All Quiet On The Western Front Essay examples
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Essay: All Quiet on the Western Front
An anti-war novel often portrays many of the bad aspects and consequences of war. Erich Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front is a novel set in the First World War that is against war. Remarque describes the terrible reality of the war, focusing on the horrors and involved. The novel portrays an anti-war perspective as it brings up issues about the brutality of war, the narrator’s change of attitude towards war, the futility of war and the deaths of the narrator’s friends.
In the novel, Remarque presents the brutality of war. Early on in the novel, he describes the sound of the wounded horses and how brutal the war atmosphere is. “There is a whole world…show more content…
He says, “We were eighteen years old, and we had just begun to love the world and to love being in it; but we had to shoot at it. The first shell to land went straight to our hearts…We don’t believe in those things anymore; we believe in the war'; (p63). Later he also says, “We have been consumed in the fires of reality, we perceive differences only in the way tradesmen do, and we see necessities like butchers. We are free of care no longer- we are terrifyingly indifferent'; (p88). He continues to realise his change even more. He says, “I suppose I am the one who has changed in the meantime. A great gulf has opened up between then and now. I didn’t know then what the war was really like-…Now I can see I have become more brittle without realising it'; (p120). Baumer describes his change as like turning into an animal. He reflects, “We have turned into dangerous animals. We are not fighting, we are defending ourselves from annihilation'; (p81). The narrator’s attitude change also affects his feeling for his mates. He says, “We have lost all feelings for others, we barely recognise each other when somebody else comes into our line of vision, agitated as we are'; (p83).
All Quiet on the Western Front also portrays the complete futility of war. Kropp describes a seemingly silly way of fighting a war. He thinks that it should be done by the ministers and
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The novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque has many different themes represented through out it. The main theme that is shown throughout the book is the “Lost Generation” theme. In the foreword, Remarque states, “This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession… It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war. ” This book focuses on the Lost Generation of the German Army of World War I. The “Lost Generation” may seem like a general age group, the group of men who fought in the war.
In reality, it is more than just that. It is young men in their late teens, early twenties, who haven’t had a chance to start a life. It is also men who have had a chance to start a life, and have to leave it all behind. “The war swept us away… We, however, have been gripped by it and do not know what the end may be… We are not often sad. ” (Remarque 20) This shows how the war interrupted and took over their lives so unexpectedly. Most of the new recruits did not even get a chance to start a life of their own, to fall in love, or get a chance to really decide if they wanted to participate in the war.
Another example of Lost Generation is its most known and literal meaning, a generation of lost soldiers. A great example of this is when Paul has just witnessed his fellow comrade Franz Kemmerich die. “The whole world ought to pass by this bed… Franz Kemmerich… he doesn’t want to die. Let him not die! ” (Remarque 29) He was only one of the wounded soldiers who had a limb amputated and eventually died from their injuries. Franz Kemmerich becomes one of the Lost Generation when he awoke from his surgery, before his death.
He lost all hope of ever recovering and he became depressed to some extent. The men also felt lost in other ways. “To no man does the earth mean so much as to the soldier. ” (Remarque 55) The men have lost all sense of comfort unless they are on the ground. The feel that the higher they are from the ground, the less protected they are. To them Earth is their protector. This is the reason why they have trenches underground to help them feel comfortable. Towards the end of this book, the theme “Lost Generation” is mainly shown by its literal and most common meaning. Kemmerich is dead, Haie Westhus is dying… there are about a hundred and twenty wounded men lying somewhere or another. ” (Remarque 139) This quote is a great example of the actual lost generation. It shows how they know that there are men out there on the battlefield wounded and dying. But they have no way to help or save them. Another great example of this theme is the realization of death. Paul is carrying Kat to safety when he doesn’t even realize that Kat is dead until after an orderly tells him so. “He points to Kat. ‘He is stone dead’…’He had been hit in the shin’ I [Paul] say. Paul failed to realize the extent of Kats injuries. Kat’s death causes Paul to lose some of his sense and soul. Kat was more than a comrade to him he was everything to Paul. There are many themes throughout this novel. Among those are “Destruction of War,” “Shared Humanity” and “Lost Generation. ” The “Lost Generation” theme is represented most in the novel and Remarque uses many different literary terms to show them. The meaning of lost generation is the generation of men and women who were disillusioned with the world.
All Quiet on the Western Front Essay 1
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