Glory and patriotism cease to be rational ideals in the conflict because advanced technology limits the effect that an individual soldier can have on the conflict and alienates him from the consequences of his actions. Every battle scene roughly every other chapter features brutal violence and bloody descriptions of death and injury.
They have no experiences as adults that do not involve a day-to-day fight for survival and sanity. Paul and his classmates view Kantorek and other formerly trusted authority figures like him as the origin of their pointless suffering.
The novel dramatizes the disjunction between high-minded rhetoric about patriotism and honor and the actual horror of trench warfare. They entered the war when they were on the threshold of their adult lives and thus gained their identities as soldiers. Amid this horrific violence and numbness, the overblown phrases of nationalistic rhetoric quickly lose their persuasive power and take on a loathsome quality of hypocrisy and ignorance.
Life and death thus become meaningless. Technological and military innovations such as poison gas, the machine gun, and trench warfare revolutionized combat during World War I, and Remarque effectively dramatizes how these innovations made the war bloodier, longer, and more costly.
For them, peace represents the unknown; the war, on the other hand, as terrible as it is, offers them some minimal comfort by virtue of their intimate familiarity with it. Animal Instinct Remarque indicates throughout the novel that the only way for a soldier to survive battle is to turn off his mind and operate solely on instinct, becoming less like a human being and more like an animal.
Individual soldiers were considered expendable in outmoded military strategies governed by policies of attrition dictating the winners would be the last side to have soldiers still standing. Paul represents all the nameless soldiers who fought on the western front.
Older men mention their jobs and their families; they had concrete identities and social functions before the war. Ironically, it is during one uneventful day on the front that the young, poetic Paul is unexpectedly shot by desultory enemy fire shortly before the Armistice is declared and the fighting stops.
During his leave, Paul returns home to a typical German small town of the time that is accustomed to the comforts and securities of peaceful middle-class life. When Paul meets the Russian prisoners, he can hardly believe that they are his enemies—it is only the word of their respective leaders that has made them enemies.
These authority figures have sent them to war with the tragically false illusion that they were embarking on an exciting journey to fight for honor and glory. Younger men like Paul and his classmates had no such concrete identities.
To him, the battles seem both meaningless and frightening; ordinary days with his comrades are interrupted by unreal but frenetic periods of battle.
This was especially true on the western front, where battles continued for months while corpses and casualties mounted. When Paul and his friends talk about enemies, they do not speak of the soldiers on the other side.
They view all common soldiers who are forced to fight in the trenches, regardless of their national origin, as victims. Remarque continually stresses that the soldiers are not fighting with the abstract ideals of patriotic spirit in mind; they are fighting for their survival.
The experience of battle is quite animalistic in this way, as the soldiers trust their senses over their thoughts and sniff out safety wherever they can find it.
Through most of the war, the battlefronts moved very little, and many troops stationed in the trenches endured continuous bombardment and suffered from appalling health conditions as formerly peaceful farmlands and pleasant countryside were converted into bloody battlefields. How do those innovations affect the lives of the soldiers?
As Kantorek and his speeches are recalled throughout the novel, Paul and his friends become increasingly disgusted by them; their experience of war has made them increasingly cynical about patriotism and nationalism.
The unnamed town represents all small German towns of the time. The matters of acquiring food, shelter, and clothing, in addition to avoiding gunfire and bombs, constitute their foremost concerns. Nothing in this novel makes the actual experience of war look attractive. The eastern front was the line along which Germany confronted Russia.All Quiet on the Western Front Review Essay.
Meredith Cheyenne Professor Brillman EUH August 30, All Quiet on the Western Front All quiet on the western front is said to be the greatest war novel of all time. Written by Erich Remarque, this novel is set in the early ’s during World War 1.
All Quiet on the Western Front is an antiwar novel told from the point of view of Paul Bäumer, a German soldier fighting in the trenches in World War I. Through his eyes, the reader witnesses the. A summary of Motifs in Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of All Quiet on the Western Front and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests. All Quiet on the Western Front Allusions.
A popular novel published in the yearAll Quiet on The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque speaks of a stressful and highly critical life of German soldiers who were led to believe that fighting for war is an honorable way to experience and show patriotism.
Remarque’s novel is a profound statement against war, focusing especially on the ravaging effects of war on the humanity of soldiers. Throughout Paul’s narrative there are attacks on the romantic ideals of warfare.
The novel dramatizes the disjunction between high-minded rhetoric about patriotism and honor and the actual horror of trench warfare. Literary Devices in All Quiet on the Western Front Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory In the book we hear the term "The Iron Youth" used to describe Paul's generation.Download