All Quiet on the Western Front: Themes

1023 WordsOct 8, 19995 Pages
All Quiet On the Western Front: Themes All Quiet on the Western Front is a graphic depiction of the horrors of war. In the short note before Chapter One, Remarque lets the reader know exactly what themes he intends. War is a savage and gratuitous evil, war is unnatural, and war is responsible for the destruction of an entire generation. Remarque is very clear on the strength of his themes, and uses graphic imagery to convey to the reader the physical and psychological impact that war has on humanity. But Remarque uses more than graphic description to support his themes. Remarque also utilizes a very defined nature motif, with the forces of nature constantly rebelling against the conflict it plays battleground to. With the…show more content…
Only the mist is cold, this mysterious mist that trails over the dead and sucks from them their last, creeping life. By morning they will be pale and green and their blood congealed and black." Once again, Remarque uses metaphors with notable success. The mist, which behaves abnormally, is the manifestation of nature. Nature is slowly and quietly erasing the traces of its former anguish. In this instance, nature is at work decaying the dead; beginning the relentless process of repairing itself. This final stage in nature's condemnation of war can be seen consistently throughout Chapter Eleven, where the war toils on, but the seasons pass indifferently as the dead pile up. Nature's victory can be seen as the simple ability to outlast its tormentors. The novel ends with the war's conclusion, and at the same time, the rejuvenation of the Earth in those tortured regions. What then does Remarque accomplish by demonstrating these three stages? Staying consistent with his themes, Remarque is emphasizing the horrors and pointlessness of war. But where Remarque uses vivid and horrific imagery to make clear the former, the latter is clearly supported in his nature motifs. By observing the three stages above, the reader realizes the insignificance of war. Nature is above it, and greater than any war. Despite the immeasurable impact the war had on those involved, it was but a minor

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