All Quiet On The Western Front Theme Of The Destruction And Pointlessness Of War

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The novel All Quiet on the Western Front Written by Erich Maria Remarque is not only a specific story of World War I, but also a criticism of the destruction and pointlessness of war. The book was banned in Nazi Germany because it was critical of German military, and the idea of the “Iron Youth”, a campaign that promoted patriotism and war to young men. The novel tells the story of soldiers who endure the terrors of battle, and shows how war destroyed and entire generation of men and irreversibly detached them from the normal world. Remarque uses his experience in the war to explain that the entire generation of “Iron Youth” were either dead after the World War I, or too separated from their previous lives after experiencing the hatred and …show more content…

On both sides of the battlefield are soldiers who are presented with constant propaganda and education that they are superior to every other country, and that they are fighting with great reason. Soldiers have no political influence, and no choice in war. They are forced to convince themselves that the enemy are evil, when in reality it is quite the opposite. Remarque explains that the Russian prisoners that Paul encounters are not much different from the German soldiers, “It is strange to see these enemies of ours so close up. They have faces that make one think...They look just as kindly as our own peasants in Friesland.” (p.190). Again the author's use of first person narrative works on two levels. On one, Paul is just describing the prisoners he sees, on another, Remarque is once again expressing how the men on either side are no different, and they have no personal reason to fight. Like Paul and his friends, they are all simply fighting for survival, eating any scraps they can, and he mentions they look unfit for battle. Both sides are very similar, revealing that the antagonist is not the soldiers in the trenches in front of them, but the country behind them, and war in

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