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General Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet On The Western Front

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“War is hell” was said by General William Tecumseh Sherman, there is no expression quite as short that captures the image of war, and he said this quote as he was on a mission to raze the South to the ground. At the beginning of the book Paul is a hopeful soldier. It will end only as what you would expect of watching all of your friends die and spending years at the front. Erich Maria Remarque wrote All Quiet on the Western Front to show us the horrors of war, and in vain to teach us lesson, that we finally realized by WWII. The story follows the life of a 19 year old schoolboy pressed into service by his teacher, trained in 10 weeks in a barracks, then learns the reality of war through experience. Throughout the novel, you can watch as he…show more content…
Only the facts are real and important for us. And good boots are scarce”. As you can see, instead of feeling sad for there friend who is about to die, they keep a lookout over him so that they can make sure they get his boots, but they do need them, war is a harsh reality. On page 20 it talks their lives “All of the older men are linked up with their previous life. They have wives, children, occupation, interests, they have a background that is so strong that the war cannot obliterate it. We young men of twenty, however, have only our parents, and some, perhaps, a girl-that is not much, for at our age the influence of our parents were the weakest and girls have not yet got a hold over us… And of this nothing remains.” They will later in the book try to forget their past lives and this is one of the few critical looks at their life before it becomes distorted. And they understand that their lives will be ‘swept away’. They also see the terror in others and help “Beside us lies a fair-headed recruit in utter terror… his helmet has fallen off. I fish hold of it and try to put it back on his head. He look up, pushes the helmet off and like a child crawls under my arm, close to my breast… So the helmet should be of some use I stick it on his behind:-- not for jest, but out of consideration, since that is his highest…show more content…
You can see the effect it has on accustomed people on page 109 “One of the recruits has a fit.” It continues to page 111 “The first recruit seems actually to have gone insane. He butts his head against the wall like a goat”. So if your not used to the front you can actually go insane, and if you spend a total of four years on the front like Paul then that is definitely going to take its toll. Then on page 113 “We have become wild beasts. We do not fight, we defend ourselves against annihilation. It is not against men that we fling our bombs, what we do know of men in this moment when Death is hunting us down--now, for the first time in three days we can see his face, now for first time in three days we can oppose him; we feel a mad anger”. So after the bombardment Paul doesn’t even see the enemies as people, he sees ‘death’. You can also see clear disillusionment on page 133 “How long has it been? Weeks--months--years? Only days.” There the time in the trenches with the constant fear of death time just seems to fly by, how else could so many people die, but then logic takes over and says it has only been a few days. But in the end everything has to be
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