Summary Of All Quiet On The Western Front

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All Quiet on the Western Front is a book about World War I narrated by Paul, a German soldier fighting on the front lines. All Quiet on the Western Front has many different themes, such as the horrors of the war and dehumanization. In the epigraph of the novel, it is said that the book will “try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war.” The book claims that war is a force that not only wounds and maims, but also crushes character. Paul directly investigates why countries go to war, later facing issues of existence and mortality. The book is set among soldiers fighting on the front line. One of the main focuses is the crippling effect the war has on soldiers. The brutality …show more content…

In chapter 9 he says, “I thought of your of your bayonet, of your rifle; now I see your wife and your face and our fellowship. Forgive me, comrade. We always see it too late…you are poor devils like us, your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony—Forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy?” (Page 223) Paul realizes that the soldier that he has killed is no different than him. The war has dehumanized Paul to the point that he didn’t think twice about killing the soldier, until the soldier was dead. Soldiers in the war fight for their own survival rather than for the glory of their nation- they kill or will be killed. On the front lines, Paul learns to disconnect his mind from his feelings, suppressing his emotions in order to stay sane and survive. Because of this, Paul cannot express his feelings sufficiently and doesn’t feel comfortable at home with his family because they don’t understand what he has gone through in the war. Paul can’t voice his opinions about the war or talk about his experiences; the war has changed him. However, Paul is able to not become as detached from his feelings as other soldiers and regains his humanity several times in the book. All Quiet on the Western Front shows the extent to which Paul has been dehumanized, saying: “Parting from my friend Albert Kropp was very hard. But a man gets used to that sort of thing in the army.” (Page 269) Paul could not properly mourn his friend Kropp because he was “used to” that sort of thing-showing just how far from humanity Paul

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