Erich Remarque 's Magnum Of All Quiet On The Western Front

1426 WordsJun 9, 20176 Pages
The First World War, or the ill-named War to End all Wars, was one that brought hell to Earth and mankind. For the first time in history, industry had appeared to make killing efficient. In static trenches, young men from around the world were killed by artillery kilometres away, poison gas, and disease. All nations in the conflict experienced the creation of a Lost Generation; men who lost their lives, limbs, or the ability to live a normal life. Paul Baumer, the young German protagonist of All Quiet on the Western Front becomes a member of this sad generation through his sad journey to the ultimate elixir, death. In Erich Remarque’s magnum opus All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul Baumer is faced by various emotionally jarring tests that…show more content…
As the Germans repel the French, Paul and his company push back, and for a moment, turn from men to animals. While running and killing Paul illustrates, “We have lost all feeling for one another. We can hardly control ourselves when our glance lights on the form of some other men. We are insensible, dead men, who through some trick, some dreadful magic, are still able to run and to kill” (Remarque 55). This moment demonstrates the damage that has occurred. Paul already considered himself a dead man, a men that has lost all humanity. It is this moment that is the first step in the hero’s slow demise, in which he loses all joy and hope. It is impossible for, in the conditions described, to be able to return home; death becomes the only elixir. Hence, it only takes two more events in his short life for Paul Baumer to realise this elixir. After the initial French Offensive, Paul is given time to recover, getting leave and additional training. But, when he returns back to the front, he reaches the climax of the journey, as he kills a man in close quarters. While on a night expedition into No Man’s Land, Baumer is surprised by a Frenchman, but is able to swiftly recover and, to his understanding, kill him. But in the morning, Paul is confronted with the truth: “Then, he opens his eyes… The body is perfectly still without a sound, the gurgle has ceased but his eyes cry and yell, all his life gathered together for

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