Denisse Peralta Period 2 All Quiet on the Western Front is a very famous novel about World War I. Written by Erich Maria Remarque, a veteran of the WW1, the book was banned in Nazi Germany because Hitler believed it portrayed the Wehrmacht (German military forces) in a bad manner. The novel is in Paul Baumer, a 19 year old soldier’s point of view, who is persuaded by his schoolmaster to join the army. He is stationed in the western front where he witnesses the horror and brutality of the war. War previous to this book did not seem so bad by comparison- soldiers stabbed or shot, blood here and there.
In the war poems Mental Cases and Dulce Et Decorum Est, Wilfred Owen utilises poetic techniques including aural and visual imagery to convey the notions of the glorified misrepresentation of war, psychological effects and futility of war. Drawing from his personal World War 1 context, Owen further conveys this meaning by challenging responders through the confrontation of the harsh realities of war. Within the poem Mental Cases, Owen shows how the soldiers have been drowned in misery and been brutally affected by war leading to the notion of the glorification and misrepresentation of war in society. He shows the audience the aftermath of war and how it’s not as romanticised as society believes. He emplys the use of imagery in the quote “Drooping tongues from jaws that slob their relish, Baring teeth that leer like skulls' tongues wicked?” (Lines 3, 4).
In the book “All Quiet on the Western Front” Paul Baumer tells that the war is a dehumanizing experience. I on the other hand believe that the hardships of war make the soldiers become more human. In the book Paul not only talks about his and others experiences in the frontline but also about their home front. War makes young soldiers see real human life. Soldiers throughout the war are constantly exposed to death, so that it becomes a part of their normal day to day life.
Anderson shows that war has a damning effect on war journalists as well as soldiers, and that their loved ones and families are also heavily affected. One of these effects on the characters is that they lose a sense of hope and as a result, always expect the worse. Talzani depends on fate to answer the toughest questions in his life and to comfort him by covering up horrors in his past by blaming it on the power of fate, which is out of his control. Dr Talzani admits, ‘would you believe that sometimes I am so tired, or the cave is so dark, I’m not even sure of the colours I give them’. To make himself feel better he embodies a fatalistic view which is that ‘there is no pattern to who lives or dies in war’.
Even in safe environment, it is hard to live being alone. However, she is widowed in the war zone and she would be suffering a lot, being the victim of war. The persona takes picture of her and her dead husband and this shows the harsh reality being in the war zone. She renders the pains that the victims of war goes through one single photograph. The second social issue that the poet points out is the desensitisation of the people who live in areas where war
A common theme used throughout the novel was dehumanisation in which the soldiers were deprived of their basic human qualities and personality due to the numerous horrors of war they faced each day. Remarque manages to introduce and develop the theme of dehumanisation through such techniques as symbolism, imagery and first person perspective which therefore effectively engages the reader’s interest in the novel. In the epigraph Remarque says that he “simply try to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped its shells, were destroyed by war.” Ironically Paul and his comrades represent a whole generation of men known to history as “the lost generation” in which eight million men were died in battle, twenty one million were injured and over six and a half million civilians were killed. This also reveals Remarque’s hatred towards the war and how affective it can be although soldiers may escape its physical injuries. The novel is continuously in first person from Paul point of view which makes it seem more real and dramatic as we can see exactly how he feels at a specific time.
Owen makes this piece an elegy by portraying the battlefield as hell ‘like a man in fire or lime’ or terrible enough to make the devil feel sick ‘like a devils sick of sin’ in order to make people realise that war will only achieve loss and sadness and convey the sadness and fear the soldiers had to face every day. The title of the poem ‘Dulce et Decorum est’ originates from the Roman poet, Horace ‘Dulce et Decorum set Pro patria mori’ and can be roughly translated into English as It is Right and Fitting to die for your Country. The title is a satire and instead of writing pro-war poetry, he puts an ironic slant on the maxim challenging the historical conventions and attitudes towards war. The reader is also able to
Paul and his comrades enlist as fresh creatures of the world that change due to the abhorrence in World War One. The young men lose all hope of surviving through the novel because of the severe devastation they encounter. In the war novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, Remarque exploits nature images such as, water, animals, and the earth, to exemplify the theme of the destructiveness of war. To begin, Remarque employs images of water to demonstrate the destructiveness of combat. For example, as he recognizes the uncertain feeling of claustrophobia setting in Paul describes how he, “views the front as a mysterious whirlpool.
‘Explore the ways in which truths are revealed to Thomas in Tears’ Throughout the poem ‘Tears’ many truths are revealed to Thomas and by the selection of language it can be recognized that they are harsh truths that pain Thomas especially in his depressed state. He watches the scene of the soldiers on the parade helplessly as he is haunted by the past which is highlighted when he says ‘if tears have ghosts’. The poem is nostalgic but I think serves as an inner debate for Thomas on whether to enlist or not. The first half of the poem persuades more towards not enlisting as Thomas describes the war as animalistic as he refers to the soldiers as ‘hounds’ who are ‘upon the scent’; signifying that the soldiers are simply trained like dogs who have no idea of their wrongdoings perhaps unearthing the question of the soldiers’ innocence. I think this is further emphasised when Thomas describes them as ‘Fair-haired and ruddy’ giving the reader an image of youth that is forgotten ‘since their beauty passed’ indicating that Thomas is certain the soldiers will die.
Owen’s own experience of war was that he was a soldier who suffered shell shock after being attacked in France, and in contrast is the propaganda poets like Jessie Pope, he wanted to show the brutality and reality of war in his poem. In this poem Owen expresses his sympathy for the disabled soldier however also his anger for the young lives that have been wasted in the war. Owen is writing about a young man who has returned home from war and he is confined to a wheelchair and “waiting for dark”. This conveys that the soldier does not have anything positive to look forward to – only the arrival of the end of the day when he can go to bed, or perhaps he is waiting for his death. The soldier is listening to the children playing; “Voices of play and pleasures”.