All Quiet on the Western Front Comparison Essay

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Alexander Walter Horst Period: 1 5/20/14 Oblivion WWI originally became known as the war to end all wars, however quite the opposite was transpired as only newfound tensions arose from this four-year long death bath. With innovations leading to deadlier weapons, the new style of war became the most deadliest of the time, and left an entire generation of young men destroyed, distraught, and traumatized by the experiences they were forced to endure. In the novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, written by Erich Maria Remarque and Wilfred Owen’s poems “Arms and the Boy” and “Dulce ET Decorum EST”, the absolute arbitrariness and irrationalness of war becomes apparent. War became a force imposed on the youthful men of the homeland, able to conquer them and shape them into an animalistic form, as they desperately fight for their comrades’ survival. Initially, having been convinced that war is a glorious act of patriotism, the writers felt downright betrayed by the previous generation, once coming to the haunting realization that war is the opposite of what had been conveyed to them. For example in All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul’s teacher, Kantorek, represents this despised upon generation as he goes to great extent to intensely convince the whole class to go to war until finally they succumbed to “under his shepherding” (11). The generation that Kantorek represents had a misleading portrayal of war, as Germany had not gone to war during their youth and therefor they had no clue of what consequences their greedy and impulsive decisions would bring about on these shapeable young men. This misconception proved to be lethal as it created the all-popular vibe that war is a glorious event that always leads to better futures. In addition, in the poem “Arms and the Boy”, Owen describes an omniscient group who “let the boy try along this bayonet-blade” (line 1).
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