All Quiet on the Western Front: Soldiers as Victims of War

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AQWF Essay

"Let the months and years come, they can take nothing from me, they can take nothing anymore. I am so alone and so without hope that I can confront them without fear" War is a political hotbed. Regardless of the warring nations’ reasons or the outcome, in the wake of the battle, the soldier, or country’s hero, actually becomes the victim. Youth is sacrificed, lives are lost, and the survivors are forever altered. In the novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, written by Erich Maria Remarque, the characters sacrificed their youth in the war and their innocence was lost. Paul Bäumer, the narrator, was forced to discover a harsh reality. Paul’s high school teacher, Kantorek, pressured Paul and his classmates to enlist in the army. Paul was optimistic and naïve. At first, he was convinced that it would be an honor to die for his country. He enlisted, unknowingly signing up for a terrible suffering. His patriotism vanished and his personality battled with the truth of war. This led him to feel great sorrow. Paul and his classmates later realized that there is another aspect in the world and things around them are not as simple and innocent. The battle influenced their minds and attitude throughout the novel. Paul and his group of friends changed their thoughts and outlooks on life by witnessing the horrors of war when they became soldiers. The many deaths became part of their lives, which they were forced to deal with. The innocence that they once knew slowly altered. Soldiers’ lives were lost one after the other, day by day as the war went on. In the beginning of the novel, Paul’s company received a short stay after two weeks of fighting. Only 80 men out of 150 were still alive. The cook didn’t want to give the survivors the rations that were meant for the dead men, but eventually agreed to do so. The soldiers dealt with the many deaths and their aspects changed with their wants. For example, food and double rations of cigarettes were more important...
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