaking with his mother and his father and his father’s friends, Baumer attempts to reaffiliate with his past by once again becoming a resident of the place. Here, among his mementos, the pictures and postcards on the wall, the familiar and comfortable brown leather sofa, Baumer waits for something that will allow him to feel a part of his pre-enlistment world....   [tags: All Quiet on the Western Front Essays]

Free Essays
579 words (1.7 pages)

All Quiet on the Western Front by Remarque Essay

- At the beginning of the 20th Century, the great powers of the world engaged in the largest war concerning deaths in modern times. This war, which is often called the Great War, or World War I, had serious consequences that have affected our world today a great deal. One novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, has been considered a classic and possibly "the greatest war novel of all time". The story follows the adventures of a German solider, Paul Baumer, from the time he enters the military to his unfortunate death at the end....   [tags: Quiet Western Front War Remarque]

Free Essays
1007 words (2.9 pages)

Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front Essay

- In his novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, Remarque depicts a transition in the nature of reality from idealism to realism and naturalism. This transition takes place at different parts of his novel, and to different degrees. At the beginning of the novel, on page 12, we see through Paul B„umer's comments regarding Kantorek that he and his friends were taught in school of the "glory" of war. B„umer stated, ".they taught that duty to one's country is the greatest thing." Since B„umer and his friends respected and trusted Kantorek, they hardly gave the prospect of not going into war a second glance....   [tags: All Quiet on the Western Front Essays]

Free Essays
885 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

- All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque "All Quiet on the Western Front" was written in a first person style. The story was told by Paul Baümer, a nineteen year old student, convinced to enlist with the German army by his schoolmaster, Kantorek. Along with many of his friends from school, he is trained under Corporal Himmelstoss, a strictly disciplined commander who dislikes Paul because of his "defiance." When sent to the front, Paul, along with his other friends, made new friendships that would last throughout time....   [tags: All Quiet on the Western Front]

Research Papers
573 words (1.6 pages)

All Quiet on the Western Front Essay

- All Quiet on the Western Front One of the best war novels that is read by thousands of high school students each year is Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front. This story depicts the life as a solider in the German Army fighting against the Central Powers. The solider, Paul Bäumer tell us of the fun he indures along with the hardships of war demonstrating an antiwar theme. The scene in this book that displays the antiwar theme the best would have to the "shell hole" scene that starts on page 207 and ends on page 229 demonstrating an ironic tone that is created wonderfully using Remarque's organizational and dictional skills....   [tags: All Quiet on the Western Front Essays]

Free Essays
542 words (1.5 pages)

Essay on All Quiet on the Western Front

- All Quiet on the Western Front Millions dead, tens of millions injured, for what. For a petty argument between two countries. War is devastating to countries and most indefinitely individuals. Men can be left disturbed mentally, physically, and socially for the rest of their lives. Is this necessary. Well maybe you should decide after reading the next few paragraphs. You can decide if the war being fought is a war of dignity and glory as everyone would make it out to be or if it was a battle of death and gore....   [tags: All Quiet on the Western Front Essays]

Free Essays
997 words (2.8 pages)

All Quiet on the Western Front Essay

- Imagine being in an ongoing battle where friends and others are dying. All that is heard are bullets being shot, it smells like gas is near, and hearts race as the times goes by. This is similar to what war is like. In the novel All Quiet on the Western Front, the narrator, Paul Baumer, and his friends encounter the ideals of suffering, death, pain, and despair. There is a huge change in these men; at the beginning of the novel they are enthusiastic about going into the war. After they see what war is really like, they do not feel the same way about it....   [tags: All Quiet on the Western Front Essays]

Research Papers
1386 words (4 pages)

All Quiet on the Western Front Essay

- Whenever one reads or hears about World War I or World War II, you hear of the struggles and triumphs of the British, Americans or any of the other Allies. And they always speak of the evil and menacing German army. However, All Quiet on the Western Front gives the reader some insight and a look at a group of young German friends who are fighting in World War I. “This story is neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it....   [tags: All Quiet on the Western Front Essays]

Free Essays
984 words (2.8 pages)

All Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque Essay

- At the beginning of the 20th Century, the great powers of the world engaged in the largest war concerning deaths in modern times. This war, which is often called the Great War, or World War I, had serious consequences that have affected our world today a great deal. Many great novels were written this century dealing with the Great War. One book, All Quiet on the Western Front, has been considered a classic and possibly "the greatest war novel of all time." The story follows the adventures of a German solider, Paul Baumer, from the time he enters the military to his unfortunate death at the end....   [tags: Quiet Western Front Great War]

Free Essays
930 words (2.7 pages)

Free Essays - All Quiet on the Western Front

- Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front , is a novel set in World War I, and centers around the changes wrought by the war on one young German soldier. During his time in the war, Remarque's protagonist, Paul Baumer, changes from a rather innocent Romantic to a hardened and somewhat broken-in veteran. More importantly, during the course of this metamorphosis, Baumer disaffiliates himself from those societal icons—parents, elders, school, religion that had been the foundation of his pre-enlistment days....   [tags: All Quiet on the Western Front Essays]

Free Essays
1135 words (3.2 pages)

Related Searches

Unlike Baumer’s feelings at home where he chooses not to speak with his father and makes an empty vow to Frau Kemmerich, Baumer is able to effect true communication, of both a verbal and spiritual kind, with his fellow trench soldiers. Indeed, within this group, words can have a meaningful, soothing, even rejuvenating, effect.

     Not long after his return from leave, Baumer and some of his comrades go out on patrol to ascertain the enemy’s strength. During this patrol, Baumer is pinned down in a shell hole, becomes disoriented, and suffers a panic attack. He states: "Tormented, terrified, in my imagination, I see the grey, implacable muzzle of a rifle which moves noiselessly before me whichever way I try to turn my head" (Remarque, All Quiet IX. 184-85). He is unable to regain his equanimity until he hears voices behind him. He recognizes the voices and realizes that he is close to his comrades in his own trench. The effect of his fellow soldiers’ words on Baumer is antithetical to the effect his father’s and his father’s friends’ empty words have on him.
Return to 123HelpMe.com