Analysis: All Quiet On The Western Front

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As a society we have become reliant on the media for information on what is going on in our world. This focus on media gives people a new perspective on a topic that can get them to change how they feel about these important events. Whether it’s movies, books, television, or even the news of the time period, people will absorb a new piece of media that changes how they see things in society. This also lead to more controversial topics becoming popular due to people infusing these topics with their own opinions that are rooted in memorable narratives and reporting. This is best shown during a time of a lot of media incorporating anti-war narratives, which while not new, was brought up heavily again in the controversy of the Vietnam War, with …show more content…

Due to this, the topic of war has been present in them for thousands of years. Books like All Quiet On the Western Front tore down the romanticised depiction of war that were commonly thrown around before the mechanized slaughter that was brought about in the 20th. This book and the brutality portrayed within, make people think twice about war and the consequences of all those involved. The anti-war sentiment is show by Remarque and his personal experiences in WWI in All Quiet On the Western Front, “We are not youth any longer. We don’t want to take the world by storm. 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.”(Remarque, 1918) A more modern example of this anti-war message would be The Things They Carried and its examination of the horrors of the Vietnam War. Tim O'Brien's approach to an anti war novel involves the narrator questioning how a war story should be told, with him saying, “A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible …show more content…

This media first started with newspapers and the radio, much more sanitized depictions of events also stemmed from these limited sources. Due to this, the true suffering and brutality of wars going on during the early 20th century were censored and sanitized in an attempt to keep the public in favor of the ongoing conflict at that time. This all changed during Vietnam. What would have never been seen by the public during Korea and WWII, were broadcasted directly to the homes of millions of Americans who got to witness the suffering of those involved from the comfort of the United States. This ability for Americans to see what was truly going on caused anti-war support to sky-rocket, eventually leading to the US withdrawing troops from Vietnam. This change is shown in Daniel C. Hallen’s The Media, the War in Vietnam, and Political Support: A Critique of the Thesis of an Oppositional Media, “A model for explaining changes in the level of critical coverage is offered, emphasizing media response to the degree of consensus or dissensus among political elites.” (1984) The brutal images of the conflict in Vietnam were accompanied by brutal reporting by some of the most trusted figures of the time period. The anchors of the time were seen as completely truthful and had no reason to lie, thus making the horrors and pointlessness they spoke about all the more troubling for the

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