All Quiet On The Western Front Book Essay

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In Erich Maria Remarque’s book, All Quiet on the Western Front, nature appears as a means of projecting the mood of the book. There are many instances of nature that affect Paul and how he thinks of war and how both nature and war have changed him. In chapter one for example, the mood is placed by how nature is being described. The first chapter has descriptions about how the flowers and butterflies were so beautiful even if it was a war zone. "The grasses sway their tall spears; the white butterflies flutter around and float on the warm wind of the late summer." (pg 9) As the quote seems to imply, it is showing the current mood and state of Paul which, in context is a peaceful and tranquil one. It also shows his innocence to the horrors of war. The butterflies also serve as a message of his softness towards his situation and the delicacy of the balance in life. There is another passage in the book when Paul describes the butterflies as being perched upon a skull and fly about the battlefield as if they do not have a care in the world. All this happens as they are shredded by the countless bullets. This is seemingly representing how even in the war, animals, whether they are butterflies or human, die over a rather small disagreement between a minority of humans. The mood that Remarque seems to be presenting is a melancholy comparison between two different animals, thus making a subtle hint that humans are no different than animals, that we are just another animal on the food chain. Again these butterflies are an indication of the delicate balance between life and death. Another important moment in the nature in All Quiet on the Western Front was when Paul was trying to catch the goose (geese). He used his natural instinct (thus more so proving that when the soldiers are in the combat zone, they are more like animals) to catch the geese which made

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