All Quiet on the Western Front Essay 29

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Decline of Morality
The novel All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque shows that war destroys more than just the physical level; the decline of morality has taken place through various circumstances in the novel such as: then incident where Paul Baumer is forced to kill a soldier in a shell hole, when Paul lies to his mother and the mother of his dead friend Kemmerich and when Paul and Kat must beat a recruit unconscious to stop him from leaving the trench; these incidents can be compared to events in the 1990's such as: rise in the abortion rate, Columbine High School shootings, and the incident between President Clinton and Monica Lewinski.

In Chapter 7 Paul is granted a leave from his duties for about a month and in this time he plans on going home and visiting his family. When he arrives his mother asks him questions about how he is and about the war. More specifically she asks, "Was it very bad out there, Paul?" He thinks to himself how that is a bad question and that nobody realizes how bad the soldiers actually have so he is forced to lie. He says "No, Mother, not so very. There are always a lot of us together so it isn't so bad." Here the author proves that the war forces some to lie to their parents whom they have always been honest with and this demonstrates the decline of family life that the war causes. Later in the chapter he goes to visit the mother of his dead friend, Kemmerich. While there he tells her that he died instantly and she doesn't believe him, "You lie. I know better. I have felt his anguish-tell the truth, I want to know it, I must know it."(159) He again lies to her, "No, I was beside him. He died at once" (159). But yet she tells him, "I know you want to comfort me, but don't you see, you torment me far more than if you told me the truth? I cannot bear the uncertainty" (159). He sticks to his story telling her, "He died immediately. He felt absolutely nothing at all. His face was quite calm" (160). Again this...
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