The Effect Of Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet On The Western Front

960 Words4 Pages

War has always existed in the world, but do we ever consider what the effects are on the young men we send to fight them? World War I was a brutal time for all countries involved. Over 17 million people were killed both soldiers and civilians. In All Quiet on the Western Front Written by Erich Maria Remarque, he expertly portrays the loss of young men’s innocence and youth. He accurately displays this through the gruesome conditions, the horrendous acts, and altered home life the soldiers had to endure. Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front reveals the effects of the nightmarish conditions of war on the men who partake in them. In the novel, Paul and his war buddies had to endure the deplorable and nauseating trenches. Trench …show more content…

Remarque displays in All Quiet on the Western Front the toll this takes on the youthful soldiers that have partaken in the war. For since the beginning of time, war has always revolved around killing and destroying. The illustrious novel All Quiet on the Western Front exposes the drastic effects it has on the soldiers. War forces civil good men into doing acts they would never even imagine in their wildest dreams. At one point, Remarque artfully depicts a scene in which Paul is forced to kill another soldier in hand to hand combat. All Quiet states “ I do not think at all, I make no decision- I strike madly at home, and feel only how the body suddenly convulses, then becomes limp and collapses” ( Remarque 216). Without hesitation or second thought, Paul takes the life of another man right in front him, which he hasn’t done till now. Although, Remarque displays that instantly afterwards Paul realizes the sheer weight of what he has just done. This realization is expressed when Paul notices the blood on his hand, “ Then I notice my bloody hand and suddenly feel nauseated.”(Remarque 217). An illustrious novel, All Quiet on the Western Front portrays war’s true nature atrocious and vile. Remarque expertly depicts the drastic transformation of these innocent young men into killing machines with all of their youth lost to them, because of the travesty that is …show more content…

Sadly even after these men give their all for the country, they return home altered, different from the innocent boy who left for war. War, the monstrous beast that she is, snatched at whatever was decent in these soldiers and transformed them into stone cold killing automatons. Masterfully, Remarque depicts the lasting effects war has when the young men return to home, and their families. When Paul visits home, he begins to realize he has changed, “ There is my mother, there is my sister, there is my case of butterflies, and there the mahogany piano- but I am not myself there. There is a distance, a veil between us” (Remarque 160). Tragically, Paul’s return home isn’t what he dreamed it would be. Instead of a heartwarming reunion, he encounters a veil between his family and him, now that war has altered him. Sadly, that isn’t the end of his troubles returning home. Remarque portrays Paul’s other struggles “After I have been startled a couple of times in the street by the screaming of the tramcars, which resembles the shriek of a shell coming straight for one” (165). All Quiet on the Western Front displays that even war affects even home; turning the one place soldiers long for the most into another battlefield for them to try to figure

Open Document