All Quiet on the Western Front is a short book, but remarkably deep. More than 50 years after its jolting prose, haunting poetry, and powerful truths slashed their way into the consciousness of a worldwide readership, All Quiet still stands at the forefront of a host of novels on that most tragic recurrence in the history of human experience: war. All the aspects of trench warfare are present—excitement, boredom, horror, hunger, fear, dirt, alienation, imminent death, futility, to name a few. All Quiet has a pervasive sense of uselessness, an initially unvoiced but later fully expressed question of 'Just what is this war about, and why am I being put on the line for it?' The answer is, of course, nothing, and if All Quiet has but one overriding message, it is that war is awful, and young people ought not to fight. All Quiet is not a book which glorifies the German war effort, or portrays soldiers as heroes. In Remarque's own words, it is “an attempt to give an account of a generation that was destroyed by the war—even those of it who survived the shelling.” As such, it is brutal and confronting, but in the best possible way. Anti-war fiction has seldom been this effective, or this memorable for that matter.
All Quiet tells the story of Paul Bäumer, a young man who gets talked into joining the German army by an idealistic teacher. In short, business-like sentences, Paul tells the reader about his experiences in and around the trenches, plus those of his similarly
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Erich Maria Remarque’s literary breakthrough, All Quiet on the Western Front, describes two stories. It meticulously chronicles the thoughts of a soldier in World War I while simultaneously detailing the horrors of all wars; each tale is not only a separate experience for the soldier, but is also a new representation of the fighting. The war is seen through the eyes of Paul Baumer whose mindset is far better developed in comparison to his comrades’. His true purpose in the novel is not to serve as a representation of the common soldier, but to take on a godly and omniscient role so that he may serve as the connection between WWI and all past and future melees of the kind. Baumer becomes the
“I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another (263).” Powerful changes result from horrifying experiences. Paul Baumer, the protagonists of Erich Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front utters these words signifying the loss of his humanity and the reduction to a numbed creature, devoid of emotion. Paul’s character originates in the novel as a young adult, out for an adventure, and eager to serve his country. He never realizes the terrible pressures that war
“We are forlorn like children, and experienced like old men, we are crude and sorrowful and superﬁcial, I believe we are lost” (Remarque 123). World War I is a tragic event that occurred in 1914 to 1918. Paul Baumer and the rest of the soldiers in the novel of “All Quiet in the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque are lost; they are broken from the fist World War, they don’t know anything aside from War, and they have lost their innocence during the years of maturation. When the young men heard about the War, they were excited, and full of life, they thought they were going on an adventure.
An ancient Chinese proverb states “One cannot know peace without knowing war” (Herzberg). In a time where all that plagues many nations was war, it was inevitable that a time of peace needed to follow or at least the sober idea of it. The proverb was created to validate wars and later turned into a way to approach life’s troubles. Being within an individual or on a global scale, war and peace are connected. They exist coherently but never together; they are the cause and effects of each other. One follows the other yet both are needed in order to understand the other one. This relationship between war and peace is developed in the Erich Maria Remarque's novel, All Quiet on the Western Front. While the first major world war is the background
All Quiet on the Western Front is a fictional war novel written by Erich Maria Remarque which follows the main character Paul Baumer, a German solider in World War I. Paul, the nineteen year old protagonist, narrates the novel as he and his classmates fight on the German and French front. The young men volunteer to join the German army after being persuaded by the nationalist words of their teacher, Kantorek. After only fighting for two weeks, eighty men remain in the company of the once one hundred and fifty men. Paul, Kropp, and Muller then go to visit Kemmerich, a friend of theirs from school, in the hospital. He was wounded in combat resulting in the amputating of his leg. Seeing that Kemmerich is going to die and no longer needs the new boots that he has, Muller asks to have them but Kemmerich refuses. When Paul later goes back to the hospital, Kemmerich dies and Paul takes his boots to Muller.
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.
In war, both violence and fear revokes a soldier’s humanity. These elements of war cause a person to shut down their emotional instincts, which causes the soldiers to mature rapidly by taking innocence along with joy and happiness in life. Through the experiences that the soldiers encounter, their humanity is compromised. Thus, as war strips soldiers of their innocence, they start to become disconnected from themselves and others. In All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque illustrates the negative effects war has on a soldier’s humanity, through his use of Paul’s books and the potato pancakes by revealing the soldiers loss of emotion that causes them to become detached from society. Through these symbols they deepen the theme by visually depicting war’s impact on Paul. Paul’s books helps the theme by depicting how the war locked his heart to old values by taking his innocence. Likewise the potato pancakes reveal Paul’s emotional state damaged by the war with his lack of happiness and gratitude.
