All Quiet On The Western Front

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All Quiet On The Western Front ? Is It An Anti-War Film? Essay, Research Paper All Quiet on the Western Front is based on a book by a German soldier who fought in World War 1. It follows the fate of a group of boys who joined in 1915. The main hero of the film is Paul Balmer and we see the world through his eyes. In my essay I will use scenes to prove that this is an anti-war film. One of the main themes of the film is the fact that people who weren?t fighting didn?t really know what it was like to fight in the trenches. Especially the old people encourage the young soldiers to fight; they are all desperate to be fighting and are quite jealous of their juniors. At the start of the film we are introduced to the group of boys and we find them in a class. Their teacher is

encouraging them to join up to the army and how that they would be doing the German fatherland proud. And when Paul comes home from the front because of his injury all that people talk about is the war. When he wants to go out, his father wants him to go in his uniform but he doesn?t want to go because he doesn?t want to be a killing machine any more he wants to be a normal person. When he does go out all people speak about is the war. When the class does sign up they have to go through a terrible training exercise. The conditions are terrible and they have to crawl through mud and run for miles. They are taught to fight as a team and to be taught discipline. All this training doesn?t really prepare the soldiers for the harsh reality of the front line. When it is time to leave,

at the train station, the truth of war starts to become apparent to the young naive boys. They get a view of the injured people coming back from the front line. This shattered the idea they had that war was a game and that it was real life with real people. When they do arrive they understand what the war is about. One of the first things that gets the soldiers is the sound of the horses. When the shells got fired they were landing near the horse and severely injuring someone of them. This made the horses screech and make a horrible sound as they died. This really did upset some of the soldiers and even at this early stage of the film some of the soldiers started to question the war. They wanted to know why the horse had to die, ?What have they done?? The film then skips a year

and we see the terrible conditions that they have to live in and the advances of industries. There were dead people everywhere, on the battlefield and holding up the trenches, rats feeding on these bodies and getting to the size of cats and there are lice infesting everyone. There were new weapons and new, younger soldiers who weren?t prepared for these situations. Many soldiers died unnecessarily because of the newly discovered gas that lingered in the bottom of shell holes. You have to learn fast or die. One of the largest anti-war scenes is about half way through the film when Paul is on night watch. There is an attack by several Frenchmen and one of them comes into the shell crater Paul was hiding in. He is forced to kill him or die himself. Paul stabs him but he does not

kill him completely, the Frenchmen is left to die slowly. This really upsets Paul, as this is the first time he has had to kill someone one face to face rather than just shooting at an enemy. He washes his hands clean of the blood with mud rather than have the guilt on his hands. He cannot face the guilt of him murdering him and he can?t end the mans misery by killing him instead he tries to save him. Paul becomes very emotional and comes out with a speech ? Forgive me comrade, they want us to fight, but they never want us to know the enemy. If we threw away our weapons we could be brothers.? This brings out the fact that the soldiers were just killing machines being ordered about mindlessly by their superiors, why do they do it? Why do we have war, why can?t peace be made