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Hroors Of War Essay

1070 words - 5 pages

In “All Quiet on the Western Front,” Erich Maria Remarque tells the a story of six young German men who volunteer as soldiers in World War I. Remarque himself fought in World War I, but because of injuries that he sustained in battle, he was forced to withdraw from the war zone. He spent the rest of the war in the hospital, where he reflected upon the true nature of war. The novel is told from the viewpoint of one young soldier named Paul Baumer. Through the character of Baumer, Remarque portrays his innocence, childhood, and glory; it also portrays his horror, fears, and experiences in the war.
In the story, six close friends are persuaded to fight for their country by Kantorek, their ...view middle of the document...

They are not supposed to be at war; they are supposed to be at home and enjoying their lives. The War was supposed to be for mature grown men, not youngsters who had just started to live their lives. Furthermore, these youngsters experience in the war has psychologically turned them into experienced old men’s, as Paul states, “we are forlorn like children, and experienced like old men, we are crude and sorrowful and superficial I believe we are lost” (123). They constantly discuss how they are not youthful anymore, but feel like old men at nineteen years of age. As the war goes on, the main characters see fierce things happen to them. Instead of being at home, they have lost their childhood to the war. For example, when Paul goes on leave from duty and returns home for a short time, he feels out of place. Paul doesn’t know how to interact with others and feels uncomfortable. He can’t see himself living with the isolating feeling that he has.
Remarque’s purpose in creating this novel was to show readers a different side of the war from the German soldier’s perspective. It was to show the reality and fears of being at war. Moreover, several people in Remarque's era thought that going to war was a glorious and patriotic deed. Remarque uses the character of Kantorek, to portray this mistaken view: "won’t you join, up comrades?”(11). Essentially, the war was not glamorous the way Kantorek believed, as Remarque showed how the soldiers lived their lives in constant terror. From the day-to-day experiences of being at war, the deaths of their friends, gas attacks, and terrors brought a great deal of emotions and destruction to the soldiers. Especially for a generation of young men, it destroyed their lives. They were so enthusiastic to go to war, but it scarred and traumatized them for the rest of their lives. Also, the survivors of the war were unable to live a normal life.
Remarque achieved his purpose extremely well by portraying war realistically to the audience. He tells the reader how being at war for years...

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