Book Report All Quiet on the Western Front

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The book “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque is a novel which although very profound and harrowing, depicts the story of a young German soldier, Paul Baumer, during World War I. The novel was written to reflect the horrific nature of war, and to illustrate some of the effects which it has on individuals who are embroiled in it. The novel illustrates the process of war through the eyes of a young man, who initially believes, along with his friends, that war is a glorious conflict however this viewpoint begins to change during the course of the novel. This paper has been written to provide a comprehensive critique of the book and to demonstrate an understanding of whether the writer succeeded in their aims, and it will also present a thesis about the book. The thesis which will be investigated and illustrated is how Paul Baumer is representative of the Lost Generation, and that his character development throughout the book reflects this change in attitudes towards war of the young men who went to fight in World War I. This thesis can be seen in one of the fist lines of the book, which states that the book “will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped its shells, were destroyed by the war” (Remarque). The plot of the book is relatively straight forward in that it follows this small group of young soldiers from their initial impressions of the war, through their changing opinion on what is happening, until the end of the war when there is no one left. The book begins with a small group of young men including the protagonist Paul Baumer who have been persuaded to join the military through the use of patriotic sentiment, and through a sense of duty and honor to fight for their country. Their initial impressions of training do not reflect any of the real horror of war, indeed when told to use communal
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