All Quiet On The Western Front

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English 2 H, P. 4 20 January 2012 War’s warping ways: Analysis of Remarque's Use of Imagery to Demonstrate the Destructiveness of War in His Novel, All Quiet on the Western Front George McGovern opines, “I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.” Young men’s lives forever change by entering battles which they do not comprehend. Older men who declare war easily sacrifice innocent lives. Similarly, in Erich Maria Remarque’s novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, nineteen year old Paul Baumer departs for the German Army. He becomes a victim of war, sentenced to death by government officials who persuade him and many other young men into fighting battles for their own essential needs. 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. Though [he is] in the still water far away from its center, [he] feels the whirl of the vortex sucking him in slowly, irresistibly, inescapably into itself” (Remarque 55). Drawn into the vortex of the front, Paul and his fellow powerless soldiers remain in the center of the war’s front lines. Although when distant from the war’s center, Paul can still sense its forceful gravity waiting to pull him back to its vortex, further highlighting how men never ultimately escape war and its’ turmoil and death. This whirlpool consumes all
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