All Quiet on the Western Front
All Quiet on the Western Front is narrated by Paul Baumer. Paul was only a nineteen year old fighting in the German army on the French front with some of his classmates: Albert Kropp, the clearest thinker among them; Müller, a physics-inclined academic; and Leer, who wears full beard and lusty nature for girls. Their friends include Tjaden, a skinny 19-year-old locksmith who love to eat; Haie Westhus a large peat-digger, also 19; Deterring, a married peasant; and Stannislaus Katczinsky their wise and crafty 40-year-old leader. Page 3 they all joined the army voluntarily after listening to the stirring patriotic speeches from their teacher, Kantorek. But after experiencing ten weeks of brutal training at the hands of the petty, cruel Corporal Himmelstoss and the unimaginable brutality of life on the front, Paul and his friends have realized that the ideals of nationalism and patriotism for which they enlisted are simply empty line. They no longer believe that war is glorious or honorable, because they live in constant physical terror. At the very beginning of the book Erich Maria Remarque says "This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war." Page 0 This novel does not focus on daring stories of bravery, but rather gives a view of the conditions in which the soldiers find themselves. According to the writer “no one has the vaguest idea what we are in for. The wisest were just poor and simple people. They knew the war to be a misfortune.” page 11 The monotony between battles, the constant threat of artillery fire and bombardments, the young soldiers struggle to find food and the lack of training of young recruits meaning lower chances of survival. In the novel the author...
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