All quite on the western front Essay

This essay has a total of 1018 words and 4 pages.


all quite on the western front




Erich Maria Remarque’s novel, All Quite on the Western Front gives you detail and insight
into the long, destructive “Great War”. Quickly, romantic illusions about combat are
disintegrate. Enthusiastic teenage boys convinced to fight for their country by their
patriotic teachers came back feeling part of a lost generation . This novel teaches us
what a terrifying and painful experience World War I was for those fighting in the
trenches on the front.

German propaganda spread throughout Germany like wildfire. The glory and enthusiasm of
going to war to fight for your country aims and ideals was the mood set. Everyone wanted
to be a hero, and if you did not want to fight than you would be thought of as a coward,..
“ because at the time even one’s parents were ready with the word ‘Coward’..” (Remarque
p.11). The elders glorified war by writing and talking about it, expressing that duty to
one’s country is the greatest thing. The soldiers saw the hideous wounds and dying men and
distinguishing the false from the true, realizing that there is nothing of their world
left. That is how Paul Baumer felt when he was in the Catholic hospital with his friend
and comrade Albert Kropp. Looking around at all the wounded solders he saw what a waste
war was. Up until this war, nobody had ever seen such a destructive war, partly due to all
the advanced technology, and therefore none of the great world powers knew what they were
getting themselves into. “ To shed one’s blood for the fatherland is not difficult it is
enveloped in romantic heroism” (McKay/Hill/Bucker 904) as explained by a German soldier
who volunteered for the front. The fact that the whole country of Germany was patriotic,
energetic, and unified towards the war effort glorified it even that much more. Who would
not want to fight for their homeland at that time? “ We were still crammed full of vague
ideas which gave to life, and to the war also an ideal and almost romantic character”
(Remarque 21). Once these combatants experienced the real life threats such as poisonous
gasses, rapid machine gun fire and a constant flurry of explosive shells, these were
propelled into a New World of killing or being killed. They are fighting with animal like
instincts and all their proper manners that they are raised with vanish. The new
technology that came about in World War I drastically changed they way things were done.

Technology started to change and as it changed it played a crucial role in World War I. As
people were trapped in the cruelest battle, the men had to dodge the animosity of the
powerful machine guns while escaping from the poisonous gasses. No one can out run a
machine gun. Its ability to eliminate men by the dozens led to one stalemate after
another. There were being built more compact, with more force and accuracy. Another more
vicious form of death that came about during the war was the use of poisonous gases. This
filled men’s lungs up, which choked and burned them in an inhumane way.

If you were not wounded physically, than you were wounded mentally. “Two years of shells
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