Comparing All Quiet On The Western Front, The Wars, and A Farewell To Arms

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All Quiet On The Western Front, The Wars, and A Farewell To Arms

Any and all events in one's life may change a person profoundly, but the effect may not always be as expected. For instance, situations of despair may cause feelings of depression and uncertainty to develop in an individual, as would likely be expected. However, those same situations could ultimately lead to a sense of fulfilment or enlightenment. In the novels All Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Remarque, The Wars by Timothy Findley, and A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemmingway, the varying possibilities of the effects of war on an individual are clearly displayed. In All Quiet On The Western Front, Paul Baumer finds the war has changed not only the way he views
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That aspect of his previous life seems unreal and incomprehensible, perhaps even vague because since he came to the war he feels cut off from his early life. It is as if he has lost the person he used to be. Not only does Paul feel he has lost himself as he used to be, but he also believes that he would not be able to recapture his past, even if given the chance: "…these memories of former times do not awaken desire so much as sorrow…Once we had such desires-but they return not. They are past, they belong to another world that is gone from us." (Remarque, pg.106). From this quote it is clear that Paul feels his childhood is out of reach. He has lost his desire to recapture his memories, perhaps recognising that they may not mean all that much to him now anyway, due to the fact that he feels he has already lost the world those memories originated from. When Paul returns home on leave, he realises that it may not be him losing a previous world of memories, rather the previous world is losing him: "I cannot feel at home amongst these things…There is a distance, a veil between us." (Remarque, Pg.139). Paul feels out of place when he returns home, reinforcing his fears that the war has changed him irreversibly. As Paul recognises this occurring change throughout the novel, his thoughts and actions become reclusive. After killing an enemy soldier in battle, the effects of the war on his sense of