Why Is Patriotism Important

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The ideal of patriotism is shoved down the throats of the young men with total disregard to the horrible conditions and brutal violence and mass-murder on the frontlines. The civilians have created an image of patriotism, honor, and pride that masks the gruesome reality of the fighting going on around them. The men discuss the start and purpose of the war; Kropp says “we are here to protect our fatherland. And the French are over there to protect their fatherland. Now who’s in the right?” (Remarque 203). The idea of patriotism and fighting for one’s country is supposed to be important, but the men no longer believe in their own cause when there are soldiers just like them fighting for the very same reasons. As they kill and kill, and see death…show more content…
After a long bombardment, Paul thinks that if someone saw the dugout, “no one would believe that in this howling waste there could still be men” (112). The soldiers endure horrific conditions in ways outsiders cannot understand. The damage done by the bombs is so critical that the men’s safety is obliterated even more than it already was. Paul and the other soldiers are trapped in a graveyard for both the living and dead. After getting news an upcoming battle, the men joke about the hundred new coffins brought in, “unpleasant jests, but what else can a man do? The coffins are really for us,” observes Paul. In the face of assumed tragedy, the soldiers use humor to deflect their emotions. The impendingness of death is something that they are surrounded by and constantly reminded of. By joking, they distract themselves from their cruel reality. During the bombardment, the food and supplies cannot reach the troops on the front; because of this, Pauls says they “pull in our belts tighter and chew every mouthful three times as long” (108). The men are fighting for their lives and for their country, and are unable to receive even the most basic necessity of ample food to sustain them. Their only priority is to stay alive, by whatever means necessary. They do not give up despite their
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