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All quiet on the western front

The novel All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque describes the psychological and physical battles of young soldiers such as the main character Paul Baumer who was pressured by the spirit of nationalism and his school master into joining the German army during World War I. In the beginning the young students are glowing with enthusiasm with the honor to be trusted with serving their nation in a time of crisis. The inexperienced soldiers soon loose their innocence and eagerness as they watch the new technological capabilities of the twentieth century painfully kill their comrades one by one and in the end become weary, burnt out, rootless, and hopeless. Over time the young soldiers, through experience, begin to realize their years of schooling are completely useless in a society filled with war. They were taught the basics of the world of work, duty, culture, and progress when the only knowledge they need is how to survive. The author, through his novel All Quiet on the Western Front, attempts to portray the vivid horrors and the raw nature of war and to change the popular belief of war as an idealistic and romantic character. This is evident through the barriers placed between Paul and the relationship with his parents and the rest of society who still view war as glamorous and cherish his war stories as though he were telling them a fairy tale. The novel also attempts to explain the purposes of war and its uselessness in society. The ultimate question that Erich Remarque raises in his novel is what did a whole generation give up their lives and precious innocence to accomplish. All Quiet on the Western Front is a story not of Germans, but of men, who even though they frequently escape shells, are destroyed by the war. This novel have could easily been transformed into the tale of a Frenchmen, an Englishmen, or an American fighting in World War I. Throughout the entire novel Erich Remarque uses the characterization of ...

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