All Quiet on the Western Front written by Erich Maria Remarque is a narrative describing World War I from a German soldier 's perspective. The story is narrated by Paul Baümer and predominantly revolves around the experiences of him and his comrades Kemmerich, Katczinsky, Kropp, Müller, and Leer. The novel begins with Paul Baümer and his friends in a cheerful mood as extra rations are being allocated to them due to the missing soldiers. During this event, Baümer introduces and describes the various personalities of his friends and his connection to them. Eventually, Baümer reflects back to the time how he and his friends had been coaxed into joining the war by their, patriotic school teacher, Kantorek only to later find out that they 've been lied to and the war isn 't even comparable to of what they 've been told. Instead, Paul Baümer and his school friends find themselves entrenched in the middle of bloody and what appears to be a pointless war.
There is no doubt that when war occurs, every single human being is affected by it even if it is just a little. In the novel, “All Quiet on the Western Front” written by Erich Maria Remarque, a group of teenage men, who also appear to by classmates, are in the German army of World War I because they have chosen to leave their adolescence at home and school for grown up work at the army. Throughout this fictional novel, they face many challenges that result in them not seeing each other ever again because of death. War affects individuals by leaving behind necessities such as education or jobs, not being able to watch over others such as their health, and injuries that soldiers receive while they are at war.
In the incredible book, All Quiet on the Western Front written by Erich Maria Remarque, the reader follows Paul Baumer, a young man who enlisted in the war. The reader goes on a journey and watches Paul and his comrades face the sheer brutality of war. In this novel, the author tries to convey the fact that war should not be glorified. Through bombardment, gunfire, and the gruesome images painted by the author, one can really understand what it would have been like to serve on the front lines in the Great War. The sheer brutality of the war can be portrayed through literary devices such as personification, similes, and metaphors.
The Great War, also known as World War I, is a defining moment in Europe’s history. Its aftermath consists of the demolition of Germany’s economy, the rise of Adolf Hitler, and the loss of an entire generation of young men who were sent into combat. All Quiet on the Western Front chronicles the experiences of Paul Baumer, a 19-year old student who volunteers for the military during World War I along with his classmates Muller and Kropp. They are compelled to enlist by Kantorek, their fiercely patriotic but misguided schoolmaster. Paul’s life in the military is told in short entries that reveal the reality of war: horrifying battles, violence, alienation, emotional indifference. His accounts of war are personal and emotional, and the bleak tone
All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Remarque, is a classic anti-war novel about the personal struggles and experiences encountered by a group of young German soldiers as they fight to survive the horrors of World War One. Remarque demonstrates, through the eyes of Paul Baumer, a young German soldier, how the war destroyed an entire generation of men by making them incapable of reintegrating into society because they could no longer relate to older generations, only to fellow soldiers.
Using defense mechanisms to cope with the gratuitous struggle of war was definitely insufficient, especially when the bloodbath of the young soldiers’ loved ones overpowers a simple device like daydreaming. Sometimes, all they needed was a breath of fresh air and different scenery to ease into; “These are wonderfully care-free hours. Over us is the blue sky. On the horizon float the bright, yellow, sunlit observation-balloons, and the many little white clouds of the anti-aircraft shells… We hear the muffled rumble of the front only as very distant thunder; bumblebees droning by quite drown it. Around us stretches the flowery meadow. The grasses sway their tall spears; the white butterflies flutter around and float on the soft warm wind of the late summer.”; (Remarque 9). Generally, the creative imagery and the depictions of nature were spread largely throughout the war novel, and specifically from this moment in time, it was clearly illustrated. Paul and his fellow comrades found themselves in a seemingly protected paradise and were able to ease in with the tranquility of the “wonderfully care-free hours.” They were detached from both the physically inhumane and mentally deteriorating workings of war. After all the bloodshed and brutality, there was no doubt in mind that the soldiers would not presentably steal the opportunity in being able to be surrounded once again with such thriving life.
Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front is one of the greatest war novels of all time. It is a story, not of Germans, but of men, who even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war. The entire purpose of this novel is to illustrate the vivid horror and raw nature of war and to change the popular belief that war has an idealistic and romantic character. The story centers on Paul Baümer, who enlists in the German army with glowing enthusiasm. In the course of war, though, he is consumed by it and in the end is "weary, broken, burnt out, rootless, and without hope" (Remarque page #).
In the words of Otto Von Bismarck, “Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war.” Many of the preceding war novels to All Quiet on the Western Front, misrepresented or overlooked the anguish of war, in favor of more resplendent ideals such as glory, honor, or nationalism. The predominant issue of All Quiet on the Western Front is the terrible atrocities of war. The reality that is portrayed in the novel is that there was no glory or honor in this war, only a fierce barbarity that actually transformed the nature of human existence into irreparable, endless affliction, destroying the soldiers long before their deaths.