All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque

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The Greek Historian, Herodotus once stated, “In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons”. The Great War as it was called that ran from 1914 to 1918 resulted in the unnecessary loss of many of the world’s youth. In the novel All Quiet on the Western Front, the author Erich Maria Remarque shares his traumatic experiences of being a young soldier at war through the character of Paul Bäumer. The book was published in 1929, and caused a lot of controversy at the time. This was due to the fact that the political powers in Germany didn’t want the truth of war to be revealed. In keeping this secret, the novel became one of the first to be burnt by German Nazis. It conveys the anti-war idea through the use of Point of view, Setting, Structure and Plot and Language use. The ideas that Remarque forms using these techniques includes a soldiers loss of innocence, the idea of what home really is, hopes and dreams are necessary to survive war and how humans turn into animals. The fact that the novel was burnt by the Nazis goes to show how very effective it is at persuading people against war.

Through the use of narrative point of view, the idea that soldiers need hopes and dreams to survive war becomes evident. The psychological aspect of war comes into place when the authors highlights the importance of having hopes and dreams to survive war without going insane. The text is written primarily in first person, so we are able to see the personal wishes that Paul has. For example Paul says, “ Let the Months and years come, they can take nothing more from me… I am so alone, and so without hope that u can confront them without fear” This quote from Paul shares how he has lost all his hope. Because of this, he feels as if there is no longer any reason to live and he doesn’t care what happens to him past this point. Having something to believe in is very important to surviving the horrors of war. Paul’s first person account provides insight into his...
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