All Quiet On The Western Front

1332 words - 6 pages

All Quiet on the Western Front is an enthralling story about WWI, which, unlike other war stories at the time, vocalized the negative aspects of the war specifically the psychological effect. You can see throughout the book, the psychological horrors which Paul experiences. This psychological aspect of stories is generally not as conspicuous or as horrifying as shown in All Quiet on the Western Front. I have always been intrigued by the psychological affect that war has on you, and this book was able to provide an accurate representation of why war effects the solders in such a horrid way. The part that was most compelling was when Paul was stuck in the hole. He had a sudden revelation ...view middle of the document...

One of the main changes of point of view was Paul and his teacher Kantorek. Kantorek was Paul’s schoolmaster who would give long lectures about joining the military, and made most of his class join it. Kantorek and other commoners do not see the horrors of war until they are actually in it. People such as him spit the word “coward” if people do not enlist. For example, Joseph Behm who originally didn’t want to enlist but eventually caved into enlisting because he didn’t want to be ostracized. Paul said the poorest and the simple people were the wisest whereas the people that are better of, who should have known what they were doing, were enlisting. Like many other war books at the time, people going into war were shown as a glorious and amazing thing. If the people such as Kantorek wrote this book, he would have glorified going to war without knowing what war was actually like. The author’s viewpoint was similar to Paul viewpoint on this matter because both experienced war firsthand. Unlike the others who didn’t fight in the war, these two have experienced war and know what it is like to fight. For the soldiers it is not glorious, it horrendous to see comrades fall by your side, in a painful, grotesque way.
Paul talks about how the enemy has pamphlets that talk about how the Germans eat Belgian children. This is the type of propaganda that the countries used to make their people hate the opposing country. Paul later finds about that there is no difference between him and the man who he killed in the pit (Gérad Duval). Both have a family waiting for them back at home and are “comrades” as Paul says. This shows how the countries point of view was to secure national sovereignty and rally peoples against each other with false accusations when in fact both sides not so different. Paul’s point of view changes because originally, he believes in the propaganda that the German government put out, but then is changed when he gets stuck in the pit with Gérad Duval. He took out Gérad’s pocketbook and notices portraits of a women and a little girl. Remarque inserted this part into this book to show that governments put people up against each other who both are not so different. If this book was from the point of view of the government of the allied powers, then it would talk about the animosities of the Germans whereas if it had came from central powers’ point of view, the animosities of the allied powers would be exaggerated and the German soldiers would be glorified. Point of view has a significant effect on the Propaganda used for war, and why the war was being fought. Tjaden even questioned the point of war, and nobody was...

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