All Quiet on the Western Front

473 Words2 Pages
In the novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque creates an anti war perception. Remarque served on the Western Front during the war, when he was drafted at age 18 in the German Army. HE was later wounded in the war by shrapnel and recovered at an army hospital in Germany until the end of the war. Because of his firsthand experience in WWI, he adds a real aspect to the novel. Although most war novels are filled with patriotism and honor, Remarque’s instead focuses on the brutality and senselessness of war. The main character, Paul Baumer, serves in the German Army during WWI. The novel shows his struggles throughout the war and it seems that Baumer resembles Remarque and his own struggles of war. In the novel, Baumer and his comrades endure a full scale war. The novel shoes the misery of war and the everlasting effects it has on the soldiers; even Baumer cannot escape those circumstances. Before the war Baumer was a nice, empathetic, and gentle person but the war has him almost disconnected from his feelings. He becomes numb to the evil surrounding him. His friends are quickly lost to the cruelty and horror of war. Some died a quick death while others died a slow, painful death, showing the reality of war. Paul and his friends have realized that the ideals of patriotism are hollow. They no longer believe that war is honorable. The reality of war becomes evident to Paul when he kills the French soldier, Gerard Duval, in his first face-to-face combat. He is distraught to kill a man that he finds out has a wife and child. This brings the realization to Paul of the total senselessness of war. Baumer’s narrative of war is not romantic, but ugly. By late 1918, Paul is still alive but his friends are dead. The rumor was that the Germans would surrender soon. For Paul, war was all he knew. It has been his life, and now he wonders what he will do after
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