Thursday, March 10, 2011

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

All Quiet on the Western Front is a very famous World War I novel told through the eyes of one who, as Americans, we relate to very little: a German Soldier. This soldier, Paul Baumer, signed up along with his classmates to fight in this Great War for their country and the excitement of war. However, the excitement and pride wore off very quickly. Early on in the story one of their classmates die because of battle wounds. Beyond vast casualties and death, the unfortunate young men also face food shortage, disease, pesky rats, poison gas, and shrapnel as they go days at a time stuck in a trench surrounded by gunfire, explosions, and a landscape that resembles the surface of a baron planet. Many of the soldiers also experience insanity as they attempt to survive their day-to-day duties. The men, of course, lose most of their fighting spirit thanks to these conditions and struggle to find justification for fighting against the allied soldiers. At one point, Paul and some of his close friends sneak off their base and spend the night with a few French girls (enemy women). Paul displays his own lack of nationalism when he pledges to send a letter of apology to the family of a French man he killed. As the purpose of the story was to make known the horrors men experience in war and the cruelty of it overall, Remarque tells us in the last paragraph of the book how Paul eventually died in battle with a calmness on his face, as if he was relieved that he had finally died.

1. In All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul stresses how close he is to his classmate friends that he fights with alongside in the terrible war conditions. He goes as far as to say that they are closer that lovers. Why do you think that is?

2. Remarque wrote this book to unveil the horror that is war and protest against it. Do you think war can ever be eliminated from human interaction?

7 comments:

Laura P 7-8 said...

2.) Maybe in a prefect world, war could be eliminated. However, I believe that war will be around for a long time. People of different cultures are not going to agree on certain issues and when they see others as a threat, war shortly follows.

Ashlyn W. 7-8 said...

2) I don't believe war can be eliminated. Everyone will always be fighting because we don't live in a perfect world.

Brandon M. 1-2 said...

Well Laura, I have to say that I agree with you that eliminating war is a long-shot but still possible. The way I see it, all different races and cultures are slowly merging together within a world united by new communication and transportation. Eventually, everyone will be the same. No wars, but how exciting is that? (please note that I don't actually believe that this can happen, I just think its a valid point of hypothetical interest)

Morgan O 7-8 said...

2) I wish I could say yes, but I have to agree with Ashlyn. People don't think in the same way and they all have different ways of viewing society. The world cannot please everyone all and once. Therefore, unfortunately, war will never be completely eliminated from human interaction.

Adam B. 7-8 said...

2) I don't think that war can ever be completly eliminated because there will always be major conflicts and there are always people that feel that war is the answer.

Jacob C. 1-2 said...

1. In war, many soldiers feel a brotherhood like trust. The trust is so great that they love each other like family.

2. Humans will always be at war. It has always happened, and it always will continue to happen. It's part of human nature.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

Thread graded.