Remarque's 'The Western Front': An Analysis

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The notes also explain the reason why the gas was still killing despite the numerous techniques they had to counter it. “The section changed position every night or two, so that the men had no taste for keeping themselves ready for a gas attack at any moment. So the water went stale in its containers, the canisters rusted and became unusable, the powdered bisulfite disappeared, the gasoline was used by the poilus to light up their shelters, the wood and the straw got soaked in the rain and the dew” (Barthas 223). The notes allowed me to understand the socialist influence in France and understand that it was pretty extended. Many officers were socialists and this could be clearly seen through their gift for each squad or claims. “on the package made up for each squad was labeled: “To the non-coms and soldiers, on the occasion of May Day, the holiday of workers who suffer and who yearn to be set free”” (Barthas 58). “I was a Socialist too but now we all have to do our duty” (Barthas…show more content…
It seem to me like the irony of the two writers was note part of a writing strategy but more a heritage from their awful life experiences. Barthas notes reflect irony through the reactions of soldiers toward death and bodies. “It wasn’t unusual to be grabbed, while passing, by a skeletal hand or a foot sticking out of the trench wall. We were so blasé about it that we paid it no more attention than to a root we might trip upon in our path” (Barthas 134). He write about dangerous moments with sentences so plain compare to what he describes that the reader has a strong feeling of irony reading his notes. “During the night of May 30-31, we had a visitor whom we would have gladly missed: a Boche pilot flew his airplane over and dropped some bombs on the camp. Thanks to his clumsiness, there were no victims” (Barthas
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