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Symbolism In All Quiet On The Western Front

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The book, All Quiet On The Western Front, by Erich Remarque, tells what happens to a group of German teenagers during World War I. Throughout this novel, Remarque has certain symbols for objects in the book that represent or mean something. For example, Kemmerich’s boots symbolized death. That’s just one example but there are a bunch more symbols and they all have connections to each other. Paul Baumer was one of the main characters in this book. potato pancakes symbolize Paul’s family and mother. When Paul went back home for leave, he visited his old home and family. When he was finally getting ready to go back to the front, his mother gave him some potato pancakes and jam. As he was by the camp he was tempted to give some to the starving Russians but “then it occur[ed]…show more content…
Paul gets to go on leave and he was sitting in his room thinking about his books. He mentioned that he “want[ed] to feel the same powerful, nameless urge that [he] used to feel when [he] turned to [his] books”(171). This shows that he realizes everything at home is so different from a year ago. Paul can’t find a connection to his home now like he used to since this home isn’t home to him anymore. This means that he recognises that he cannot bring back his youth as hard as he tries to or wants to. When Paul was sitting there thinking about his past with his books, “the breath of desire then arose from-the books, [it] shall fill [him] again-it shall bring back the lost eagerness of [his] youth.”(171). Paul recognizes that things are never going to be the same again. He can never describe to both of his parents what he is facing. Also, he doesn’t have a strong connection with his them anymore because they have nothing in common or anything to talk about. All in all, Paul used to have a stress free life before going to war and he will just never be able to relive his time before he went to be a
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