Millions of people have gone through life-altering experiences in their time in World War I. In Erich Maria Remarque’s novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul Bäumer, a 19-year-old German soldier, narrates his personal memoirs of this war. He describes the mental change and suffering he goes through as he is forced to mature from a young boy to a soldier in order to survive, leaving him permanently scarred from the throes of war. By employing juxtaposition to contrast Paul’s mindset, before and after the war, Remarque demonstrates how the mental health of the World War I soldiers is damaged because of the abrupt loss of their youth, leaving them in a state of survival and mental instability.
Throughout the ages, wars have wreaked havoc and caused great destruction that lead to the loss of millions of lives. However, wars also have an immensely destructive effect on the individual soldier. In the novel All Quiet on the Western Front written by Erich Maria Remarque, one is able to see exactly to what extent soldiers suffered during World War 1 as well as the effect that war had on them. In this essay I will explain the effect that war has on young soldiers by referring to the loss of innocence of young soldiers, the disillusionment of the soldiers and the debasement of soldiers to animalistic men.
“We have almost grown accustomed to it; war is a cause of death like cancer and tuberculosis, like influenza and dysentery. The deaths are merely more frequent, more varied and terrible.”  This quote explains how “normal” death is when fighting in war and that it is so inevitable, the soldiers become accustomed to it. Even when all of Paul’s friends have passed and Kat is the only one left, his reaction to his death is uncaring. “All is usual. Only the Militiaman Stanislaus Katczinsky has died.”  Kat is one of Paul’s closest comrades and this reaction would normally be surprising but he refuses to let himself feel any emotions. Paul and the young soldiers have become numb to death. The meaning of their lives is shattered and is consumed by war. “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.”  The minute that they joined the army was the minute that the only purpose for their life was to kill or be killed. “Our knowledge of life has been limited to death.”
The book All Quiet on the Western Front takes place during World War I. The author, Erich Maria Remarque, describes how dehumanizing war can be for soldiers who give their life to serve their country and protect it. Remarque specifically describes the hardships of a German soldier Paul during the war. Through Remarque’s story we learn that war affects relationships, thought processes, natural instincts and many more functions of a soldier. We learn over the course of this book that all soldiers change through war.
Throughout the novel All Quiet on the Western Front, the narrator of the story, Paul Baumer goes through the realization how joining the war was destroying his and others’ youth while turning people against each other. Remarque uses the phrase “abyss of sorrow” as figurative language to describe the suffering and heartbreak the young boys experience in the front line, earning the generation of boys that served in World War 1 the name “the Lost Generation”. After Paul observes the pain of the prisoners that he is assigned to watch, he sees for himself “how people are set against one another, and in silence…slay one another”. Just because two sides are waging war, people are brainwashed or persuaded to sacrifice themselves for a fight that is
In the book Tangerine, by Edward Bloor, a seventh grader Paul Fisher moves to Tangerine, Florida; leaving all of his friends and memories back in Texas. He faces multiple difficulties here and struggles to take a stand. He moves from school to school and has trouble making true friends. Most of all, he has to deal with his cruel brother Erik and Erik’s friend Arthur Bauer both constantly looking to harm Paul and many others in any way possible, but Paul is able to take a stand.
Combat, loyalty, enmity, bloodshed, and duty, all words that fit under the category of war. The novel Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is about Louis Zamperini a strong willed man raised in Torrance, California. He started as a young troublemaker until he discovered his passion for running in high school. That very passion led him to compete in the Olympics. Later he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, a brave decision that would change his life. War and its affinities have various emotional effects on different individuals, whether facing adversity within the war or when experiencing the psychological aftermath.
The book, All Quiet On The Western Front, by Erich Remarque, tells what happens to a group of German teenagers during World War I. Throughout this novel, Remarque has certain symbols for objects in the book that represent or mean something. For example, Kemmerich’s boots symbolized death. That’s just one example but there are a bunch more symbols and they all have connections to each other.
