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All Quiet On The Western Front: War Strips The Human Face Off Its Casualties. Discuss This Statement

784 words - 3 pages

Throughout the text, All Quiet on the Western Front, the author, Erich Remarque, makesreference to the soldiers at war losing all sense of humanity. This is proven when the main character Paul, a nineteen year old soldier, is sent to war and turns into a “human animal.” (Remarque, 1929, p40). Another example of the dehumanization of the soldiers is when Paul returns home on leave, and finds himself unable to connect with his family. Furthermore, Paul’s death in the final paragraph of the book illustrates to the reader how inhumane war is, and how inhumane the soldiers at war have become.Through the duration of the text, Remarque makes mention of the fact that the soldiers are losing their humanity and on several occasions, “turning into human animals.” (Remarque, 1929, p40). Remarque constantly refers to this metaphor, as if to remind the reader of the consequences of war. The constant killing of humans on the opposite side, with no sense of remorse, demonstrates to the reader that the soldiers have lost all emotion they may have had before the war begun. An example of this can be found when Paul stabs a French soldier who jumped into his shell hole. Paul explains that he, “just stabs wildly and feels only how the body jerks,” suggesting that this behavior is not how a human being should act, rather, how an animal would act. In the beginning of the text, Remarque hints to the reader that the characters involved within the book are beginning to evolve and lose their own sense of emotion. Paul says “We have lost all our ability to see things in other ways.” (Remarque, 1929, p15). This indicates that the human face is now slowly being stripped from the soldiers fighting at war.The author uses the section of the book where Paul returns home as another method of showing how the human face is stripped from the casualties at war. When Paul returns home after being granted leave, he finds himself unable to connect with his family at home. This is then used to show how the human emotion, that would normally be felt, has been lost though the fighting at war. This is shown when Paul does not want to talk to his mother on the last night, even though it may be...

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