The Effects Of War In All Quiet On The Western Front

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"I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another." A quote from All Quiet on the Western Front perfectly describes the effects of war that ultimately leads to death. All Quiet on the Western Front tells the horrifying experience of war: a novel written by Erich Maria Remarque that was the author's way of coming to terms with the war; much like the poem Dulce et Decorum Est, which vividly describes the gruesome deaths of soldiers and how hopeless and unheroic war truly is. A common theme found in both the poem and novel …show more content…

War is inevitable, futile and hopeless, as the poem Dulce et Decorum Est, discusses the horrors of war and how soldiers just end up dying grim, unheroic deaths. “Flound’ring like a man in fire or lime...Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light, as under a green sea, I saw him drowning. In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, he plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.” A line found in the second stanza vividly creates an undoubtedly disturbing image of gassed soldiers, stumbling and collapsing, choking on thick green gas. Slaughtered like worthless cattle, these soldiers are dying one after another without dignity and no remorse; they are fighting for a hopeless cause because war is anything but heroic. It is just a place where soldiers go to die. The title of the poem, “Dulce et Decorum Est” derives from the Latin saying “It is sweet and proper”, which ironically is anything but sweet and proper. While a majority of the public would believe that it is honorable to fight for a so-called “justified” war or to die for one’s country in battle, war is not honorable; it …show more content…

Paul quickly realizes after enlisting that war was not as heroic as he originally thought it was. Unfortunately, Paul had to learn this the hard way by leaving a fellow soldier on the front alone to die. Due to the soldier’s actions, the soldier in the field bled to death and used his final deaths by calling out for help. Not only does Paul leave this soldier to die, he later kills another man himself, which only begins to leave emotional scars on his character; in addition, he also witnesses his friends die violent deaths which only makes life for Paul and the soldiers worse. Afterwards, Paul’s deteriorating mentally catches up with him once he realizes that killing another man, even to put him out of his misery, is absolutely erroneous. One after another, like a continuous chain reaction of death, the soldiers are being slaughtered out on the front; what started as 150 men quickly decreased to 80, then to 35, and finally down to less than a dozen. These young men were dying and they were dying unnaturally fast. Although death was indeed inevitable, the “esprit de corps” or the feeling of pride and fellowship within a comradeship, was one of the only things that was keeping the soldiers together, physically and mentally, as well as

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