In All Quiet on the Western Front author and World War I veteran Erich Maria Remarque tells the story of a young soldier named Paul Bäumer who enlists in the German army with a group of his classmates. In the novel the reader comes discover the many horrors that Paul has to endure during his service before his untimely death in October 1918, only weeks before the war ended. The events that happen in the novel to Paul and his friends in his company during the war are very similar, if not identical, to what the German soldiers had to endure while World War I raged on in the real world. The way that the novel portrays the soldiers’ rations and reliance on food, their life on the front and in camp, how the young soldiers’ lives were destroyed before they even began, how the older generations pushed the younger ones to enlist, the death of soldiers in battle, and the refusal to surrender matches almost perfectly to how things were during World War I, particularly for the German soldiers.
One reoccurring point in the novel that the reader is quickly made aware of is how important a good meal can be to a soldier’s mentality. In the beginning of the novel the reader comes to learn that Paul and his fellow soldiers are currently celebrating because they are receiving double rations of food and other supplies after their company loses 70 soldiers the day before. This excitement, despite the fact that they had just lost almost half of the soldiers in their company, shows how