The narrator of All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul Baumer, loses his humanity in and through World War I. Baumer goes from a piteous young man to a stalwart soldier. He learns the characteristics of a valiant warrior. The German veteran becomes incapable of expressing his feelings about the war. Baumer can no longer think of a future without war. He becomes a pessimistic, negative soldier. He no longer fears death and treats it like an ordinary event.
History does not always convey the absolute truth. It offers only one side of the story. The strong and powerful voices always drown out the sounds of the weak and beaten. The winner’s word will always be taken over the loser’s. The content that lies within the textbooks was not written by the defeated. To understand the history of past cultures, it is imperative that both sides are heard. Many novels continually showcase this new outlook on history. Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, demonstrates the New Historicism perspective with subjective accounts, reflections of the time it is written, and lack of the opposing side’s outlook.
Things are horrendous throughout the war, but the real effect of it happens outside of the war. Things such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and also the loss of very close friends. Near the end of the book, Paul is the last survivor of his original classmates who enlisted. “Now if we go back we will be weary, broken, burnt out, rootless, and without hope” (Remarque 294) This captures the feelings Paul has towards the war. He feels as if he goes back to the front, he will have no motivation, no drive to fight because all of his friends who pushed him to fight, are not there
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.
“We have almost grown accustomed to it; war is a cause of death like cancer and tuberculosis, like influenza and dysentery. The deaths are merely more frequent, more varied and terrible.”  This quote explains how “normal” death is when fighting in war and that it is so inevitable, the soldiers become accustomed to it. Even when all of Paul’s friends have passed and Kat is the only one left, his reaction to his death is uncaring. “All is usual. Only the Militiaman Stanislaus Katczinsky has died.”  Kat is one of Paul’s closest comrades and this reaction would normally be surprising but he refuses to let himself feel any emotions. Paul and the young soldiers have become numb to death. The meaning of their lives is shattered and is consumed by war. “We are fleeing. We fly from ourselves. From our life. We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces.”  The minute that they joined the army was the minute that the only purpose for their life was to kill or be killed. “Our knowledge of life has been limited to death.”
Millions of people have gone through life-altering experiences in their time in World War I. In Erich Maria Remarque’s novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul Bäumer, a 19-year-old German soldier, narrates his personal memoirs of this war. He describes the mental change and suffering he goes through as he is forced to mature from a young boy to a soldier in order to survive, leaving him permanently scarred from the throes of war. By employing juxtaposition to contrast Paul’s mindset, before and after the war, Remarque demonstrates how the mental health of the World War I soldiers is damaged because of the abrupt loss of their youth, leaving them in a state of survival and mental instability.
In the year 1914, a war started that would turn innocent people against each other, and have aftermaths that include thousands of people dead due to new equipment like tanks, gas attacks, and hand-to-hand combat. In this war there was a soldier named Paul Bäumer who is a German nineteen year old who has made friends that will last a lifetime during this experience, but has also felt immense pain. His daily routine is to sleep, eat, and fight in the trenches, and he experiences death every day. Most soldiers view death as a recurring event, but Paul views it as wretchedness, which makes him different from others by caring about his comrades more than others. Paul shows many qualities through this experience of being a soldier in the First World War, and he learns what is necessary in life, which takes some people years to figure out. In All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, Paul Bäumer participates in the bloodiest war of all time, and he develops the skills of intelligence, leadership, and loyalty.
In order to stay alive during the long war, the young men are forced to become animals; to rely on their instincts, to not act as if they are human. Paul reveals, referring to him and his fellow soldiers, “We have become wild beasts. We do not fight, we defend ourselves against annihilation” (113). For the sake of staying alive and to not be annihilated, Paul and his comrades must leave their human thoughts behind. The war forced them to become animals, or beasts. Paul does not see himself as human anymore, the war has made him perceive himself as a beast. Again, Paul explains, “life is simply one continual watch against the menace of death; it has transformed us into unthinking animals” (273-274). The war requires the young soldiers to leave behind any trace of being a human in order to stay away from the death that is always there. The soldiers become animals that kill. They are no longer human, they are transformed into
Conflict is what drives all stories, but stories with similar themes may use them differently in order to give different lessons and persuade you to form different opinions. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque and The Redemption of Althalus by David & Leigh Eddings have the similar themes of war, morals, and family, but display them in very different contexts to create unique conflict between their characters.
