1 May 2013
War Through the Eyes of Erich Remarque
A soldier must have the mentality of, “I must kill or I’ll be killed” or they will surely perish. Taking this idea to heart can be a very moralistic test that most people can’t handle. All Quiet on the Western Front is one of the greatest war novels ever written because of its exposing graphic depiction of war. In the short note before Chapter One, Remarque lets the reader know exactly what themes he intends. War is savage, unjustified and unnatural. He intends to explain why the war was responsible for the destruction of an entire generation. Remarque is very clear on the strength of his themes, and uses graphic imagery to show the reader the physical and psychological impact that war has on a person. War brings about hardship, pain and suffering to all involved. It is the battle of two sides made of young men; many of them do not understand what they are fighting for or who they are fighting. Remarque’s novel All Quiet on the Western Front helps portray the image of war and idea of warfare in a pretty gruesome way. He also made his point through the physical deterioration, but mostly through mental and emotional destruction of Paul Baumer and his comrades. In the novel, Remarque does a flawless job conveying the horrible misfortunes of war. Through the eyes of Paul Baumer, a story is told of hopelessness and desperation on the German front lines of WWI. As Baumer and his comrades experience starvation and injury among other hardships, the reader begins to comprehend how tragic war is. They experienced things that can and will traumatize most human beings. "It's unendurable. It is the moaning of the world, it is the martyred creation, wild with anguish, filled with terror, and groaning.” Ch. 4, p. 62. This scene was the most graphic and horrendous part of the book. It really exemplified the tragedy of war. Detering was very disturbed by this because he’s a...
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