All's Quiet On The Western Front Critical Analysis

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The First World War was a lengthy and brutal affair that claimed the lives of over 17 million individuals. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, its effects were equally as ferocious on the intellectual front, where it marked a turning point in the clash of European intellectual values. Philosophers such as Nietzsche had already challenged established institutions of Positivistic thinking toward knowledge and progress; however, his movement lacked widespread support. It was the disaster of WWI that accelerated their movement by inspiring culture-wide undermining of prior intellectual beliefs through newfound uncertainty: authors such as Erich Remarque and Vera Brittain drew upon sudden doubt underscored by the war to completely reverse prior thinking by breaking down pre-war notions of intellectual …show more content…

To him, the war represented newfound uncertainty of ridiculous social norms and thus a complete remodeling of those rules and strident challenging of Positivistic thinking. Entering the war, Germany was a confident nation full of “noble” young Nationalists ready to die for their country, but the realities of the war soon dispelled that veil of Positivistic thinking. Prior thinking states that it is noble to die for your country, but Remarque is deeply critical of this belief. There is no reason to die for the cause – he calls for soldiers to break the social norm of unwaveringly fighting for your country. The war dashed the confidence of young soldiers and shocked them into realizing that what they perceived before was not so certain. In the novel, Paul longingly reflects, “It will be [peaceful] like this too. If I am lucky, when the war is over and I come back here for good. I will sit here just like this and look at my room and

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