All Quiet On The Western Front Remarque Analysis

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As John F. Kennedy once stated, “Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.” The world constantly faces war, war is so annihilative and causes so much loss. The harsh nature of war causes mass destruction to not only the lives of humans but also to animals and nature. In his novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, Remarque utilizes a plethora of nature, color, and death imagery to convey the theme of destructiveness of war. Throughout the novel, Remarque often employs imagery of nature to prove the hostility war creates. For example, Paul describes the front by comparing it to a whirlpool saying, “To me the front is a mysterious whirlpool. Though I am in still water far away from its centre, I feel the…show more content…
Because of the mass amounts of blood spilling onto the earth, the bright colors typically associated with the earth is lost. The earth not only loses its lively colors from the relentless beating it undergoes, but also becomes dark and obtains a “greasy shine” from the blooding flooding over it, thus proving the destruction war causes to the earth directly and to the soldiers fighting. The “shattered souls” Remarque mentions represent the soldiers breaking down and suffering as a result of the hostile nature of war. Paul describes a memory of when he was a child recalling, “Between the meadows behind our town there stands a line of old poplars by a stream. They were visible from a great distance, and although they grew on one bank only, we called them the poplar avenue. Even as children we had a great love for them, they drew us vaguely thither, we played truant the whole day by them and listened to their rustling. We sat beneath them on the bank of the stream and let our feet hang in the bright, swift waters. The pure fragrance of the water and the melody of the wind in the poplars held our fancies. We…show more content…
Paul illustrates his surroundings during his down time, “Over us is the blue sky. On the horizon float the bright yellow, sunlit observation-balloons, and the many little white clouds of the anti- aircraft shells… Around us stretches the flowery meadow. The grasses sway their tall spears; the white butterflies flutter around and float on the soft warm wind pf the late summer… The three boxes stand in the midst of the glowing red poppies.”(9). Rather than the yellow sun, the soldiers look to up to see yellow observation balloons. Paul and the soldiers have learned to take comfort in seeing things like observation balloons and find them somewhat beautiful and calming. Further, Paul does not look up to see white clouds, but anti-aircraft shells, to Paul, the anti-aircraft shells are the clouds, signifying Paul only sees war, even in his downtime. This justifies the theme of the destructiveness of war being that the war completely corrupts everything the soldiers see and do, the soldiers ironically take comfort in war. The white butterflies signify innocence and the red poppies blood and war. The innocent white butterflies are drawn to the red poppies, similarly, Paul and the soldiers were once innocent young men and they were drawn to the blood and war. Thus, war draws innocent humans into it and basically destroys them, proving the eradication war causes. One night, Paul and
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