World Core 3/4
11 March 2013
War to End All Wars
In history, World War I was one of the most important wars; it has historically been referred to as the “War to end all Wars.” It exposed the good and bad a war can create. Gandhi’s quote about violence says, “the good is only temporary,” but “the evil it does is permanent.” Historically, the “good” is shown throughout World War I, as when people initially believed the war was beneficial, enabling people to demonstrate patriotism through their fighting, and generating alliances among countries. However, the “evil” results can be seen as the war ended, immediately impacting more permanently the soldiers’ lives and personalities. And the temporary good was followed by even more war, World War II. The book All Quiet on the Western Front (All Quiet), by Erich Maria Remarque, is narrated by a soldier, Paul, who fought in World War I. In the novel Paul goes through the devastation of war and he struggles mentally and emotionally, after losing many of his close friends to the permanence of death, eventually changing him forever. Prior to World War I, countries thought it was a good idea to fight because they were backed by citizens’ nationalistic ideas that fighting for their country made them great. In All Quiet, at age nineteen, Paul and a number of other young men in his class showed there Wilkerson 2
patriotism by enlisting in the war. He and about twenty other kids in his class went down to the district commandment building to enlist in the war after their teacher had persuaded them to do it for nationalistic reasons. Paul envisions how serious and important war will be as he thinks to himself, “ …what matters is not the mind but the boot brush, not intelligence but the system, not freedom but drill. We became soldiers with eagerness and enthusiasm,” (Remarque 22). Though young, they were very patriotic, showing their pride by fighting for...