All Quiet on the Western Front-Personal Response

 All Quiet on the Western Front is a novel by Erich Maria Remarque is put in the perspective of a young German solider named Paul Bäumer who fought in trench-warfare along with his friends Stanislaus Katczinsky, Albert Kropp, Müller, Tjaden, Franz Kemmerich, Joseph Behm, Detering, Leer, Haie Westhus and Mittelstaedt. Paul and his friends seem likeable but there is nothing special or unusual about them, they are ordinary men that unfortunately got themselves fighting a war which introduced trauma to them. “We are so completely played out that in spite of our great hunger we do not think of the provisions. Then gradually we become something like men again.” “pp” 117-118. The plot of the story made sense, explaining the point of view of First-Person view of Paul plus the horrors and brutal events him and many other German soldiers had to or go through during trench-warfare and how they were scared because they could be killed anywhere at any time. Though the point of novel was to humanize people in the war and show that they are not monsters, it was not enjoyable to read due to the gruesome and graphic events occurring throughout the book.  

 

The poetry and tone in the novel are set in a depressed tone. It is easy to come across sad poetry reading the book. Getting increasingly more involved with the book makes me understand it was not made in a happy manner “It is very queer that the unhappiness of the word is so often brought on by small men.” “p” 10 and “We were all at once terribly alone; and alone we must see it through.” “p” 13. Me personally the book is formal, I do not understand many words in the novel without searching them up, complex sentences must be explained by someone for me to understand and slangs that I have never heard of “benediction” pg.118, “requisition” “p” 2 and “emaciated” “p” 280. The location Paul was fighting in made me imagine a land destroyed by bullets, shells, fire, and bombs. The part that got me thinking was “I raise one hand, I must show him that I want to help him, I stroke his forehead. The eyes shrink back as the hand comes, then they lose their stare, the eyelids droop lower, the tension is past. I open his collar and place his head more comfortably. His mouth stands half open, it tries to form words. The lips are dry. My water bottle is not there. I have not brought it with me. But there is water in the mud, down at the bottom of the crater. I climb down, take out my handkerchief, spread it out, push it under and scoop up the yellow water that strains through into the hollow of my hand. He gulps it down. I fetch some more. Then I unbutton his tunic in order to bandage him if it is possible.” “pp” 219-220.  I imagine a good man helping a man in need who was stabbed and in pain. 

 

Fortunately, I do not have to worry about having to go to war and experiencing similar things as the soldiers in the novel because I am not obligated to. I am capable of walking around without bullets constantly being shot, bombs are not going off and people are not trying to kill each other. “Müller is dead. Someone shot him point-blank in the stomach with a Verey light. He lived for half an hour, quite conscious, and in terrible pain.” “p” 279. I have not yet had a friend killed in British Colombia by a bullet; it shows how lucky we are that guns are prohibited; I know I can walk down a street without worrying that I will be shot. Paul and I are two separate types of people; all my friends are alive and all of Paul’s were killed in the war along with him. Paul is constantly anxious that he may be killed at any moment while I can have other things on my mind and not worry about that. We are fragile humans, for hundreds of year guns have killed millions of people and they still are not banned. It Shows how ignorant we are when it comes down to simple things. 

 

 

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