All Quiet on the Western Front

This essay has a total of 1262 words and 5 pages.

All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet On the Western Front

Born Erich Paul Remark (later changed to Remarque) on June 22, 1898, he grew up in a Roman
Catholic family in Osnabruck in the province of Westphalia, Germany--a city in the
northwest part of what is now West Germany. He adored his mother, Anna Maria, but was
never close to his father, Peter. The First World War effectively shut him off from his
sisters, Elfriede and Erna. Peter Remark, descended from a family that fled to Germany
after the French Revolution, earned so little as a bookbinder that the family had to move
11 times between 1898 and 1912. The family's poverty drove Remarque as a teenager to earn
his own clothes money (giving piano lessons). In November 1916, when Remarque was eighteen
and a third-year student at Osnabruck's Lehrerseminar (teachers college), he was drafted
for World War I. After basic training at the Westerberg in Osnabruck (the Klosterberg of
the book), he was assigned to a reserve battalion, but often given leave to visit his
seriously ill mother. In June 1917, he was assigned to a trench unit near the Western
Front. He was a calm, self-possessed soldier, and after carrying fellow comrades to safety
during battle, he himself was severely injured and was sent to the hospital in Duisburg
for much of 1917-1918. He was there when his mother died in September 1917.


The war ended before Remarque could return to active service, but even though he had not
experienced front-line fighting at its worst, the war had changed his attitudes forever.
He had learned to realize the value of each individual life, and had become disillusioned
with a patriotism that ignored the individual. To him and many of his companions, civilian
careers no longer held any meaning. In 1929, he published All Quiet on the Western Front,
a novel about the experiences of common German soldiers during World War I. Remarque
stripped the typical romanticism from the war experience in his shocking anti-war novel.
The novel instantly became an international success, and also was turned into an Academy
Award winning movie. After reading the book, I can't even fathom what a different
lifestyle Remarque led, fighting for survival every day while I find myself watching hours
of TV searching for entertainment day after day. One can imagine the intense emotions that
Remarque included in his story, seeing as how his first hand experiences have affected him
so greatly. All through the war, the Western Front was a major battle line, riddled with
trenches and tunnels. The fighting there was always fierce, with much hand-to-hand combat
and frequent air strikes. The events that lead up to Germany's signing of the armistice on
November 11, 1918 form the background of the entire novel, and it is because of this
direct connection with U.S. History that I believe this book should be read by everyone,
for the author's experiences in the trenches can't compare to any experience I've ever
had.


Through the observations of Paul Baumer, a 19-year-old volunteer to the German army during
World War I, readers see war and all its horror. Baumer and his classmates go right from
high school to military service, egged on by parents, teachers, and other stubborn adults
Continues for 3 more pages >>




  • Film Noir
    Film Noir Forty years after Raymond Borde and Étienne Chaumeton defined the challenge, critical commentators on film noir continue to grapple with it. Ironically, American writers did not immediately take up consideration of this indigenous phenomenon and the question of its "essential traits." Only gradually in a frequently cross-referenced series of essays in the 1970s did they begin to express themselves. There are now a dozen full-length books in English concerning film noir and undoubtedly
  • Dominican music and film
    Dominican music and film The Caribbean island nation of the Dominican Republic is little known by most Americans, but America is ever present in the Dominican consciousness. Until Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire went head to head in the legendary homerun battle of 1998, few Americans were aware of any American-Dominican rivalry in western hemispheric culture. Nothing gave Dominicans more pride than to see Sosa hold Major League Baseballs homerun record, albeit for less than 24 hours before McGuire
  • Americanization
    Americanization "Former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau once compared liking next to the United States to sleeping with an elephant. He said, ‘You cannot help but be aware of its every movement.\'" http://www.pbs.org/pioneerliving/segments/Americanization.htm The issue of American culture and its globalization has raised a lot of controversy. "The era of globalization" is becoming the preferred term to describe the current times. The term Americanization has been around for years. It wa
  • Americanization
    Americanization "If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose- because it contains all the others- the fact that they were the people who created the phrase to make money. No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity- to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted or obtained as a favor. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created." Ayn Rand People have always been inte