Comparison of War

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The two novels, All Quiet on the Western Front by Remarque and The Storm of Steel by Junger, are two different perspectives of a common theme, the theme of war. While Junger’s recollection of the war seems to glorify battle, Remarque strongly emphasizes the horrors of war. Throughout his novel, Junger seems to be a bloodthirsty murderer, whereas Remarque shows regret and remorse for taking a man’s life. Though each book gives a different perspective, both novels give a sense of patriotism to the reader.

Throughout Remarque’s recollection of the Great War, he gives a very dark and truthful description of battle. “I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another." (263) This excerpt alone gives the reader a sense of the horrors of war. Remarque emphasizes the point that people don’t simply kill, but they “innocently slay” each other. This adds to the dark tone of the novel, whereas Junger emphasizes heroics in his recollection. “The bravest push to the front shooting and bomb throwing.” (273). Junger glorifies the leaders of war by calling the men brave and at one point he describes a man’s death by saying that, “he slipped over to death smiling like a child” (274). Junger sees war as an inevitable part of life, and Remarque describes the whole thing as chance. “…every soldier believes in Chance and trusts his luck.” (101)

After reading both novels, it is very clear that Junger is much more willing to take another man’s life. He even comes off as blood thirsty in excerpts such as “… I threw away my rifle and rushed with clenched fists on to the road between the two sides.” (277). This gives the reader a sense the hatred that Junger had toward the enemy. To charge the enemy with no weapon would be considered ludicrous and suicidal but Junger does it without a second thought. On...
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