All Quiet on the Western Front: War and its Purpos Essay

This essay has a total of 1062 words and 4 pages.

All Quiet on the Western Front: War and its Purpose

"One is left with the horrible feeling now that war settles nothing. That to win a war is as disastrous as to lose one."
- Agatha Christie

We as people never stop to think about war and its definition. Accroding to the
dictionary, war is defined as a state of hostility, conlict, antagonism and death. All
Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque tells the story about Paul Baumer, the
narrator and protagonist of the book , a neneteen year old German soldier who fights in
the front lines of Western Europle during Wold War I and describs its synical hateful
environment. The autobiographical book, Night by Elie Wiesel, takes place during The
Holocaust. Elie, as a young Jewish boy witnessed mass murder and loses his loved ones in
the process in the hands of the Nazis while imprisoned in the most notorious death camp,
Auchwithz. "I thought I was honoring my country, but I was very wrong " recalled Benjamin
Mejia, a 40 year old army veteran who fought in war during Desert Storm. These
descriptions of War follow its definition with high precisement and leads to the raw
truth. The truth is that through its hostile nature, war negatively affects the lives of
the people involved with it buth physically and mentally which they have to carry for the
rest of their lives.


War and its antagonistic influence has the potential power of making its victims suffer
physically. "I am operated on and vomit for two days. My bones will not grow together, so
the surgeons' secretary says. It is damnable." said Paul Baumer as he was wounded as a
cause of war. It must have been even worrse under the conditions soldiers in the past
faced on account of not having the medical advances we have today. Antibiotics were not
invented until later on in the century so soldiers back then had to suffer the enduring
paing for a much longer period of time. "The pain was undefiable. It was like if someone
were to stab you with a fiery pitchfork in the back," recalled Benjamin Mejia as he
suffered third degree burns by an exploding land mine. He also added "I lost all feeling
on my back for about a week and I had to suffer the excruciating pain of my skin peeling
off my back." "A line, a short line trudges off in to the morning. Thirty two men." says
Paul who could not believe his own eyes as he sees how many soldiers were lost in just one
battle. Only thrity two of the original 150 men that went to the front in the beginning of
the offensive lived; many of who were young and have plenty to live for or who had
families of their own. Though the physical pain of war is most of the time just temporary
if survived, the emotional and mental pain at the hands of war is eternal.


It is impossible to say that war would not change the lives of the people involved with it
mentally regardless if one fight in it or not. "Bombardment, barrage, curtain-fire, mines,
gas, tanks, machine-guns, hand-grenades--words, words, words, but they hold the horror of
the world." Paul started out at first saying how war will bring honor for his country and
himself; but he then finds himself just trying to stay alive and ignores the meaning of
honor and patriotism which he strived to obtain. At this point, Paul begins to really see
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