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John Steinbeck's All Quiet On The Western Front

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In the story “All Quiet on the Western Front,” WW1 is narrated by a German soldier, Paul. The war is explained as having mainly negative effects on the soldiers: “...men who, even though they may have escaped its shells, were destroyed by the war.” (1) In the beginning of the novel, Paul and his friends dreams about what their life would be like if there was peace. Their view on the war’s brutality is not deep, but many feel it has ruined any chance at a normal life. Even when mentioning home, it does not exist: “ “What’s up, Kat?...” “I wish I were back home." Home--he means the huts.” (31) Instead of home being where their families are, it has become the familiar war housing. The war has annihilated an entire generation of men, leaving them “lost”—physically and…show more content…
Paul and most of his friends died before he could see what the outcome would be-it’s almost as if their entire experience was useless. I felt for Paul, because in the end he explains that even his feelings were nothing: “...all that floods over me are but feelings…” The fact that eventually all the soldiers would be nobodies, and that the war would cause them to “fall into ruin,” made me unhappy. I think that the impact WW1 would have on those in the society left to carry on would be outright devastating. Everything the soldiers have been through have left them to become a hollow, insensitive, nobody. Those left to carry on would not fit into their society. No one would remember them or even understand what they know or feel. The veterans could not hold an occupation, further reinforcing the notion that their life would be dismal. They would not be able to “find their way any more” because the war has stopped-what is their purpose now that the war was over? To carry on, their entire previous life would be an alien idea. They can’t ‘carry on’-their entire life has come to a halt. It’s as Albert expresses it: "The war has ruined us for
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