All Quiet On The Western Front

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The First World War was a war of many firsts. Not only was it the first true contemporary war, but it was also the first war that introduced new forms of industrial warfare, which resulted in many repercussions. One of these repercussions was the development of shell-shock or neurosis as a result of war in soldiers returning from the battle front. In “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Enrich Maria Remarque the psychological effect of industrial warfare on soldiers was depicted as a paradoxical combination of exhilaration on the battlefront as well as a deep state of numbness and melancholy. Foremost, it is imperative to note that many soldiers fighting in WWI were around the age of 20 if not younger. This is crucial when the fact that many studies have shown the human brain does not fully develop until the age of 25 is considered. This means that many of the soldiers were still immature and gravely unprepared for the horrors of war. Being thrown into the war requires them to mature quickly and leave their youth behind. Remarque depicts this in his piece where he states, “We are youth not youth any longer…The first bomb, the first explosion, burst in our hearts. We are cut off from activity, from striving, from progress. We believe in such things no longer, we believe in war” (Remarque 46). Nonetheless, the only thing they believed in betrayed them in the end. With the innovation of new forms of weaponry in warfare such as mustard gas, tanks, planes, machine guns, etc. and

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