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All Quiet On The Western Front As An Anti War Novel

1191 words - 5 pages

All quiet On the Western Front, a book written by Erich Maria Remarque tells of the harrowing experiences of the First World War as seen through the eyes of a young German soldier. I think that this novel is a classic anti-war novel that provides an extremely realistic portrayal of war. The novel focuses on a group of German soldier and follows their experiences.

Life for the soldiers in the beginning is a dramatic one as they are ordered up to the frontline to wire fences. The frontline makes Paul feel immediately different as described here. "As if something is inside us, in our blood, has been switched on." The front makes Paul more aware and switched on as if his senses and reactions are sharpened. I think Paul and his friends are frightened when they are near the front line. After they wire the fences and they are heading to the barracks their group start to be fired at by the enemy. They manage to get through the shelling unscathed but they hear a horse that has been shot. The horse makes a terrible noise of anguish and is in terrible pain and it has been shot as the author describes here. "The belly of one of the horses has been ripped open and it guts are trailing out." This shows that there are not just human casualties of war; the innocent lives of animals can be affected as much as humans who fight in wars. Detering-one soldier in Pauls group-says." It is the most despicable thing of all to drag animals into a war." I agree with Detering, as animals had no choice about going to war. On the way back to the trucks that would take them back to the barracks Paul Baumers company are hit again by heavy shelling and they have to take cover in a military graveyard. The shells blow huge holes in the graveyard and create large holes in the ground revealing the coffins; Paul uses a coffin to take cover as the author describes here. "A wounded soldier? I shout to him-no answer- must be dead." The dead body has fallen out the coffin and the coffin has been unearthed because of the shelling. Even the dead and buried cannot rest in peace during this war. This just adds to the horror of the situation Paul is in.

Through out this book the author shows that war is not about heroism and fighting nobly for your country, war is a terrible thing. Paul and his friends are on the frontline in the shelters for days and the pressure gets to the men as Paul says here. "The recruit who had the fit earlier is raving again and two more have joined in. One breaks away and runs for it." This shows that the frontline, added by lack of food, has driven the young recruits mad and so much so that one recruit runs away out into the battle field with inevitable consequence of death. Paul describes the front line in many ways to show the reader and give the reader a good picture of what the frontline is like for a soldier, as Paul expresses here." The front is a cage and you have to wait nervously in it for whatever happens to you", and Paul also says. "I can be...

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