Electoral College Essay

1091 words - 4 pages

Spencer MallettMr. DavisHonors English - 7thDecember 20, 2013Ironic Effect of WarThe his novel All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque, illustrates the life of the adolescent, yet seasoned protagonist, Paul Baumer, as a man shaped by the poignant nature of culturally romanticized World War One. Through the narrative of Baumer, Remarque commences a potent, literal chronicle of life and, subsequently, the casualty of any war - death; moreover, the scrutiny of a soldier's demise develops Baumer's outlook on human carnage - "When a man has seen so [much death] he cannot understand any longer why there should be so much anguish over a single individual"(181). From foremost bombardment to final onslaught, Remarque exemplifies the beast-like brutality of human nature, yet notes the subtle changes of resentment and empathy newly found in all soldiers; further, he convinces Baumer to sympathize, not only, for his fellow comrades, but also the adversary forces alike. Remarque presents an obvious change in the protagonist, Baumer; further, he portrays the truth, war isn't the romanticized future a nationalistic culture intends to convey; rather, war is an immense land of "despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality"(263). The ironic truth of human nature, depicted by Remarque, reveals the transition from Baumer's simplistic view of war to a more complex ideology, with the passing of Franz Kemmerich, through the safety found during an unusual bombardment, and when Baumer recognizes the erosion of human nature caused by devastating war.Just as though war is a basic amalgamation and clash of human nature, Baumer experiences the painfully departed death of a former classmate and concurrent comrade, Franz Kemmerich; in the course of the pensive ordeal, Remarque refashions sentiment a trench-warfare soldier can possess, emphatically asserting the profound, evoking affect of death. While Kemmerich had only attained a battle wound - insignificant in the eyes of his comrades - "anybody [could] see that [he] will never come out of this [hospital bed] again"(14); Remarque rationalizes with the reader, in order to facilitate the reality of a soldier's death, furthering caustic supremacy of bereavement. Remarque further reveals the irony in a war-caused death, as Kemmerich's life melts away - "Death [works] from within…his features have become uncertain and faint…even his voice sounds like ashes."(14-15); the affect Remarque achieves is, as cliché as death may seem, war brings a new light unto death, and helps further the significance of life - as one loses a friend, a classmate not just a soldier. Through Kemmerich's ending of life, Baumer reflects "[training] in the army for ten weeks and in this time more profoundly influenced than by ten years at school"(21); Remarque assesses a change in the after-thoughts and reflections of Baumer; and, it is here, Remarque demonstrates the indisputable irony in the trade-off of human nature...

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