All Quiet on the Western Front Essay

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All Quiet on the Western Front Essay Choose a novel which explores in an effective way a theme which is important to you. Explain how the novelist introduces and develops the theme and show to what extent he/she effectively engaged your interest in it. “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque is a novel which tells the reality of World War 1. The novel is told in first person from the perspective of a German soldier called Paul Baumer, and reveals the true horrors of war as well as both the mental and physical effects it has on soldiers that society was unaware of at that time. 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. The narrative style is important as the first person of Paul allows us to see things from his point of view, enabling the reader to identify with a single eye witness account.
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