This weekend I went to Downton, with a friend who was very excited to see the Christmas decorations. We took the opportunity and made a few necessary purchases that we both had pending.
Downton was crowded, there were many more tourists than we expected. Nevertheless, we were able to buy everything we needed without any problem.
In this comparison, we will focus on 2 texts and 1 film, these are “All Quiet On The Western Front”, “Soldier ‘s Home” and “They Shall Not Grow Old”. It is clear that the film, apart from being something much more visual and aggressive, is made for an adult audience. In this film they show us how the war was seen and how life was like from a trench, they also explained all the brutalities and nightmares that are lived in the war. This is all very similar to the book “All Quiet On The Western Front”. One of the biggest similarities between these two works is the way they depict and explain the war. All the disgusting and terrifying tasks and actions they had to do, whether it was wallowing in excrement or killing a badly wounded person, etc… These are things that the two stories also have in common.All this, in comparison with the last text “Soldier ‘s Home” has nothing to do, since in this last text the war is not described as much as in the previous cases, and much less gives that amount of details. Instead of all that here it explains the life of the soldiers after the war (Krebs as the main character).
The book “The Pearl” written by John Steinbeck, is about a very small family of 3 members; Kino, Juana and their little son Coyotito. This family is poor and one day their son Coyotito falls ill, so they are forced to work more than they should. This couple works as pearl diggers.
“What’s wrong? -asked the doctor.
-An Indian with a creature. He says he’s been stung by a scorpion. – says a boy.
The doctor lowered the cup carefully before letting his anger loose.
-I have nothing to do but treat insect bites on Indians? I’m a doctor, not a veterinarian.
-Yes, master,” said the servant.
-Have you any money? -asked the doctor.
-No, they never have any money,” said a man.
-Do you have money to pay for the treatment?” (p. 7)
Regardless of whether this person has the money or not, the way to treat them just because of their origin makes no sense. Discrimination against First Nations people was absurd and senseless.
Once we have read both stories (Soldiers home and All quiet on the western front), and we have all the aspects in which they are similar, and the aspects in which they are differences between the two protagonists; Paul and Krab.
The first thing that can be appreciated as similarity is that both stories talk and deal with the war and the experiences of soldiers in it.
Between these two main characters there are similarities and differences, but let’s start with the similarities. The two main characters in each story are part of their respective armies. Something they both have in common, and almost all soldiers who have gone to war is the fact that they don’t want to remember it for anything in the world, they both have traumas and nightmares about it, neither of them want to remember the subject and try to avoid it. Just thinking about her scares them and they don’t want to go back there.
Now I will talk about the differences between the protagonists of these stories. Although both were in the army they are not in the same combat sector, since Paul enlisted for the common army and Krab is in the marines. Apart from this difference, they also did not belong to the same side and therefore not to the same army either. Krab was on the American side as a marine, while Paul was in the German common army. But definitely the biggest difference is the ending that each character has, as Paul dies in the war while Krab manages to stay alive and survive.
The novel I am going to write my personal response about is “All quiet on the western front”, written by Erich Maria Remarque. This novel provides us with a side of the War that is not usually taught in books, specifically World War I. This is because this novel doesn’t focus on highlighting things like the typical fearful soldier. This is because this novel does not focus on highlighting things like the typical fearless soldier who made history or the classic heroism of battles. Rather, it talks about the realistic aspects of war, the traumas, the nightmares, the fears that war leaves in a person who will never be the same again.
I would like to quote a short text by Paul in chapter 3 “There is no escape anywhere. By the light of the shells I try to get a view of the fields. They are surging sea, daggers of flame from the explosions leap up like fountains. It is impossible for anyone to break through this.” (p. 66) This part shows a situation in which there is apparently no escape from death, which shows us that soldiers also go through moments in which survival is not an option, and this kind of approach to war is not very common in books and novels that talk about it.
Moreover, because of situations like the ones just mentioned the soldiers end up convincing each other that the only task they can and have to do is to kill and survive. Unconsciously, because of the experiences, the way they teach and raise the soldiers to think and work, innocent people who had no need to die or kill or hate, end up hating, killing and dying because of two powerful and cowardly people who to solve a disagreement of ideas use armies formed by innocent, empty, terrified and traumatized people. And all those deaths and lifelong traumas only serve to fix the personal dilemmas of two cowards.
And it is mainly because of this that I firmly believe that the point of view of this novel is unique and peculiar since it is not usual to write or at least publish the truth and all the points of view about a real war.
Hi, my name is Mateo Martínez and I’m from Spain. I was born in Barcelona but I moved to Madrid when I was 3 years old. I like so many sports, but the sports I like most are; soccer, volleyball, athletics and working out. I’d like to improve my English level and my athletic skills.