A Loss of Innocence Should Never be Taken Lightly
War is a hellish battleground where many lives are taken. In war there is constantly images and events that happen which can change a soldier’s life forever. In the book All Quiet on the Western Front Remarque uses the symbols of boots, butterflies and horses to advance the main theme in the novel, that war takes young men’s innocence away.
When a soldier begins his first training camp or when he kills his first man, his boots are there warming his feet. Soldiers might not realize it but their boots are with them through their change of heart. In All Quiet boots resemble ageing, façade, and change in heart. In the beginning of the book Paul and Muller are bedside with their dieing friend Kemmerich. Muller asks hesitantly about the boots,” can you leave them with us… out here one can make some use of them”(Remarque 16). Kemmerich’s leg has been amputated and he has no idea of it. This shows how Muller is somewhat selfish to ask a question like this especially when all Kemmerich needs is support. If Muller had never become a soldier he would have never asked such a horrific question, yet in war you try to make decisions based on what is right for you not a person in need of friendship. Muller is shot point blank in the stomach and on his last breaths gives Paul his boots. ”Before he died he…bequeathed me his boots - the same he had inherited from Kemmerich… and Tjaden after me” (279). Sadly Muller feels that it is more important to give Paul his boots than say a few words to help Paul through his death because boots will help Paul now, even thought Muller’s companionship would be a greater prize. The most troubling concept is that Paul knows he will die, which brings a man to wonder,” if you know you will be defeated why not give up now?“ Boots can give a man blisters, it can make his feet bleed. Yet when these boots are prized more than a mans friendship and more importantly a mans life, these boots are no...
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