All Quiet On The Western Front Death Quotes

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Erich Maria Remarque’s novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, follows the life of a German Soldier, Paul Baumer, serving in the trenches in France during World War I. This novel is told from Baumer’s perspective and depicts the horrors of living in his shoes during this time. Paul and several other young soldiers volunteered for the war after their instructor in school, Kantorek and other authority figures back home filled their heads with glorious ideas about the war. Very quickly, he discovers the reality- gas attacks, fatal illness, starvation, rat infestations, and bloody trenches. This dehumanizing war affects Paul and the soldiers who fought in it by destroying their physical and emotional well being, changing their views on the meaning of life and death, obliterating their sense of nationalism by betrayal, and…show more content…
“We have almost grown accustomed to it; war is a cause of death like cancer and tuberculosis, like influenza and dysentery. The deaths are merely more frequent, more varied and terrible.” [271] This quote explains how “normal” death is when fighting in war and that it is so inevitable, the soldiers become accustomed to it. Even when all of Paul’s friends have passed and Kat is the only one left, his reaction to his death is uncaring. “All is usual. Only the Militiaman Stanislaus Katczinsky has died.” [291] Kat is one of Paul’s closest comrades and this reaction would normally be surprising but he refuses to let himself feel any emotions. Paul and the young soldiers have become numb to death. The meaning of their lives is shattered and is consumed by war. “We are fleeing. We fly from ourselves. From our life. We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces.” [88] The minute that they joined the army was the minute that the only purpose for their life was to kill or be killed. “Our knowledge of life has been limited to death.”
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