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Comparison: All Quiet On The Western Front And The Red Badge Of Courage

2687 words - 11 pages

The poet Wilfred Owen was one of many poets who were against war. He reflected this idea of anti-war in his poems, one of his poems called “Anthem for Doomed Youth”, mirrors most aspects of war all put together in this short still deep poem. An example of that would be when the speaker stated,” What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?”(1) The speaker asks is there any sound that marks our soldier’s death other than the sounds of church bell’s which are mostly rung to represent somebody’s absence? Clearly, the speaker sets anger as the tone of the poem through this question to show that soldier’s death is unremarkable.. The speaker compares the soldiers to a “cattle” which illustrates that soldiers are treated more like animals with no feelings and also shows how they are killed indiscriminately in war. Finally the line ironically contains an iambic pentameter which is a natural rhythm for such dark, grim, dull subject. The two novels, The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, and All Quiet on The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, both present a similar idea of how soldiers are killed out there in the front comprehensively and the dehumanization of war towards its soldiers. The first novel is set during the Civil War, and it focuses on the psychological aspects of one soldier named Henry Fleming and how his naive thoughts about war constantly change through the course of the novel. The second novel presents the life of a soldier named Paul Baumer and his friends who were faced with the terribleness of war and how severely it affected their lives. The Red badge of Courage and All Quiet on The Western Front are similar in the way of how the main characters develop through the novel to change from naïve and innocent men about war to confident and experts in death; both also discuss how horrible it is in the front and the amount of fear that affects every soldier physically and mentally, also nature’s disregard of human life. They differ in how All Quiet on The Western front shows Paul Baumer concludes that the other enemy are just like them no more and no less, while Henry in The Red Badge of Courage only viewes them as monsters.
Both Henry Fleming and Paul Baumer switch from adolescent youth with vague ideas about war to experienced men through the fear of war and the battles that they face every day. First, Henry Fleming believes that ultimate courage and honor comes from war and only war. He also romanticizes the idea of dying in war through referring back to Greek definition of a soldier laid on his shield. Henry walks back to his tent after his first fight recently wounded and prepares himself for his second battle when the narrator stated, “His self-pride was now entirely restored in the shade of its flourishing growth he stood with braced and self-confident legs…He had perform his mistakes in the dark, so he was still a man”(Crane,149-150). Henry had his own doubts and questions about war but he finally fights his first...

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