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Erich Maria Remarque All Quiet On The Western Front

1247 words - 5 pages

A successful text is one that is able to effectively engage its audience, and maintain their interest throughout. In order to uphold their attention, an author may position the reader to connect to the text at the level of emotions and ideas presented. Various techniques are employed in order to encourage a strong connection between the reader and the text and this style of writing is evident in one of the works of German writer, Erich Maria Remarque.All Quiet on the Western Front is the critically acclaimed novel that closely analyses the impact of the World War I experience on the lives of the millions of soldiers involved. All Quiet on the Western Front is a novel that strongly deviates from the traditional war novels that serve to portray the soldier's experience at war as one of adventure, glory and honour. Instead, author Remarque highlights the horror and futility of war, emphasising the negative physical and psychological damaging effects it has upon the soldier. Based upon Remarque's own experiences of war, the central character of All Quiet on the Western Front is Paul Baumer, the young nineteen year old German soldier fighting in the German army on the French front. He represents the millions of men who were caught up in the tragedy of the First World War. He is the main protagonist of the novel, and through his first person narration, he effectively conveys Remarques own opinion of the worthlessness of war and the destructive effect it has upon a person's mentality. Paul's narration is an important element of All Quiet on the Western Front and the incorporation of various other literary techniques including language and characterisation all aid in effectively engaging the audience by positioning them to connect to the level of emotions of the novel and the ideas presented.First person point of view is considered the most powerful form of narration. It is essential in gaining a sense of immediacy, realism and credibility for the reader. Paul Baumer is the central figure of All Quiet on the Western Front and the novel is told through his perspective. This form of narration is an essential technique that aids Remarque in conveying to the reader his reflection of war. As the novel progresses, the reader gains insight into Paul's inner character and how he attempts to survive the horrific ordeal of war and trench warfare. Through Paul, the reader gains an understanding of the dehumanising effect that war has upon a person. By gaining insight into Paul's mind, we develop a connecting that allows us to gain an understanding not only of the harsh reality of the horror of war, but of the damaging psychological effect it had upon the soldiers. Sympathy is evoked as we learn how these young men emotionally disconnect themselves from feelings such as grief, sympathy and fear. In order to survive, we realise that Paul is forced to disconnect his mind from his feelings and, as a result, he loses his sense of humanity. Paul appears to show no grief...

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