Symbolism In Erich Maria Remarque´s All Quiet On The Western Front

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World War I is a gloomy and cruel place; it obliterates the beliefs of fighting for one’s country and transforms the minds of the soldiers. This realization is found in Erich Maria Remarque’s book All Quiet on the Western Front. In the book, a young teen named Paul Baumer and his friends join in the war believing it’s going to make them become important and that fighting for their country is such a great privilege, but once they are in the war, they all realize it’s not the same as what they were told. The young soldiers witness what war is truly about and they reflect on what they were told, knowing the truth makes them see they were told lies, so they are the same which obliterates their trust in the adult world. Remarque employs symbolism,…show more content…
Behm, who is one of the young soldiers who joined the war to stay with the group of friends, was the “first to fall” during their first bombardment (Remarque 5). This first fall is symbolic and figurative, showing that his beliefs of war have fallen and his character is changing. They just “left him for dead” for they couldn’t do anything to help him stay alive. The fact they left Behm “for dead” shows that their minds are transforming to a way in which they see the real truth of war (Remarque 5). At an early point of the novel, Remarque demonstrates the idea of the true meaning of war and that no one else outside the war can describe the realities of…show more content…
He starts to distinguish the “false from the true” and finds himself “terribly alone” (Remarque 6). The false are the lies that the teachers told him and his friends about how great going to war is. At home, the teachers “write and talk” while he sees the “wounded and dying” (Remarque 6). He starts to compare what is being taught at home to what he is witnessing at war. Now Remarque demonstrates how the protagonist and his friends are seeing the difference between what is told about the good deed of joining the war to experiencing the real action of war. Throughout Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front, being patriotic doesn’t always bring a glorifying sensation especially from war. Erich Maria Remarque displays the real definition of war through the use of symbolism, figurative language, and irony which expresses the mood of the story and characters. It gives descriptions on the characters harsh experiences and uncontrollable emotions throughout the war. Therefore, it proves that war has a colder meaning to it than being a glorious deed. In the end, the novel shows that not all great things have good
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