Books and Movies Reviews

All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front is a war novel written by Erich Maria Remarque. Being a World War I veteran himself, Remarque was able to write the book from the soldier’s point of view. In writing the novel from afirst-hand perspective, Remarque was able to fully portray the emotional stress felt by a soldier. He was also able to establish a strong anti-war feeling, which is evident throughout the novel. In a small paragraph before chapter one, Remarque wrote that the novel “will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped the shells, were destroyed by the war.” This small paragraph is very powerful, in that it establishes that Remarque didn’t write the novel to portray glory, but to tell the truth. After reading this quote, the reader would not look at death during a battle as glorious way of protecting one’s country, but as a senseless waste of human life. One of the times this theme appears in the novel is with the death of Kemmerich. This section shows the cruel and merciless deaths that war brings about, and the effect it has on fellow soldiers. The way the novel is written, it starts with death in this scene and ends with the death of Paul B?umer. The effect of having the book start and end with death is one of the ways that effectively entrenches the anti-war feeling into the reader’s mind. Another way Remarque depicts the senslessness of war is when a group of soldiers converse about the fact that there are a select few people, such as emperors and generals, that actually profit from war. The other point they made was that most people would not fight in the war, and that nobody would really benefit from the cruel deaths of young men.

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