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,
World War I was one of the most barbaric and horrendous events that impacted world history. In the novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich M. Remarque drives home this brutality through his main character. The theme brutality and carnage is displayed through the presence of death, violence, and the guilt the soldiers must carry within them. The soldiers were permanently scarred by the events they witnessed as death is always around them..
The use of imagery to describe trenches in both texts plays a big role in building up the theme that war destroys innocence and youth. For example, in Sassoon 's "Suicide in the Trenches", the phrase 'winter trenches ' is paired with words such as glum and lice, both of which have a negative connotation. (Sassoon, 5-6.) Sassoon also uses imagery to portray the front/the trenches as hell, and explicitly states that that is where youth, innocence, and laughter go to "die" because war destroys a person mentally, even if it doesn 't physically them. (Sassoon, 12.)
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.
We are satisfied and at peace” (1.1). The start of the novel begins with young soldiers who have not given their innocence to the horrors of the war yet. Paul and his comrades have no idea of what hardships are headed their way. Paul has an odd outlook on death throughout the book. He chooses to personify death, and once figuratively hides behind death to save his life.
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. Although war is a large theme in both books, the characters face different types of conflicts in war. In All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul describes the realistic, bleak parts as a soldier in a real war; he has to face the death of friends, starvation, illness, enemy troops, and the ultimate destruction of his innocence and humanity in the span of only about 3 years.
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.
Personal Change Through Experience People in their lives are pushed, challenged, met with difficult decisions and go through strenuous ordeals which will form and develop their beliefs, values and how they perceive the world. The novels All Quiet on the Western Front and Purple Hibiscus share these similar themes through the novels. All Quiet on the Western Front, written by Erich Maria Remarque, is a War novel about the physical and mental challenges of a young German man who volunteers to join up into the military to fight in World War One. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a fiction novel involving a young girl, her brother, her abusive, demanding father who controls her and her family’s life, the stress and pain it brings
By manipulating the war setting and language of the novel Heller is able to depict society as dark and twisted. Heller demonstrates his thoughts of society through the depicted war. In the novel, the loss of personal identity in the soldiers lives. Furthermore, The idea is that supports how much value is placed upon a human life and shows the evils and cruelty of war is related The Ball Turret Gunner by Randall Jarrell, in which a soldier who spends his entire life in war only to die the same position he came into the war “fetal” state; just to be disregarded and buried in a whole.
Chickamauga by Ambrose Bierce is an essay written about the battle of chickamauga, Bierce uses imagery to show the horrors of warfare and the toll it takes on those affected by it. Employing imagery, Bierce shows the everlasting effect of war on soldiers, their families, and the people living in the war terrorized areas. He does this by explaining in disturbingly gruesome detail the condition of soldiers and the destroyed surroundings of battlefield areas. Bierce starts of his essay in a happy aspect using imagery words such as “sunny,” “heroic,” “loved,” and “happy” to better convey that people rarely know what real life war conditions are like until they are in them. Also to show that becoming a soldier is seen as a heroic act of bravery
World War I is a well-known historical event, which resulted in immense casualties and distress in the early 20th century. The war paved the way for significant political changes to occur, and entirely reshaped the European map. Propaganda of the war was published once veterans and families were comfortable enough to share their experiences subsequent to the drastic war. Erich Maria Remarque 's All Quiet on the Western Front and Otto Dix 's "Transporting the Wounded in Houthulst Forest" and "War Triptych," portray the notion that war dehumanizes its soldiers and strips them of their identities. Remarque demonstrates this idea by telling solemn stories about soldiers in the war, while Dix renders graphic images of the horrors of war.
I fully acknowledge what Remarque is showing his readers about how war is a fast and terrible way for young men to be completely changed, scarred, and grieving for the rest of their lives. Paul especially, was dramatically changed after seeing Kemmerich, Kat, Albert, Muller, and Tjaden suffer so dramatically. The scene in the novel where he first goes back home to see his family, brought out the way they can no longer adapt to such peaceful and safe conditions. Paul was so anxious, and felt as an outsider because of how peaceful it was at home, he did not know how to react, neither did he know what to do. His condition was so serious that he was basically depressed at the place where he should have been happiest.
The True Weight of War “The Things They Carried,” by Tim O’Brien, brings to light the psychological impact of what soldiers go through during times of war. We learn that the effects of traumatic events weigh heavier on the minds of men than all of the provisions and equipment they shouldered. Wartime truly tests the human body and and mind, to the point where some men return home completely destroyed. Some soldiers have been driven to the point of mentally altering reality in order to survive day to day. An indefinite number of men became numb to the deaths of their comrades, and yet secretly desired to die and bring a conclusion to their misery.
Kemmerich’s was one of Paul’s close friends to die first, and it is here we can see how loss is portrayed during this scene. The loss of Kemmerich life was not quick or painless, Paul’s friend suffered throughout this time, and Paul was their watched his friend die. Paul faced the truth about war after his friend’s death. The truth that Paul had discovered is that the loss of life is something that he, and all of his friends might not be able to escape. I believe that Paul gave up on living after the death of Kat, that was his last friend that was still alive and he was very close to him.
No matter who you where in the war, everybody walked away with guilt. Jimmy Cross will never forgive himself over the death of Ted Lavender. “He had loved Martha more than his men, and as a consequence Lavender was now dead” (pg 7) Cross has to live with the fact that his distraction over Martha caused Lavender to die and as commanding officer he had responsibility over him. O’Brien feels the blame over the death of “a short, slender young man of about twenty” (pg 129) With the pain of killing this young man keeps O’Brien “writing war stories” (pg 129).