Book Summary: All Quiet On The Western Front

1218 Words5 Pages

Esteban Gonzalez
Professor Voth
Oct 7, 2014
All Quiet on the Western Front Paper This story wastes no time getting into the hardships and devastation that war has on a young soul. Our protagonist Paul, a young man who has voluntarily joined the war out of amongst many of his friends and classmates have undergone 10 weeks of mentally and physically exhausting both in training and on the front lines. Paul’s company finally catches a break and is brought back from the front. Unfortunately only 80 out of 150 men are alive to experience the relief. When they are back, an issue arises between the men of the company and the cook who refuses to give rations designated to the deceased. After quite an uproar from the men the cook finally …show more content…

The more fighting there is the worse Paul and the men’s moral become. Paul can not see an end to the war and even if it were to end, he doesn’t believe that he can ever return back to normal. He experiences this when he first visits home during the war. “A terrible feeling of foreignness suddenly rises up in me. I can not find my way back, I am shut out though I entreat earnestly and put forth all my strength.” Moving along in the story The Kaiser visits the front and talks to Paul and the soldiers. They were undoubtedly disappointed by his small stature and weak voice. This only brings their moral even lower when they realize that the high and mighty war effort is ultimately fought to protect this small man’s interests. Paul and his friends go back to fighting and through it Paul kills a French man with his hands while hiding in a hole. The reality of the situation sets in when he has to sit there and hide in the hole with the body while the fighting above ground ceases. This death hit him harder then the rest particularly because his own hands delivered it. “ Forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy? If we threw away these rifles and this uniform you could be my brother just like Kat and …show more content…

While books like “The Red Badge of Courage” had touched upon the violence and inhumanities of war, they didn’t bring up strong critical positions against Nationalism and ignorance in leadership and the false romanticism of war. This story has so many themes to wrap your head around, but I want to say that more than anything this book’s theme is primarily based on the idea that there is a loss of innocence to those who go and fight in war. In the introduction to the novel Remarque writes “This book is neither to be an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war.” That quotation in itself sets the reader up with an idea of what Remarque is saying in the story through events that take place and how the characters in a sense react to all that they are

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