The Delusive Glory Of War Essay Research — страница 2

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the development of the story, a significant change in Rivers? mind and opinion can be noticed: Rivers was aware, as a constant background to his work, of a conflict between his belief that the war must be fought to a finish, for the sake of the succeeding generations, and his horror that such events as those which had led to Burns?s breakdown should be allowed to continue. (47) Rivers was an Englishman of his class and generation: he considered it a necessary war that should be fought to a victory, though he was shocked by the horror stories that would gradually make him doubt that maybe he had been disillusioned about war too. Barker?s way of entering a historical figure?s mind and examining his thoughts helps the reader understand more profoundly the meaning of the war and its

terrible consequences. In All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque illustrates the vivid horror and raw nature of war and tries to change the popular belief that war is an idealistic character. At the beginning of the novel, we notice, as in ?Dolce et Decorum Est?, that there is a tension between young and old. When Kantorek calls Paul and his friends Germany?s iron youth, Paul responds: ?Yes, that?s what they think, these hundred thousand Kantoreks! Iron youth! Youth! We are none of us more than twenty years old. But young? Youth? That is long ago. We are old folk.? (18). Paul?s response suggests that the boys are so tired and have been through so much horror that their youth has been completely destroyed. Also, a very touching passage that portrays the theme of the

book quite well is when Paul attacks the romantic ideals of war: I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another. I see that the keenest brains of the world invent weapons and words to make it yet more refined and enduring. (263) Paul?s strong words, demonstrated through the author?s talent, are denouncing the authority figures who were supposed to guide his generation into adulthood but instead turned the youth against each other in the pursuit of superficial ideals. The soldiers were simply the victims of a meaningless war. In conclusion, Remarque?s

firsthand encounters with trench warfare, Owen?s vivid descriptions of the soldiers? experiences and Baker?s touching accounts of the lives of historical figures, all state that there were no victors in war, only losers in a hopeless battle for territorial supremacy. Works Cited Barker, Pat. Regeneration. Toronto: Plume, 1993. Owen, Wilfred. ?Dulce et Decorum Est.? The Faber Book of War Poetry. Ed. Kenneth Baker. London: Faber, 1997. 3-4. Remarque, Erich Maria. All Quiet on the Western Front. Trans. A. W. Wheen. New York: Ballantine, 1982.