Books and Movies Reviews

All Quiet on the western front

Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front, a novel set
in World War I, centers around the changes brought by
the war onto one young German soldier. During his time
in the war, Remarque's protagonist, Paul Baumer,
changes from a rather innocent romantic young man to a
hardened and somewhat caustic veteran. The story also
focuses on the lives of Baumer's comrades. They all
begin by patriotically marching off to join the army.
However, their visions of the glories of war are soon
swept away with horror as true friends die in the
battlefield. The soldiers go in fresh from school,
knowing nothing except the environment of hopeful
youth. At nineteen and twenty, they come to a
premature and distorted maturity with the war…their
only home. Throughout the length of the novel, Paul
learns of the hardship war brings. He learns the
destructiveness of war.
During the course of his experience with war, Baumer
disaffiliates himself from those societal icons–parents,
elders, school, and religion–that had been the
foundation of his pre-enlistment days, in order to
mature. His new society, then, becomes the company,
his fellow trench soldiers. They are a group who
understands the truth as Baumer has experienced it. A
period of leave when he visits his hometown is
disastrous for Baumer because he realizes that he can
not communicate with the people on the home front. His
military experiences and the home front settlers'
limited, or nonexistent, understanding of the war do not
allow for a di…

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