Betrayal is the Truth in Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front

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Betrayal is the truth that clings. It is a truth that is so painful that it clutches on to the mind, soul, and heart. Deep disappointment and agonizing anguish comes with betrayal. It is the betrayal that discredits false ideals and harbors empty hopes. In All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, youths like Paul Baumer must deal with the disillusion they feel towards what they were taught to believe in. Once Paul and his fellow classmates are shipped off to war, he and the others learn that they have been betrayed on all fronts.
Teachers who cultivate the minds of the young and fuel their insatiable ideals become the primary objects of resentment for young soldiers in All Quiet on the Western Front. It is a resentment …show more content…

Teachers, in their ignorance, spoke easily about the war believing they understood it better than the soldiers. Claims of understanding the war as a 'whole' were part of the older generation's rationale.
Paul and his comrades feel betrayed by their own people as well as they have been deceived by their friends, their families, and their loved ones. Paul realized that the betrayal of the civilians is because of their ignorance. The same ignorance lead the parents to force their sons into the army and therefore onto the path of death. Those soldiers like Joseph Behm who “enlists to avoid ostracization by his peers” (Warner). These civilians, these poor ignorant fools, who lived blissfully in their ignorance, believed they understood but they couldn't. They could not understand the war the same way the experienced soldiers did. Paul comes to acknowledge this when he visits his home and he says that “They understand of course, they agree, they may even feel it so too, but only with words, only with words, yes, that is it” (Remarque110). To make the matter even worse, the older generation didn’t want to hear but lies from soldiers; they only wanted to hear about patriotism and glory. “He [Paul] realizes that the people at home would prefer lies rather than to accept the soldier’s account” (Henningfeld). Also in their ignorance, they did not realize that they

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