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All Quiet On The Western Front Book Review

943 words - 4 pages

Everywhere thick, hot gory blood drips from comrade’s wounds. The stench of death hovers in the air and encases every movement. A faint buzz whizzes into the ear drums as shells and bullets fluster by with brilliant flashes of light. These are the everyday encounters of a soldier on the front. No words can even begin to touch the realness of terror that soldiers experience every day. Young recruits are reeled into this torture and sacrifice everything they have and love for their country. Lively hopefuls are transformed into the unfeeling. The soldiers must think of memories as, “too grievous for us [them] to reflect on them at once.” (pp. 138) They forget, lest their state of mind plummet. Few, if any capture the graphic life and thoughts of the soldier better than Enrich Maria Remarque in his moving book All Quiet on the Western Front. This epic book follows a young German military recruit named Paul Bäumer and his classmates who come face to face with the gunfire of the Allies during World War I. Through Remarque’s well-chosen words and imagery, an average citizen is transported from their comfy home to the trenches and front lines of heated battle. In Enrich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front, he successfully illustrates what it’s like to be a soldier during war and the extent in which everyday people sacrifice their lives when fighting for their country.
The graphic visuals that Enrich Maria Remarque portrays in All Quiet on the Western Front effectively hit home the extreme circumstances that soldiers experience. This powerful imagery is what makes this book so great. All Quiet on the Western Front is told from the perspective of Paul Bäumer, a German soldier during World War I. At as young as nineteen years old, he and his school friends fight in the front lines against English, Russian and French troops. Paul and his friends have not only seen horrors like, “three enemy trenches with their garrison all stiff as though stricken with apoplexy,” (pp. 161) but they’ve also undergone much psychological harm that will affect them forever. For example, soldiers can tell people about their experiences during the war, but no one, including a mother, “would not understand … could never realize it [the horrors of war],” (pp.161) because they have not lived through it themselves. Also, when one joins the war as a young man, they have not yet established a life like the generations before them which can, “return to its old occupations, and the war will be forgotten.” (pp. 294) A young man who survives through war is forever altered by what they have experienced in which no one can relate and they have nothing to go back to, to help...

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