All Quiet on the Western Front Essay

1513 WordsMay 18, 20137 Pages
Through the construction of the novel All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque has created a very effective anti-war novel. Through the construction of the novel All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque has created a very effective anti-war novel. It is not a story of bravery, and as the book states at the start, it is ‘intended neither as an accusation nor as a confession, but simply as an attempt to give an account of a generation who did not know what they were fighting for and how so many young men were destroyed by the war. The story is told in the 1st person for maximum impact through the eyes of Paul Baumer who describes the hardships endured during the war such as the harsh conditions, the futility for the reasons behind the fighting, the emotions towards the enemy, the killing of innocent young boys and animals, the disconnect with their own families, and the realisation that their lives would never be the same again. 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. ‘They were helpless and go down like flies (pg 93). The young recruits are not trained well enough to know what to do and ‘to every one old soldier, between five and ten of the recruits are killed’ (pg 94). Like the horses, what have these young recruits

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