War is good and bad, beneficial and pointless, but above all other things, immensely inhumane. Man created war, and with our controversial human nature egged it on. “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque is a war novel that shows the war experience and how war changes people. During the time spent at the front and at rest the soldier is turned from human to inhumane. They are taken away from the normal human emotion and placed into a state of being more animalistic and superhuman. “One-two-three-four, and ceased at thirty-two”. (Remarque 136) Of the entire Second Company, thirty-two men are left. This was a Company that started with 150 men, cut to eighty, and then again to thirty-two. This inhumane act of sending men to be killed is called war. Man after man is sent to war, trained, and then killed. Training a man for his death is not something that could be considered healthy at all. War by this is an extremely demoralizing act that no man could ever come back from the same – or even at all.
Men in war become animals and very inhumane because of their surroundings and the things they go through. They constantly find themselves alone, and doing whatever they can to survive. “I do not think at all, I make no decision – I strike madly” (Remarque 216). Paul, the narrator of this novel, strikes and kills an enemy soldier, Gerard Duval without thinking a second about it. This instinct relates much to the animals in the animal kingdom, and in this shell hole for Paul it was either kill or be killed.
With this same event Paul also proves himself to be superhuman – another state of no longer being a ‘human’ – when he realizes what he has done. After killing Duval, Paul thinks about the actual human consequences that his death has. Not only has it put an end to Duval’s life, but it will devastate Duval’s family back home as well. “My state is getting worse, I can no longer control my thoughts…I wish Kantorek were here…if Kemmerich’s leg had been six...
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