All Is Quiet On The Western Front Critical Analysis

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Selene Heese26218410 “Innocence, Once Lost, Can Never Be Regained. Darkness, Once Gazed Upon, Can Never Be Lost.” John Milton. Many writers and poets describe the effects of war on young people and also showed us that the war is not as it seems. Young soldiers lose their innocence during the war, this is a negative effect of war. In this essay the following will be discussed, the theme of innocence in the novel All is Quiet on the Western Front, poetry that discusses the loss of innocence in war and art that shows the cruelty of war. One of the main themes in All is Quiet on the Western front is the loss of innocence. Most of the soldiers in the novel is twenty years old, but when they started this war they loss all of their innocence and they were not allowed to be young men anymore. They had to be soldiers and they had to defend their country. “Iron Youth. Youth! We are none of us more than twenty years old. But young? Youth? That is long ago. We are old folk.” (Remarque and Murdoch, 1996, 9) When we read this novel, we do not think it is a young twenty year old that wrote this. There are also other examples of loss of innocence in the novel like the new recruit who buried his face in his hands and lost his helmet. Paul tried to help him but he refused and just like a child he curled up under Paul’s arm. This shows us the bravery of Paul and his friends. This young recruit reminds us how young these soldiers are and also how they will never be the person they were before

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