I enjoyed the novel to a certain extent as it is not my normal type of book i usually read. What i do admire about it was the reality it shows about war rather than glamorizing it. Eric Maria Remarques states this many times but i was moved by this one quote where he states. “a man cannot realize that above such shattered bodies there are still human faces in which life goes its daily round.” This depicts that at the end of the day non of these soldiers actually wanted to be there and no matter if they were fighting enemies, in any other circumstance would they agree to kill other people because it is inhumane.
“We have lost all feeling for one another. We can hardly control ourselves when our glance lights on the form of some other man. We are insensible, dead men, who through some trick, some dreadful magic, are still able to run and kill.”
Here Paul talks about soldiers going back to their roots, going back to being animals. The fear of death, the thought of not seeing your wife and kids again, the depraved state of soldiers in a land that nothing matters but killing each other, such things make men, husbands, sons, the one thing society told them not to be, scared. Thus the only thing men think about, is surviving, everything else is erased, every other feeling is gone, the only thought is surviving, surviving in a battleground full of men with the same thought.
War is depicted as the thing that forges boys into men, an adventure with lots of risk, truth is its the exact opposite, its just a field where boys go to kill themselves. You could go as far as to say the goverment tricks boys to go fight for their country, when in reality they go fight for almost nothing at times, at times they do win ground or take cities and such, but we are talking about 18-21 boys that just started living. A good example is Pauls brigade, a 150 men company, only 8 making it out alive, it is truly an awful world we live in.