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All Quiet On The Western Front, By Erich Maria Remarque

1066 words - 5 pages

 “All Quiet on the Western Front” is a novel written by Erich Maria Remarque.  It is a war novel that tells the story of a young man and his experiences in combat during World War I.  The title of the novel roots from a phrase used to describe the silence between shellings and infantry attacks during the battles fought on the western front ( Text, 895 ).  Although World War I was a very real event, the testaments of the main character in “All Quiet on the Western Front” is purely fictional, but they are based on the accounts of veterans of the war.
 In order to understand most of the events that took place in the novel it is essential to understand how the war ...view middle of the document...

  It was taught to young minds that it was their obligation to protect and to die for their country if they loved their nation and their people.
 As the novel goes on, it depicts scenes of combat that Paul lives through.  It describes the type of warfare that is used and the thoughts that run through Pauls’ mind as he sits in the trench hoping he doesn’t die.  As Paul and the other soldiers move closer to the front, their chances for survival become slimmer.  The front that is referred to, is in Belgium, and it is the boundary that the Germans were invading.  The French and British were attempting to  get the Germans out of Belgium and this is where the fighting that Paul engages in and witnesses takes place.  By the sixth chapter of “All Quiet on the Western Front”, Paul has reached the front.  He describes it as being “...a cage in which we must await fearfully whatever may happen...and live in a suspense of uncertainty” ( pg. 101 ).  His description of his time in the trench evokes emotion in the reader, in that they can get a feel for the kind of trauma one endures in that situation.
 The death toll resulting from the battles on the western front was enormous for both sides.  Germans would advance through the French lines of defense but the French would hold their positions and slaughter Germans on a massive scale.  Both offensive strategies and defense plans on behalf of both the French and the Germans, were often ineffective, resulting in casualties and injury.  A lot of these strategies and tactics are described in the novel.  Trench warfare is illustrated as Paul describes his narrow escape from death when a shell lands in the trench he is in (pg. 106).  This back and forth killing ended up as a stalemate that had a death toll of millions.
   “All Quiet on the Western Front” also portrays the use of the new weapons, never before used in any previous wars.  New...

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