Soldiers frequently got injured and lots of them died in battles or of illness in the deplorable conditions of the army. The poem is indignantly ironic about the war and emphasizes the bitter aftermath. 'The Soldier' focuses on the glory of sacrifice for one’s country, not mentioning the process of sacrifice, i.e. being injured and dying. Brooke writes about the dead soldier instead of one that has survived.
In his preface to the novel, Remarque maintains that "a generation of men ... were destroyed by the war" (Remarque, All Quiet Preface). Baumer's closest comrades fall one after the other. The conditions in the German army are to harsh, they have no food, ammunition, moral is low they could not keep fighting. An important episode in the novel is when Baumer is issued a period of leave when he visits his home town. This leave is disastrous for Baumer because he realizes that he can not communicate with the people on the home front because of his military experiences and their limited, or nonexistent, understanding of the war.
That is, if they survived. This book focuses mainly on a specific group of young men that voluntarily enlist. The young men were recruited right out of high school so they have experienced little and have much to learn. These men didn't realize it then, but the transition from a carefree high school student to a soldier on the western front was going to be painfully difficult. They are told to forget about everything and focus solely on being a soldier.
While many people would be discouraged by the title of the class alone, I was intrigued and immediately signed up. I will forever remembered the line he introduced the class with, "Welcome to Science Fiction & Horror. If you are easily confused or disgusted, you should get the f**k out of this class. S**t gets real in this class, so buckle up." Completely stunned by the first words coming out of this new, intimidating teacher, I was excited for an English class for the first time.
For instance, after he is relieved from frontline duty, Paul gains a deep reverence for the natural world around him: “We hear the muffled rumble of the front only as very distant thunder, bumblebees droning by quite drown it. Around us stretches the flowery meadow. The grasses sway their tall spears; the white butterflies flutter around and float on the soft warm wind of the late summer” (9). The beauty of this sense of f life is even more outstanding because it is the opposite to the death and bloodshed of war. The soldiers then develop an appreciation for the world, which
There are many tragedies in war but one of the worst is that people with power in wartime situations abuse their power. People who abuse their power demonstrate a central theme in All Quiet on the Western Front because there are several characters that show these traits. Himmelstoss is an excellent example of this and so is the foolish doctor who operates on men’s feet. Lastly, Middelstadt is also a valid example because he abused his power by playing around with Kantorek for his own amusement and pleasure. Corporal Himmelstoss abused his power by forcing Paul and his friends to continually do pointless drills.
Remarque uses one of the earlier scenes of the innocent dying horses as a symbol of the loss of innocent young men who were torn away from their families. ‘The belly of one of the horses has been ripped open and its guts are trailing out’ (pg 45). Baumer describes the scene of the dying screaming horses in pain and fear, ‘we can stand a lot, but this brings us out in a cold sweat’ (pg 45). Detering who was a farmer back home states ‘what have they done to deserve that’ (pg 45) and ‘it is the most despicable thing of all to drag animals into a war’ (pg 45). When they started to run out of the older boys, they started bringing in younger and younger recruits.
Even thought some soldiers survived the shellings and gas, they were still destroyed by the war. Many men were destroyed by the war mentally. The Soldiers that survived the war and came home almost all had PTSD and were mentally ill from what they had seen or experienced. (Chapter 5, pg.87) "The war has ruined us for everything” This quote means that what they have seen and done in the war has transformed them into only being able to think of and understand the life of war. War becomes what they live and breath and cannot comprehend with other jobs that do not relate to war and the horrifying killing that they were trained to do.
He tells how they sit around in the mess hall and wait for their rations and on a good day such as in the beginning of the novel got double rations because half the troops died on the front that day(from the novel All Quiet on the Western Front). He also shows it by how they hang around the base and mess around with each other and just take a break and relax from the war and its struggles. Remarque shows he really knows what it’s like and makes you feel like your right there with Paul and the guys throughout the entire novel. When he describes the scenes where they are on the front it makes you feel like you are right there on the front and defending your country and mainly your life because no matter what you are trying to stay alive through all the pain and suffering of being out there laying your life on the line. During the novel Remarque talks about the truly worst part of life, war.