Changes In Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet On The Western Front

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All people are constantly changing based on their experiences, but there are few circumstances in life that can alter a person more than war whether it be physically, emotionally, or both. World War I was one of the bloodiest wars with over 31 million deaths, wounded, and missing people. Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front, is a novel set in this bloodshed, and focuses around the changes brought by the war on one young German soldier. This text depicts the overwhelming effects and power war holds to weaken the human spirit and is able to scar the soldier not only physically but mentally. This is done through the authors ability to convey the unrelenting realism and agony of battle action. During his time in the war, Remarque's…show more content…
He believed they were smarter and trusted in the older generation to know what was best for them, “But in our hearts we trusted them. The idea of authority… was associated in our minds with a greater insight and a more human wisdom” (Remarque 12). It was a stable part of his life to have comfort and safety in knowing Paul and his peers were doing the right thing since that is what they were told to do. He even joined the war simply because he was asked to by his teacher, Kantorek, and this blind following shows his complete faith in his elders. Once Paul got to the front, he quickly realized that his confidence in the supposedly wiser generation was misguided, “The first bombardment showed us our mistake, and under it the world as they taught us broke into pieces” (Remarque 13). Their authority figures betrayed the younger generation by convincing them to give their lives for the empty ideals of patriotism and honor that was continuously preached while those like Kantorek never experienced life on the front or never fully understood the war. He particularly did not comprehend the innocent lives that were lost, like the ones of young boys he taught in school. Paul held that authority figures from the older generation: parents, leaders, teachers such as Kantorek should have been guides to their future and that the young soldiers all assumed that they would be. But after the war began, Paul realized that the older
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