All Quiet on the Western Front

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ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT

In the book All Quiet on the Western Front the main character and narrator Paul describes the war as not fighting for his country but fighting for his own survival. This theme has been repeatedly outspoken in the book because Paul and the other characters have lost their sense of patriotism. Once the characters have left their previous feelings of patriotism, which is why they joined the war initially, they have no other choice but to fight in order to survive the war. Throughout the book Paul thinks back to when he was in school listening to one of his teachers lecture and he thought that at this point he had great feelings of patriotism and love for his country. Later on in the book when he is with his classmates overseas in the war he realizes that he no longer fights in the war is for love of country but for his own survival.

In the book one of Paul’s friends dies in his arms at the infirmary and Müller say’s, "We have lost all sense of other considerations, because they are artificial. Only the facts are real and important to us. And good boots are hard to come by" (Remarque 21). This quote is in reference to how Müller wishes to take the dying soldiers boots because they are in much better condition than his and because he is dying he will no longer need them. This is an example of fighting for self-survival because out of pure inconsideration Müller does not have any moral discomfort with taking the boots of a dying man.

Another example of how people only want to fight for their own survival and not patriotism is when Paul says, "Our thoughts are clay, they are moulded with the changes of the days;--when we are resting they are good; under fire, they are dead. Fields of craters within and without" (Remarque 271). This statement tells the reader that even though the soldiers might think something in the beginning of the war their ideas and beliefs can change over time. This also goes in accordance with my...
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