All Quiet on the Western Front - Essay 7

Topics: All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque, Anti-war Pages: 3 (1203 words) Published: February 27, 2012
Nothing can be gained from the futility of war, only lost; a loss of hope, loss of life, loss of innocence and a loss of identity. This sense of hopelessness has been reflected within the anti-war novel All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. The negative representation of World War I displayed in this novel has made us question authority as to why time and time again, they abuse their power to force our innocent young men to fight in a monotonous battle. Through the construction of this novel, a very effective, thought provoking, anti-war story has been created which has become a timeless literary text within society today. In particular, the narrative conventions of characterization, setting, language and plot have enriched this novel with meaning to represent the horrid, yet true, nature of war.

The settings within this novel, of the front line, hospital and base camp have been described extensively with horrific detail. The imagery which is associated with the descriptions of these settings is found to be very confronting to the reader and enhances a very negative attitude towards the war. In chapter four, the young men are forced to take cover from the enemy within a cemetery. The setting of the cemetery reinforces the brutality of war, as these young men can not show respect for their dead comrades for they destroy their place of rest. “The dark turns into madness. It rocks and rages. Dark things, darker than the night itself, rush upon us in great waves, over us and onwards.” The darkness and fear associated with wars has been depicted in this setting for it can be said that this fear is the “Dark things” which rush upon them like waves. This imagery which has been used to portray the cemetery has reinforced the anti-war attitude of Remarque. “It smells of carbolic, pus and sweat, just like it always does. You get used to a lot of things when you are in the barracks, but this can still really turn your stomach.” This quote describes...
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