Essay, Research Paper: All Quite On The Western Front

Literature: All Quiet On The Western Front

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All Quiet on the Western Front shows the change in attitudes of the men before
and during the war. This novel is able to portray the overwhelming effects and
power war has to deteriorate the human spirit. Starting out leaving you’re
home and family pr d and ready to fight for you country, to ending up tired and
scarred both physically and mentally beyond description. *At the beginning of
the novel nationalist feelings are present through pride of Paul and the rest of
the boys. However at the end of the war it is apparent how pointless war really
is. *All Quiet on the Western Front is a novel that greatly helps in the
understanding the effects war. The novel best shows the attitudes of the
soldiers before the war and during the war. Before the war there are high morals
and growing nationalist feel gs. During the war however, the soldiers discover
the trauma of war. They discover that it is a waste of time and their hopes and
dreams of their life fly further and further away. The remains of Paul Baumer's
company had moved behind the German front l es for a short rest at the beginning
of the novel. After Behm became Paul's first dead schoolmate, Paul viewed the
older generation bitterly, particularly Kantorek, the teacher who convinced Paul
and his classmates to join the military. “ While they tau t that duty to
one’s country is the greatest thing, we already that death-throes are
stronger.... And we saw that there was nothing of their world left. We were all
at once terribly alone; and alone we must see it through.”(P. 13) Paul felt
completely etrayed. “ We will make ourselves comfortable and sleep, and eat as
much as we can stuff into our bellies, and drink and smoke so that hours are not
wasted. Life is short.” (P 139) Views of death and becoming more comfortable
with their destiny in the r became more apparent throughout the novel. Paul
loses faith in the war in each passing day. * Through out the novel it was
evident that the war scarred the soldiers permanently mentally. Everyone was
scared to go to war when it started. Young recruits were first sent because the
veterans knew they were going to come back dead. "When we run t again,
although I am very excited, I suddenly think: “where’s Himmelstoss?”
Quickly I jump back into the dug-out and find him with a small scratch lying in
a corner pretending to be wounded.” (P 131) Even the big men like Himmelstoss
are scared to go ght. “He is in a panic; he is new to it too. But it makes me
mad that the young recruits should be out there and he here.” (P 131) The
soldiers were being crushed and seeing things get destroyed, but because they
had detached themselves they thought t y were able to handle it. “ We believe
in such things no longer, we believe in war.”(P.88) That was Paul’s motto.
Although, as time went on he began to realize something wasn’t right. He tried
to replace these feelings with pleasure, so he spent the ight at the French
girls’ house. After he just felt worse and unfulfilled. “...we are crude and
sorrowful and superficial-- I believe we are lost.”(P123) When Paul realizes
that we are all brothers, true mental struggle is seen. “ Comrade, I did not
ant to kill you...Why do they never tell us you are poor devils like us... and
that you have the same fear of death...If we could just throw away these riffles
and this uniform you could be my brother...” ( P. 223-224). The apparent
change in views on e war has become extremely apparent. *In a war there is
obviously apparent physical scars. As seen throughout the entire book, the
destruction of war is great, on not only lives and property, but also on the
human spirit. The young men in this book and of those of the times were subjec
to physical torment. Eyes were blinded from such sights as, limbs being blown
off, blood flowing everywhere, and innocent men dying in agony. When soldiers
take shelter in the graveyard, bombs explode all around them; the living hide in
coffins and th dead are thrown from their graves. The destructive power is so
great that even the fundamental differences between life and death become
blurred. *All Quiet on the Western Front is a novel that portrayed World War I
as it actually was. It is able to show all aspects of the actual war. It told
the truth and showed the effects it had on the human spirit and views of war. It
began with pride and e ed with agony.
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