But a man gets used to that sort of thing in the army p. World War I was viewed as a new sort of war. Before World War I, wars generally did not involve nonstop fighting over a period of years.
In the past the armies mostly consisted of hired mercenaries, or professionals who fought seasonally. However, the soldiers in this novel are volunteers. For Paul and his classmates, the army has become an expression of patriotic duty; they do not perceive it as a career. Outside the classroom, young men of their age faced condemnation from society if they did not join the war effort as volunteers. This is a future they cannot imagine and dare not think about.
Paul goes home on leave and regrets what it does to his heart. As he enters his childhood town, he realizes his life will never be the same. A terrible gulf exists between his present and his past and also between himself and his parents. He sees his past, in Chapter 6, as "a vast inapprehensible melancholy.
They [memories] are past, they belong to another world that is gone from us. And even if these scenes of our youth were given back to us we would hardly know what to do. I believe we are lost. Too much has happened at the front for him to believe in human beings or compassion.
Even with his parents he realizes that life will never be the same. Paul knows his contemporaries share his feelings near the end of his story when he views the desperate and dying in the hospital: This lost generation felt a terrible sense of betrayal by their parents, teachers, and government.
As they looked around and asked "why," they focused on what they had learned at home and in school. Paul and his friends feel a terrible sense of the absurd when they see how important protocol seems to be to the older generation. The Kaiser visits and all is polished until he leaves; then the new uniforms are given back and the rags of uniforms reappear. The patriotic myths of the older generation become apparent when Paul goes home.
A sergeant-major chastises Paul for not saluting him when Paul has spent a good share of his life in the trenches killing the enemy and trying to survive. These examples of betrayal appear again and again in Remarque's novel. Parents also carry the heavy burden of the lost generation's accusation. Paul says that German parents are always ready with the word "coward" for a young person who will not join up.
He feels that parents should have been mediators and guides for Paul's friends, but they let them down. No longer can they trust their parents' generation.
He speaks of the wise but poor people in relation to their parents: They knew the war to be a misfortune, whereas those who were better off, and should have been able to see more clearly what the consequences would be, were beside themselves with joy. Teachers are also to blame. Going home, Paul hears the head-master spew empty patriotic rhetoric and argue that he knows better than Paul what is happening in the war.
Paul blames his old schoolteacher Kantorek for Joseph Behm's death, because Kantorek goaded the hapless Behm to join up. And Paul knows there are Kantoreks all over Germany lecturing their students to patriotic fervor.
Even Leer, who was so good at mathematics in school, dies of a terrible wound and Paul wonders what good his school-learned mathematics will do him now.
Paul's entire generation has a terrible feeling of betrayal when they consider military protocol, their parents, and their school teachers. Old men start the war and young men die. Whether it be this war or any war since, the agony of the fighters is echoed in Paul's words in Chapter 10, as he gazes around the hospital:.
And this is only one hospital, one single station; there are hundreds of thousands in Germany, hundreds of thousands in France, hundreds of thousands in Russia. How senseless is everything that can ever be written, or done, or thought, when such things are possible.
It must be all lies and of no account when the culture of a thousand years could not prevent this stream of blood being poured out, these torture-chambers in their hundreds of thousands.
A hospital alone shows what war is. Paul and his friends become so inured to death and horror all around them that the inhumanity and atrocities of war become part of everyday life. The fact that half of his company was killed is related in a way that is very casual.
Almost, a look on the bright side, we get more food. When Paul and his fellow soldiers go to see Kemmerich they discuss what is going to happen to his boots because they know that he is not going to live. Muller even matches them to his shoe size. Kemmerich has had one leg amputated, is dying, and will have no need for them any longer. It is a serious novel and it is expressed at the outset. Paul and his fellow soldiers live day-to-day dodging bullets and trying to stay alive.
All Quiet on the Western Front is a serious novel, not for entertainment, but through the characters that Remarque introduces, the tragedies and realities of war are learned.
All Quiet on the Western Front shows the change in attitudes of men before and after the war. The novel portrays the effects that war has on the individual. Each aspect of the novel is addressed in the opening chapter of the book. The introduction of the characters is presented in such a way as to connect the reader to the personalities of this group of young men who volunteered as innocent people and turn into soldiers who struggle each day to survive.
The horrifying truths of war are related in this novel and presented right away to the reader, along with the seriousness of battle in the opening chapter. The author attacks those individuals who rally around country and patriotism with their words, but do not have to engage in the war that these young men experienced first hand.
The significance of the opening chapter is apparent through the narration of Paul Baumer as he sets the tone, and lays out the theme intended by the author Erich Remarque. You can also order a custom research paper, term paper, thesis, dissertation or essay on All Quiet on the Western Front from our professional custom writing service which provides students with high-quality custom written papers.
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- Essay: All Quiet on the Western Front An anti-war novel often portrays many of the bad aspects and consequences of war. Erich Remarques All Quiet on the Western Front is a novel set in the First World War that is against war. Remarque describes the terrible reality of .
Join Now Log in Home Literature Essays All Quiet on the Western Front All Quiet on the Western Front Essays The Glory of War is the Realization That There is No Glory Anonymous All Quiet on the Western Front. World War I was a conflict fueled by territorial desires and nationalism.
All Quiet on the Western Front is a serious novel, not for entertainment, but through the characters that Remarque introduces, the tragedies and realities of war are learned. All Quiet on the Western Front shows the change in attitudes of men before and after the war. All the men are paying a price for fighting in the war. It's the hidden cost of war that will leave them changed for the rest of their lives. Paul Baumer came into this war a young innocent boy.
All Quiet on the Western Front Essay “All Quiet in the Western Front” In the movie, “All Quiet in the Western Front,” Paul is an average eighteen-year-old male who enlists in the Army and is sent to fight in WWI, which changes his views and makes him an adult. Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front is an abstruse proclamation against war, which focuses especially on the destroying effects of war on soldiers’ humanity. Romantic ideals of warfare are under attack throughout Paul’s narration.