Direct and impactful experiences are the only way to completely uncover the truth of situations. In Erich Maria Remarque’s novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul Baumer, a young German schoolboy-turned-soldier, exposes the reality of fighting in World War I. Like many others, Paul’s teacher, Kantorek, lectured and coerced Paul and his friends into enlisting by fixating on the heroism of soldiers and the honor of serving one’s country. While on the frontlines, Paul experiences firsthand the damage and destruction of war that are ignored by . Those outside the war have difficulty focusing on anything other than the success of their nation in battle. This optimism, while uplifting, is ignorant. In his experiences, Paul quickly learns that the patriotism and pride surrounding the war are due to general oblivion
All Quiet on the Western Front is a classic novel written by Erich Maria Remarque. In this novel, the reader is given a clear visual of what it was like to be a German soldier during World War I. Throughout the story, the reader is given a great understanding of the horrendous things these young men had to endure. Remarque uses great detail and imagery to show how the men felt and the conditions they were in. Throughout the novel, Remarque constantly reminds the reader about the thematic concept of sacrifice. Remarque uses the thematic concept of sacrifice to impact the plot of the story and to show how soldiers had to live during this time period.
When Paul and his friends are fighting on the front lines they are presented with a very dark and scary tone. They have constant bombardments and worry about the death of friends. They are constantly worried about gas attacks and it gives them a feeling of uncomfort, stress, and tension. When every Paul and his unit are at the camps it is very peaceful and they have lots of food. They wish they can stay there because they feel safe they run around and tell stories by the campfire. But even at the camps behind the lines there is still death in the air and no one ever feels good. “ We must do anything to keep our mind off of these never ending awful war” ( Remarque 205). They never truly feel safe when at war because of all the death, pain, and suffering. Which at the end of the book of leads to the death of Paul when there is no fighting going on. “ He fell in October of 1918, on a day that was so quiet and still on the whole front” ( Remarque 210). After all of Paul’s friends die he is the only one left and is 20 years old. He dies 2 weeks after he swallowed some gas that leaked through his mask. Even though it was all quiet on the front, death still affected many
It shows how the soldiers do not know what to do when they get home when Paul finds that he does “not belong [there]” and that “it is a foreign world”(Remarque 168). He also knows that the people around him have “worries,
When Paul and his comrades attempt to protect themselves from an incoming bombardment by the French, Paul reflects on how the war has come to “[fill] [them] with ferocity, [turn] [them] into thugs, into murderers, […] this wave that multiplies [their] strength with fear and madness and greed of life, seeking and fighting for nothing but deliverance” (Remarque 114). The author utilizes the words “murderers” and “thugs” to emphasize how the soldiers have turned into inhumane, barbaric humans while participating in the war. This callous characterization suggests that Paul acts instinctively without considering his actions and the guilt that follows. The fact that Paul chooses to describe himself with such a demoralized character demonstrates how he has abandoned his morality into becoming a merciless soldier who feels no remorse for his brutal actions. In addition, Paul’s determined tone of “fighting for nothing but deliverance” indicates that he no longer has an interest in the lives of others, but only for his own survival. This dehumanization allows him to overcome his feelings of guilt and easily justify his wrongdoings. As a result of the “fear” and “madness” that he feels, he has changed mentally due to being involved in the war for such an extended period of time. Moreover, being under great pressure when fighting for one’s life can cause a
The main focus of the book All Quiet in the Western Front, the author illustrates his ideas of war through writing. Understanding the nature of warfare allows the reader to easily be able to know specific events in that time period. The story involves a young man Paul and his beliefs and observations throughout his experience in war. His knowledge of warfare will change from when he first joined and to the end of his journey. - Erich Maria Remarque's classic war novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, deals with the many ways in which World War I affected peoples lives, both the lives of soldiers on the front lines and the lives of people on the homefront. One of the most profound effects the war had was the way it made the soldiers see human