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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Although Paul and his friends are raised by the older generation, the real enemies of Paul and his friends are the older generations because of the kaiser and the people in the country. Paul realizes that they are not fighting for themselves or the country but for the older generation instead. Paul points out that World War 1 is not needed, it is the kaiser that commands them to the war in chapter 8. He also compares with one of the soldiers he has killed and finds out that he has a family and friends just like Paul in chapter 9. Paul illustrates that french is not their enemy by telling the soldier that he will do what the man wants.
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,
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 order to emphasize the degree to which the soldiers in World War I changed emotionally, Paul juxtaposes the innocence of his youth with a primal instinct of desperate survival that forms from the brutality of the war. As time passes, each of the soldiers slowly loses his sense of self, specifically seen when Bäumer and Kropp, a fellow soldier, cannot seem to recognize themselves in a regular life in the future after the war. Kropp then interprets this as a loss of preparedness because of war. Paul seems to agree as he reminisces, “We were eighteen
All Quiet on The Western Front, written by Erich Maria Remarque, is a novel composed after World War One to convey the experiences of German soldiers during this horrific time of fighting. He brought to light many important issues that occur during wars. In this book, three horrors of war that had the largest impact were the lack of sanitation in the trenches, the loss of comrades, and the shock that came from unexpected and ongoing shelling. The lack of sanitation in the trenches caused many diseases, infections, and terrible memories to me made.
"Forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy? If we threw away these rifles and uniforms you could be my brother just like Kat and Albert (Remarque 223)". Comradeship among soldiers is a major theme throughout the novel, "All Quiet on the Western Front" because the soldiers knew each other before the war, protected each other during combat, and can relate to one another without having to literally speak. This story 's theme shows comradeship because Paul and the other soldiers were in class together before joining the war. In the beginning of the novel Paul introduces his friends he went to school with before going to war with. "
When bombing or killing people in another trench, Paul barely comprehends the fact that he is taking another man’s life. This dramatically differs from the toll it takes on Paul “have killed with [his] hands, whom [he] can see close at hand, whose death is [his] doing” (221). Spending hours alongside this dead man, Paul begins to realize that all of the soldiers in this war are the same as him, so it isn’t unlikely that he will soon pass as well. It’s also the first instance Paul realizes the men he is fighting are also people, so if he makes it out of the war, he won’t have a life of his own and feels it is proper to replace the one he stole. Later, upon a discussion of this direct murder, Paul realizes death is just another ingredient in the disastrous recipe that is war.
The war, specifically commander Himmelstoss’ harsh training, nurtured a sense of loyalty in Paul. While training, Himmelstoss would put the boys through harsh exercises such as clearing snow out of the barrack-square with only a hand broom and a dustpan. He continually tried to break them down. However, according to Paul, it was this that developed “the finest thing that arose out of the war - comradeship” (27). This comradeship led to the development of Paul’s loyalty.
War is a harsh reality that is inflicted upon the unwilling through the “need” of it’s predecessors and those whom wish it. All Quiet on The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque is about 19 year old Paul and his friends in the “Second Company”. Even though they are just out of school age, they have already seen things that many could not bear to even think about. Eventually, all of his friends die, and even Paul too, dies. Remarque uses diction and syntax as literary devices to express his anti-war theme, or lesson.
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. Many soldiers entered World War 1 as innocent young boys, but as they experienced the full effect of the war they consequently lost their innocence.
Erich Maria Remarque was a man who had lived through the terrors of war, serving since he was eighteen. His first-hand experience shines through the text in his famous war novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, which tells the life of young Paul Bäumer as he serves during World War 1. The book was, and still is, praised to be universal. The blatant show of brutality, and the characters’ questioning of politics and their own self often reaches into the hearts of the readers, regardless of who or where they are. Brutality and images of war are abundant in this book, giving the story a feeling of reality.
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.
Throughout the story Paul shows that he cares about his comrades by protecting them from the dangers of war, and he also displays that he will guide them in war. Paul uses his skills of intelligence to guide his team in the trenches and at the front, and he passes on his knowledge and tricks of war to the new recruits. Not many soldiers have all of these qualities, which makes Paul stand out more than his comrades. Even today some men don't express the passion and leadership Paul shows in All Quiet on the Western Front, which brings up the fact that the war needs more men like Paul. To sum up, Paul is an honest and true man who will always be there for his comrades when needed, and he is a man the troops are proud to say is a patriotic
After experiencing the horrors of World War I, Paul believes he is “nothing but an agony for myself, for my mother, for everything that is so comfortless and without end” (Remarque 185). Paul is in fact guilty for his involvement in the violence of the war. He realizes this fact and becomes dispirited because he bemoans allowing himself to get involved in such cruelty. Despite the fact that Paul experiences adverse emotions because of it, he learns from his past blemishes. Even though he can never really rescind his previous actions, he still uses them as a guide towards refraining from repeating the same missteps.
He had joined the war in his young age and he doesn’t have much background comparing to the older generations. Paul is used to the front line life and he feels everything was strange to him when he went home for his 16 days vacation. He states, “ Still I do no give up hope. I do not indeed, go to my room any more, but comfort myself with the thought that a few days are not enough to judge by. Afterwards--later on--there is plenty of time for that.”