All Quite On The Western Front Essay

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All Quite On The Western Front Essay, Research Paper Erich Maria Remarque’s novel, All Quite on the Western Front gives you detail and insight into the long, destructive “Great War”. Quickly, romantic illusions about combat are disintegrate. Enthusiastic teenage boys convinced to fight for their country by their patriotic teachers came back feeling part of a lost generation . This novel teaches us what a terrifying and painful experience World War I was for those fighting in the trenches on the front. German propaganda spread throughout Germany like wildfire. The glory and enthusiasm of going to war to fight for your country aims and ideals was the mood set. Everyone wanted to be a hero, and if you did not want to fight than you would be thought of as a coward,.. “

because at the time even one’s parents were ready with the word ‘Coward’..” (Remarque p.11). The elders glorified war by writing and talking about it, expressing that duty to one’s country is the greatest thing. The soldiers saw the hideous wounds and dying men and distinguishing the false from the true, realizing that there is nothing of their world left. That is how Paul Baumer felt when he was in the Catholic hospital with his friend and comrade Albert Kropp. Looking around at all the wounded solders he saw what a waste war was. Up until this war, nobody had ever seen such a destructive war, partly due to all the advanced technology, and therefore none of the great world powers knew what they were getting themselves into. “ To shed one’s blood for the fatherland

is not difficult it is enveloped in romantic heroism” (McKay/Hill/Bucker 904) as explained by a German soldier who volunteered for the front. The fact that the whole country of Germany was patriotic, energetic, and unified towards the war effort glorified it even that much more. Who would not want to fight for their homeland at that time? “ We were still crammed full of vague ideas which gave to life, and to the war also an ideal and almost romantic character” (Remarque 21). Once these combatants experienced the real life threats such as poisonous gasses, rapid machine gun fire and a constant flurry of explosive shells, these were propelled into a New World of killing or being killed. They are fighting with animal like instincts and all their proper manners that they are

raised with vanish. The new technology that came about in World War I drastically changed they way things were done. Technology started to change and as it changed it played a crucial role in World War I. As people were trapped in the cruelest battle, the men had to dodge the animosity of the powerful machine guns while escaping from the poisonous gasses. No one can out run a machine gun. Its ability to eliminate men by the dozens led to one stalemate after another. There were being built more compact, with more force and accuracy. Another more vicious form of death that came about during the war was the use of poisonous gases. This filled men’s lungs up, which choked and burned them in an inhumane way. If you were not wounded physically, than you were wounded mentally. “Two

years of shells and bombs- a man won’t peel that off as easy as a sock” ( Remarque 87). The wounded soldier, Paul Baumer, not only sees himself as part of a lost generation, but also feels that way for everyone his age that is included in this horrific war. “ We agree that it’s the same for everyone; not only for us here, but everywhere, for everyone who is of our age; to some more and to other less. It is the common fate of our generation” ( Remarque 87). The war ruined everyone for everything. These young men have lost their youth and their innocence. They can no longer experience the same feelings and memories the same way. In the trenches, they can not experience them at all. Remarque explains in the middle of chapter six (page 122), that even if our youth was given