In All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, the young men in battle quickly learn that the war is a awful, destructive force that ruins lives. The boys, who are pressured by their teacher to join the army for glory, soon discover that the war is not glorious, but rather devastating. Paul, the narrator of this novel, goes through a lot of pain as a result of this war. The war destroys Paul and his friends’ lives, both physically and mentally. The author expresses throughout the novel that the war destroys an entire generation’s lives.
The lost generation is a generation who will never be the same, throughout the book All Quiet On the Western Front, many of the characters will face moments where they realize the war has ruined them, ultimately, becoming the lost generation themselves. In the book, All Quiet On the Western front, the main character is Paul Baumer, an eighteen-year-old boy. Many of his classmates also enlisted to be in the war, they were around Pauls age. One of the reasons why the war takes such a huge toll on the soldiers is because they are being forced into a state of mind where it is either kill or be killed. They are not children in high school anymore.
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.
Erich Remarque, author of the novel All Quiet on the Western Front, presents a true story of a soldier throughout World War I. At the young age of 19, Paul Bäumer voluntarily enters the draft to fight for his home country, Germany. Throughout the war, Paul disconnects his mind from his feelings, keeping his emotions away from the bitter reality he is experiencing. This helps him survive mentally throughout the course of the war. The death of Paul 's friend Kemmerich forces him to cover his grief, “My limbs move supplely, I feel my joints strong, I breathe the air deeply.
I agree that the conflict between Lee Strunk and Dave Jensen alludes to future conflict between soldiers; however, I believe this conflict also reveals the degraded mindframe that these soldiers endured during the war. Like you pointed out, Jensen becomes wildly unstable after the fight. O’Brien even claims that, “The distinction between good guys and bad guys disappeared for him” (63). Jensen believed he couldn’t even trust his own ally. He would have restless nights and would break down, all because he believed Strunk would kill him over a measly broken nose.
This excerpt can be interpreted to mean that the young soldiers are too young to have a real place like home, causing them to feel insignificant, but the older soldiers have a reason to live, for their “wives, children, occupations and interests.” The author uses the phrase, “taken no root,” to convey how the young soldiers have never been anywhere long enough to grow their “roots”, suggesting that they have no safe place, a place like home. This quote implies that the extreme confinement from loved ones have caused the soldiers to become secluded from their family, obliging them to think that they don’t have a purpose, and feeling like a “waste land.” The speaker refers to himself and the young soldiers as a “waste land” to symbolize that the men consider themselves insignificant, they perceive themselves as pawns in a chess game, causing repercussions to their familial relationship. The author compares the soldiers because he wants the readers
Our next comparison concludes how the war in A Separate Peace and how Neil Perry’s parents in Dead Poets Society affects both stories deeply. The war had a constant pressure on the boys at Devon. All the characters in A Separate Peace knew that after they graduated from Devon, they would have to enlist in World War II. The character Leper Lepellier was the first to join the army and returned mentally impaired just from basic training. The Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session was formed to escape this pressure, which later ended in tragedy from Finny’s death.
Enlistment in the army kept men away from their homes for extended periods and destroyed the economic foundation of semi-subsistent mountain families. Crop failures, as well as salt shortages and guerilla raids, plagued Southern communities (3). Deteriorating home-front conditions compelled many families to write soldiers and urge them to desert and return home. In many of these cases, soldiers lost faith in the state 's ability to maintain order and relieve shortages of food and other supplies and chose family loyalty over allegiance to the Confederate army. Desertion proved to be a major problems for Confederate war effort during the Civil War.
With all of these soul-shattering, life-changing conditions, it is less of a war and more of a test of strength for the soldiers, here at Valley Forge. Some men were going home and not returning. Other men just completely deserted. Even George Washington’s position was uncertain, the members of congress didn’t trust him. Life at Valley Forge was obviously horrible, and the ugly truth is that it wouldn’t get much better.
Both stories share similar themes throughout them, even though they are vasty different people, in different situations, and with different outcomes, they still have the underlying theme of changing ideals. Paul, in All Quiet on the Western Front, goes from being a young man to a hardened war veteran, whose conscience is full of killing and bloodshed and has naturally come to think like a soldier, rather than the youthful adolescent he was before. As Kambili goes through her life she is constantly abused by her father, as well as her brother too, this causes changes in both of them. Kambili becomes less fearful as her father dies, becomes more free and independent, she becomes her own person as she learns love, freedom, bravery, and to control her own life. Jaja, her brother, becomes a darker person after her father’s death, staying in prison for his murder, and hardens to become more silent and distant.
This illustrates the soldier 's selfishness since his scheme for the boots is quite inappropriate given the sick person 's situation (pg. 21). Lastly, Remarque incorporates a passage in which people faint while waiting to be served bones due to their lack of energy. The scene shows how the country is falling apart and could not provide its army with the basic necessities needed for keeping people alive and healthy. Remarque 's novel mainly focuses on telling terrifying stories that occurred in the war to show just how soldiers come out of war as
He says “these days I live in three worlds: my dreams, and the experiences of my new life, which trigger memories from the past” (20). Ishmael Beah is struggling internally with his haunting dreams of his new life, and the dreams of his old life that he wishes he could return to. Just like his home country is under convulsion, so is his mind and heart. Beah has a nightmare that then triggers him to remember his family that is lost at war. He remembers his father saying to him “If you are alive, there is hope for a better day and something good to happen.
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.
The book All Quiet on the Western Front, written by Erich Maria Remarque, has many apparent themes throughout it. One of the main themes is the Lost Generation. It is defined as, by dictionary.com, as “the generation reaching maturity during and just after World War I, a high proportion of whose men were killed during those years”. The novel is set during World War I, focusing on young men fighting for Germany. All Quiet on the Western Front emphasizes the Lost Generation because of how it focuses on how the soldiers were affected mentally and physically at such a young age.
These men were scared, untrained, and no longer hopeful for the future. They didn’t know what to expect from fighting in the war, other than death. As said by Tim O’Brien, “[I felt] sorry for myself, thinking about the war and the pig factory and how my life seemed to be collapsing toward slaughter. I felt paralyzed” (41). Most of these men were trapped in a war they had not intention in fighting in, one that could alter their future.