All Quiet on the Western Front Essay
The novel All Quiet on the Western Front, written by Erich Maria Remarque (1898-1970) in Switzerland, tells the story of 6 German soldiers who volunteered to fight in the first World War, and it describes their demise intellectually, spiritually, and physically. All Quiet on the Western Front displays all of the anguish one would expect in any war novel, but it also exposes the horrors of a new kind of war. Machine guns had never been used before World War I. The narrator provides the reader with a close account of the many atrocities of the war. Even those who would be lucky enough to physically survive would still be victims. The novel is told from the perspective of a particularly observant young soldier, Paul Bäumer, who exposes details of life on the Western Front. Paul and his fellow classmates are enlisted in the German army of World War I. These young men turn out as passionate soldiers fighting for their country, but their little world of duty, culture, and progress would be blown to pieces after the first bombardment they endure in the trenches. Through the many years of vivid horror, Paul holds onto a particular vow: to fight against the disgust that senselessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against one another in the revolting reality known as war. Paul Bäumer is the star of this novel, he is the protagonist and, until about the last paragraph, the narrator. Paul is not a famous war hero, or a high- ranking military officer, he’s not even a famous writer. He is nothing more than your average Joe that lives with his family in a cute little German Village. He likes to drink beer and think about girls, and most of all he loves to write and tell stories. He went to school and is an avid reader, but he is too young to have had any major life-changing experiences before enlisting in the war. He is just a typical teenage boy – excited...
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