All Quiet On The Western Front: A Movie To Make You Think

1217 words - 5 pages

All Quiet on the Western Front was never written to be like the movies we watch today. When people go to see a movie about war, they typically expect watch a story jam packed with action from start to finish. All Quiet on the Western Front, also has this kind of battle from beginning to end, but was never intended to tell the common sci-fi adventure of which it could be associated to. It is made to speak against the terrible conditions which men had to face in world war won. The movie shows us, that even though there were so many casualties in the aftermath of World War One, there are some things in the world worse than death. The opening of the movie tells how the film is not an accusation, a confession, or an adventure, and the deaths of war not only affect those killed, but also those who did the killing, and everybody around them.
The movie is by far not an accusation against those who started the war. It is told from a German point of view, and shows how the different people felt in Germany throughout the war. We know that later on, the Germans were accused of starting the war. If All Quiet on the Western Front wished to blame a side for beginning the war, it would have made Germany look like the antagonist. Another reason, the movie blames no one is because of the main character. Paul Baumer turns from an innocent school boy, to someone who is forced to fight for his country. The young boys only become a part of the German military, because of a sense of nationalism in stowed in them from a loyalty to their Kaiser. We see that the men do not actually mean harm, and cannot be blamed for what they think is right.
The quote at the beginning also says the movie is not a confession. We know this is true because of the different personalities within the German military. On one end we have the seasoned veteran Katczinsky, and on the other the little angry general Himmelstoss. Himmelstoss comes off as this amazing person who trains his recruits to the bone to get them ready for the war. The irony falls when we learn how pointless his training really is. Then we meet Kat. He looks much more relaxed and easy-going than Himmelstoss. In fact you may wonder at first how Kat hasn’t been killed yet, since he lacks the discipline needed to supposedly succeed in the war. We later on find out that Himmelstoss is the one who should have been killed since he knows nothing of what the war is like. When the Kaiser pins a medal on the surprisingly, for once not crying, corporal Himmelstoss we see how clueless the people, in the upper ranks, are about the fighting, and they really can’t be blamed since the warfare used in World War One was so alien to everybody. Basically, only those who chose to relax about it actually understood what was going on.
Today, what keeps people entertained for a continuous amount of time, is a story with a little adventure. All Quiet on the Western Front, makes clear that it is not a story of adventure,...

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