Create a new account

It's simple, and free.

ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT

ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT

World War I was called "The war to end all wars". Of course, today we know differently. What makes this German anti-=war novel so powerful is that it may well be one of the only books to look at the ordinary German soldier fighting in the trenches. Fighting and dying for a cause few understood. However, this book is not so much about battles won or lost, but about those who survived and the psychological impact on their post-war lives. "It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war" is how Remarque saw the purpose of his novel.

While the author may feel his book is not political nor an accusation of the older generation, the fact remains that the major characters in the book are like puppets, in the sense that they get orders to be carried out, often by far distant officials and officers who play with maps while their soldiers face death and injuries in the trenches. We get the sense that it is the older generation who pushed young men into service. Kantorek, Paul Baumer's professor, urged his young students to be patriotic and enlist. The very idea of fighting for patriotism is denounced by Remarque, because the one student who hesitated before enlisting was the first to die. Patriotism, after reading the novel, is such a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is almost a sin to be unpatriotic. On the other, patriotism can be a deadly feeling: going to war to defend one's nation against what the government considers an enemy. Can this novel be considered political? Obviously, the Nazis thought so, since the first banned and then burned copies of this book in the 1930s. Wars are created by governments made up of elderly politicians. They are fought by the sons and daughters of the government's generation. Often, these are ordinary men who are in the trenches. There is a current simile in Michael Moore...

Page 1 of 3 Next >

More on ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT...

Loading...
APA     MLA     Chicago
ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 16:35, March 20, 2019, from https://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1706471.html