Essay, Research Paper: All Quit On The Western Front

World Literature

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Remarque, is a book that explores the true horrors of World War I thought the
eyes of a German solider. This story is shows how World War I was not the
glorifying war that some people envision it to be. The author uses the character
of Paul to tell a realistic story of what the average WWI solider had to endure.
This book raises the issue of how destructive war can be not only to a country,
but also to a generation of a nation. One of the major themes in the story is
that of the lost generation. What Remarque was trying to show, is that an entire
generation was lost because of the war. Not only were millions of people killed
in the fighting but also many of them were distorted mentally because of the
horrible experiences that many of then had to endure. Paul talks about the
faceless enemy and how the fight was not with anyone he hated. Paul was affected
the greatest when he had to kill the French soldier in the ditch and hear him
die a slow painful death. This one experience, of not only killing a man but
also to do it close enough that he could put a face with his enemy, haunted
Paul’s mind. This was most likely a shared feeling with the soldiers at this
time. They had to live though watching their countrymen die by being shot or
blown up and continue fighting as if nothing should affect them. To deal with
death is hard enough without having it shoved in your face. The fact of the
matter is that an entire nation suffers when fighting a war. The county is
physically destroyed and needs to be rebuilt. This requires money that has
already been spent in a war effort. The major lost is that one generation of
young adults that were forced to fight a war that they didn’t understand. They
were almost wiped out and those that did survive must live with the atrocities
that they have seen. This is one of the main points illustrated by Remarque
though the story of Paul, that this entire of generation of young men were lost
to this Great War. When Paul is this the French girl in chapter seven, he talks
about how for a little bit he wants to forget about the war when he say’s “I
want it all to fall from me, war and terror and grossness, in order to awaken
young and happy.” In this Paul tries to say that he wishes the images of the
war and everything about it would just leave his mind so he can be young and
enjoy his youth. This fact of growing up and not having a youthful life is also
part of the lost generation theme. This war took so much from this generation
that is was considered “lost”. Anther image of this goes alone with the end
of this story. Paul is killed at the end of the book and only two short
paragraphs explain his end. “He fell in October 1918, on a day that was so
quiet and still on the whole front, that the army report confined itself to the
single sentence: All quiet on the Western Front.” It goes on to say that he
died fast and looked almost glad the end had come. Paul ends up part of the lost
generation. He gives up his life in the war to join the millions before him. The
reason he is almost glad to die is that all the pain and suffering is over and
he is finally at piece. The main lost of World War I, as portrayed by Remarque,
was that of an entire generation of young men who loss in the end regardless
what side won the war.

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