Throughout the ages, wars have wreaked havoc and caused great destruction that lead to the loss of millions of lives. However, wars also have an immensely destructive effect on the individual soldier. In the novel All Quiet on the Western Front written by Erich Maria Remarque, one is able to see exactly to what extent soldiers suffered during World War 1 as well as the effect that war had on them. In this essay I will explain the effect that war has on young soldiers by referring to the loss of innocence of young soldiers, the disillusionment of the soldiers and the debasement of soldiers to animalistic men.
“Imagine yourself in the pitch dark, after two or three days of wet, cold, hunger, sleeplessness, staggering down a trench, knee-deep in mud, carrying various burdens that almost equal your own body-weight” (Ellis, 48). This was the everyday life of the typical soldier involved in the World War I trench warfare. During WWI trench warfare was common. It began in September 1914 with the German army digging themselves in for a battle that would last what seemed like a life time for the soldiers involved. Soldiers on either side alike lived in deplorable conditions. They lived in these dirt holes that they soon called their homes. They lacked the means for proper sanitation, food, clothing, medical attention, rest and much more.
The book All Quiet on the Western Front takes place during World War I. The author, Erich Maria Remarque, describes how dehumanizing war can be for soldiers who give their life to serve their country and protect it. Remarque specifically describes the hardships of a German soldier Paul during the war. Through Remarque’s story we learn that war affects relationships, thought processes, natural instincts and many more functions of a soldier. We learn over the course of this book that all soldiers change through war.
Erich Maria Remarque’s classic account of misery, woe, and war overrides the plot of All Quiet on the Western Front, recreating the devastation and emotional dismemberment of German soldier, Paul Baumer, and his childhood acquaintances. Baumer is violently ripped through a symbolically eternal dispute between opposing nations; however the entirety of the novel is seen through Remarque’s eyes. As a vessel for propaganda and persuasion, Remarque attaches parasitic personalities, desolate descriptions, and vivid verbs to convey desperate times on The Western Front. Without Remarque’s vocabulary and literary devices, the novel would be stripped of its ability to evoke passionate emotions in the reader.
The book cover of, All Quiet on The Western Front, quotes to be ‘’the greatest war novel of all time’’. The author, Erich Remarque, experiencing war himself; uses the protagonist, Paul Baumer, to express his own background and horrors of World War One. With this, it alternates between his vividly dying memories of the times before the war and the nightmares of trench warfare; although a first person narrative. Erich served in combat during WW1 in Germany and was wounded five times. The last injury was very severe and kept him out of the war. He published his book in 1929. Although his books are fictionally written; they are inspired by his experience through the mind of a different character like Baumer rather than his own. Being in the mind
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.
As Winston Churchill states: “You ask: what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, no matter how long and hard the world may be; for, without victory, there is no survival.” This quote applies to times of war because in a war in order to try to achieve victories many countries are willing to sacrifice and go to the extremes. In All Quiet on the Western Front, the German army sacrificed millions in order to attempt to win World War One. However what they sacrificed is appalling. The German army went to high measures to try to achieve victory in World War one: including sacrificing the sanitary conditions of men, the civilized nature of men, and the value of their youth.
The soldiers in All Quiet on the Western Front, have experienced many hardships and they are expressed in a way of great horror and violence along with In The Field written by Tim O’Brien, and In Flanders Fields, written by John McCrae. Throughout the novel of All Quiet on the Western Front, which was written by Erich Maria Remarque, there are countless mentions that truly show the true horrors of war. Paul Baumer, the leading protagonist in All Quiet on the Western Front, states his surroundings in a way that entices the reader to his perspective and really coaxes with their mind to induce the harsh surroundings and environments that lie in war.
In the novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque, Remarque shows how much destruction and devastation was caused by WWII. Paul Balmer, a young but experienced soldier, and his fellow comrades were put in the front line during the war. He and his friend, Kat, were fighting alongside recruits who have never seen the battlefield and understood how deadly it is. “Every day he can live will be a howling torture... I nod. ‘Yes, Kat, we ought to put him out of his misery.’”(Remarque 72). The significance of this quote is how the young recruit had died such a horrible death. The destructive war had taken the lives of this young soldier
Erich Maria Remarque was a man who had lived through the terrors of war, serving since he was eighteen. His first-hand experience shines through the text in his famous war novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, which tells the life of young Paul Bäumer as he serves during World War 1. The book was, and still is, praised to be universal. The blatant show of brutality, and the characters’ questioning of politics and their own self often reaches into the hearts of the readers, regardless of who or where they are.
Throughout their lives, people must deal with the horrific and violent side of humanity. The side of humanity is shown through the act of war. War is by far the most horrible thing that the human race has to go through. The participants in the war suffer irreversible damage by the atrocities they witness and the things they go through. In the novel “All Quiet on the Western Front" is the description by Erich Maria Remarque of the graphic violence and gore and the psychological pain that the average soldier endured on the western front. However it may seem, this is not violence simply for the shock factor, neither is it simply included to add realism to the novel. Instead this is an effort on Remarque’s behalf to communicate the human aspect of war, and describe the immense suffering that could be inflicted on any soldier during the GReat War. Through the use of the Narrator Paul Baumer, and the graphic imagery and description, Remarque illustrates the suffering that a soldier had to go through, both psychological and physical.
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
The war novel All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque depicts one protagonist, Paul, as he undergoes a psychological transformation. Paul plays a role as a soldier fighting in World War I. His experiences during the war are not episodes the average person would simply experience. Alternatively, his experiences allow him to develop into a more sophisticated individual. Remarque illustrates these metamorphic experiences to expose his theme of the loss of not only people’s lives but also innocence and tranquility that occurs in war.
Erich Maria Remarque, a World War I veteran, took his own personal war experience to paper, which resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed anti-war movement novels of all time, All Quiet on the Western Front. The voice of the novel, Paul Baumer, describes his daily life as a soldier during the First World War. Through the characters he creates in the novel, Remarque addresses his own issues with the war. Specifically, Remarque brings to light the idea of the “Iron Youth,” the living conditions in the trenches, and the sense of detachment soldiers feel, among other things. Therefore, All Quiet on the Western Front criticizes the sense of nationalism, which war tends to create among citizens by quickly diminishing any belief regarding it as a glorious and courageous act. In All Quiet on the Western Front, Remarque exposes the reality of war by refuting the idea of the “Iron Youth,” revealing the mistreatment of soldiers, and showing the critical effects war imprints on them.