All Quiet On The Western Front Essay

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All Quiet on The Western Front, written by Erich Maria Remarque, is a novel composed after World War One to convey the experiences of German soldiers during this horrific time of fighting. He brought to light many important issues that occur during wars. In this book, three horrors of war that had the largest impact were the lack of sanitation in the trenches, the loss of comrades, and the shock that came from unexpected and ongoing shelling. The lack of sanitation in the trenches caused many diseases, infections, and terrible memories to me made. For instance, while in the trenches at the front ugly, fat, and hungry rats would attempt to eat the soldiers’ bread and cheese. Since food was scarce and the men had no alternative option, they…show more content…
This new recruit has never experienced something that terrifying, therefore he completely forgot all that he learned when he was younger in the midst of his fear. During another shell attack, Paul observes young recruits completely losing their minds. He notes, “The first recruit seems to have actually gone insane. He butts his head against the wall like a goat.” (Remarque 111). Not only does Remarque revert back to describing soldiers as animals due to their loss of humanity and innocence, but he also exemplifies how they forget all reason and go completely mad. This particular madness is called shellshock. Shellshock is a condition commonly found in people who have been in combat who have been subjected to loud, traumatic sounds that cause them to be stressed whenever they hear a similar noise. This was very common in World War One as well as today. Nowadays, shellshock and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) are found together in many veterans who have returned from combat. However at that time they did not have a specific diagnosis for all the soldiers going through them (Bourke bbc.co.uk). As a result of the constant shelling and the shellshock that stemmed from it, it is obvious how miserable these soldiers must have been after going through that kind of
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