Present throughout the book is the theme of disillusionment. In the school, they’ve been told by their schoolmasters and parents that unless they join the war, they would remain cowards. They see propaganda after propaganda, all alluding towards the glory of battle and warfare. Out on the front, they realize that nothing was further from the truth. Their dreams of being heroes shattered, like when they compare themselves to the soldier on a poster in chapter 7. They reflect upon how their lives cannot compete with how the posters, and that they will never have the innocence of the girl. They crave for intimacy, and Paul was disheartened when the French ladies they meet was unable to provide him with what he needed. Along the story, they also jest with irony about their future. They show signs of envy towards Kat’s family, and feel at loss about their own lack of
In the year 1914, a war started that would turn innocent people against each other, and have aftermaths that include thousands of people dead due to new equipment like tanks, gas attacks, and hand-to-hand combat. In this war there was a soldier named Paul Bäumer who is a German nineteen year old who has made friends that will last a lifetime during this experience, but has also felt immense pain. His daily routine is to sleep, eat, and fight in the trenches, and he experiences death every day. Most soldiers view death as a recurring event, but Paul views it as wretchedness, which makes him different from others by caring about his comrades more than others. Paul shows many qualities through this experience of being a soldier in the First World War, and he learns what is necessary in life, which takes some people years to figure out. In All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, Paul Bäumer participates in the bloodiest war of all time, and he develops the skills of intelligence, leadership, and loyalty.
Before World War I, all of Europe in 1914, was tense and like a bomb or a fire was waiting to erupt. Europe had not seen a major war in years, but due to Militarism, Imperialism, Alliances, and Nationalism tensions grew high. Each country was competing to be the best by gaining more territory and growing in their military size and successful economies. World War 1 was waiting to happen and the assassination of the Archduke was the spark that lit Europe up. In All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque we see the effects of the assassination. In the story, the audience, is immersed in a typical Germans soldiers life when going to the front, waiting to go to the front, injured, and when on leave. The audience is shown the terrible experiences the soldiers experience and the emotions that they feel in many
Throughout their lives, people must deal with the horrific and violent side of humanity. The side of humanity is shown through the act of war. War is by far the most horrible thing that the human race has to go through. The participants in the war suffer irreversible damage by the atrocities they witness and the things they go through. In the novel “All Quiet on the Western Front" is the description by Erich Maria Remarque of the graphic violence and gore and the psychological pain that the average soldier endured on the western front. However it may seem, this is not violence simply for the shock factor, neither is it simply included to add realism to the novel. Instead this is an effort on Remarque’s behalf to communicate the human aspect of war, and describe the immense suffering that could be inflicted on any soldier during the GReat War. Through the use of the Narrator Paul Baumer, and the graphic imagery and description, Remarque illustrates the suffering that a soldier had to go through, both psychological and physical.
I enjoy following the journeys of Paul Baumer. Out of all the characters in All
From 1914 to 1918 World War One occurred due to the murder of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, by a Serbian group named the Black Hand. Additionally, several powerful countries, including Germany, France, and Britain, established a series of alliances that amplifies the size of the war. Likewise, the war expanded by the strong nationalist beliefs of each country, therefore a countless amount of men desired to fight the war, in order to support their country. This sense of nationalism is a theme explored throughout Erich Maria Remarque's novel All Quiet on the Western Front, through the lense of a young German Soldier. The protagonist, Paul, a 19 year old soldier, explores the horrors of war through strong comradeship, the death of companions,
The war novel All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque depicts one protagonist, Paul, as he undergoes a psychological transformation. Paul plays a role as a soldier fighting in World War I. His experiences during the war are not episodes the average person would simply experience. Alternatively, his experiences allow him to develop into a more sophisticated individual. Remarque illustrates these metamorphic experiences to expose his theme of the loss of not only people’s lives but also innocence and tranquility that occurs in war.