Books and Movies Reviews

All quiet on the western front

Life is a coming-of-age story. Whether a person takes life as a human, character or an animal, they all have a history full of their own unique events. The events focus on the four stages of the journey; innocence, initiation, chaos, and resolution. In the novel All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque, the theme masks that of a coming-of-age story. Through the eyes of the reader, his life can be seen as a coming-of age story.Each stage is shown throughout the novel, and appears more than once. Because the setting is during war, the reader will notice the repetitiveness of many stages. Through Paul Baumers experiences in WWI, the theme of coming-of-age is observed in his stages on the journey; innocence, initiation, chaos, and resolution.
Thefirst stage of the journey is innocence. In this stage, most people were serene, peaceful and lived happy lives. Paul Baumer lived in a world of innocence. At school, their teacher Kantorek would reference to their innocence by calling the "iron youth….we stood on the threshold of life, we had yet taken no root." (All Quiet on the Western Front, 20) Upon closer analysis of this quote, Kantorek realized that the young men were just beginning their life. They had not settled down and did not know which path they wanted to take. Paul Baumer and his friends are only nineteen years of age, and have been pulled from the only things they have, their families. This realization of loss of family and friends is the green light for the next stage of the journey.
While in the innocence stage, events have little meaning of emotions to them. However, once in the initiation stage events produce emotion and awareness that are recognized. The occurrence of WWI in the novel created emotional responses of Paul and his friends. Paul realizes the evil he is facing when he says, "It is strange to see these enemies of ours so close up…broad hands, and thick hair." (190) …


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