The Dreadful Aftermath Of War Essay

1552 words - 7 pages

Who are the real victims of war? Unfortunately, many people ask themselves this question after they return home from battle as a completely different person as than they were before the devastation. Much of this group asking themselves this question were young when they enlisted, so they don’t know how to deal with the world they are in. Erich Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front brings about this very group of young men during World War I. These boys are also vastly known as the Forgotten Generation, because they lost everything in the war so they were pushed aside. The men of the Forgotten Generation returned from the war a completely different person and were impacted more harshly ...view middle of the document...

Later the men begin to change completely from boys just on the brink of adulthood into hardened men that have seen too much for their years.

As the war continued on and the men became more shut out by their emotions, the soldiers were changed into completely new people. When looking in the mirror they were not the young boys that they remembered, they had become hardened soldiers with little emotion and new ambitions. Soldiers like Paul wonder about their recent changes often, finally Muller couldn’t handle his curiosity any longer and asked the group of their thoughts on the transformation. Each man had their perspective voiced, Kropp, Muller and Paul talking until they were more confused than any of them were before. Then Kropp finally says that the war had messed with their lives forever and they would never have a normal, prosperous future. Paul agrees with him, “We are not youth any longer. We don’t want to take the world by storm. We are fleeing. We Fly from ourselves. From our life. . . We are cut off from activity, from striving, from progress. We believe in such things no longer, we believe in the war” (88). Paul was saying that the war has cut all of the soldiers like him from moving forward in life because it is the only thing that they know. War is the only thing that men like Paul know, and is constantly on their minds. Many of the older men like Detering have wives or jobs to worry about while the young soldiers like Paul have not experienced anything besides the mass destruction of the war. Besides just hurting their future in the economic sense by not being able to hold on to jobs, the war had hurt their chances of being healthy and happy. There was a large amount of hardship in the war that the boys had not yet experienced in life, and throwing all of that sadness onto their shoulders was destined to hurt them in the long run.

Young soldiers in WWI were thrown into a world that was unknown to them. They had not yet been through depression and stress like the older men fighting alongside them. Many of the young men that were brought into the war had just become adults and had not seen anyone of their family members or friends go through such hardship and pain as in the war. In WWI, the death toll was unfathomably high, many watched their comrades die in extreme pain and were forced push their grief down to the deepest part of their being to go on. This was one of the hardest things to go through for Paul, especially after they moved away from the excitement of the front line. The only thing he could think about that night as he laid in bed was how he would get through the pain, “And this I know: all these things that now, while we are still in the war, sink down in us like a stone, after the war shall waken again, and then shall begin the disentanglement of life and death” (140). All of the soldiers in the war suffered from the unbearable grief they faced when they returned home, but the young soldiers suffered most of all....

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