PR #3 – Soldier’s Home

Ernest Hemingway’s Soldier’s Home is a thought-provoking narrative which delves into the life of a young soldier upon returning from war. It explores the struggles and psychological difficulties that soldiers face when transitioning back to civilian life. Harold Krebs is portrayed as this detached, unemotional character, as seen on the last page, where he talks to his sister and mother, unaffected by his mother crying. This goes to show the sheer impact that war has on people and that trauma seriously impacts quality of life on the world as a whole, as it impairs him from properly communicating with those around him and picking up on certain social cues.

PR#2 – All Quiet On The Western Front – Hurt People, Hurt People

“Hurt people, Hurt people” is a quote my father often refers to in hard times. It means that often when humans are hurting, usually meaning mentally hurting, we have tendencies to turn to others and take out our pain and anger on them. This can result in people being extremely angry and spreading that on, which in this case can lead to war.

The novel “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque explores the topic of hurt in several ways. in the novel, the characters experience physical and emotional hurt in the harsh environment of the front.

In the novel, the young soldiers like Paul Baumer and his friends are put in extreme physical and emotional pain because of the brutality of the war. They witness the deaths of their friends and endure the constant fear and stress of combat. These experiences can leave deep scars and I believe they were extremely transformed by these happenings.

As a result of the trauma and suffering they endure, the soldiers become almost immune to violence and emotions. They are also hardened and less empathetic, as they need to adapt to the harsh ways of the battlefield to survive. This emotional transformation can lead them to hurt others, both during combat and in the way they interact with people after the war.

Before you choose to retaliate to someone making your life difficult, consider the hurt they could be going through below the surface.


PR All Quiet on the Western Front

All quiet on the western front was the most surprising pieces of war media that I have ever experienced. I’ve only ever read one other war book, but I have seen lots of movies and shows based in war and I could immediately tell how this book is a stark contrast to other pieces of war media in the genre. Many different aspects of the book that stuck out to me as unique, but I think the most striking part was the protagonist’s (Paul) tone throughout the book. In these other pieces of media that highlight war, the narrator will often romanticize or glamorize the war and talk very emotionally and at length about various different events that occur throughout. Erich Maria Remarque takes a different approach, writing Paul to have a very monotone voice throughout the book, providing a more grounded perspective on the war which is a breath of fresh air from other war books. The author writes in a way that I very much enjoy, he writes in such a minimal way with no flair that a lot of the surrounding carnage of the war can be left up to the imagination of the reader, giving it a more personal connection which I quite enjoyed while reading the book. One example of this I can think of is the multiple times in class when we spoke about the chapters and what we thought about them, there would always be discussions about different little ways we perceive the book, even with big plot points such as pauls death at the end we still took away different thoughts and disagreed, even though we were reading the same text. This applies to all books of course and is one of the reasons that books are so beloved, but I believe that All Quiet On The Western Front plays into this beautifully with the special way its written, and its monotone tone, which is unique especially for a war book from the 20th century.

PR #2 “All quiet on the western front”

“All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque is a book that left an impact on me. It’s a powerful exploration of the horrors of World War I, as seen through the eyes of a young German soldier, Paul Bäumer. It really moved me how this book portrays the horrors of war and everything that happened.
It shows how the friendships among soldiers is one of the few things that can keep them going in the face of overwhelming fear, suffering, and loss. It describes the mental and emotional toll that the constant exposure to death and violence takes on these young men.

Paul Bäumer’s journey from an eager, idealistic young man to a cold, disillusioned soldier is very sad. We witness his transformation as he comes face to face with war, the absurdity of authority figures, and the difference from a civilian world that cannot comprehend the horrors he has experienced.
“All Quiet on the Western Front” serves as a reminder of the impact of war on the lives of individuals and on society as a whole. It’s a testament to the people and the resilience of those who endure hardships. It also compels us to reflect on the consequences of our choices and the responsibility of nations to avoid war.

In summary, this book left me deeply moved. It is a haunting and timeless work that offers a window into the experiences of those who have lived through the horrors of war. “All Quiet on the Western Front” is a reminder of the human cost of conflict and a plea for peace and understanding in a world that continues to be controlled by war.

Personal Responses to All Quiet in the Western Front

My first impression to this book to be honest was not as bloody as film, but then when we went deeper we find more about the impact that the war made to these young soldiers. This book was not a book anymore but should been honored as a documentary that recorded what did the warfront look like.

My favorite character in this book was Kat because on the one hand, the experienced, cunning Kat demonstrates ways to make the most of life as a soldier, raising morale among the men and sharing tips and cook-bribing hacks that contrast with the meaningless lessons taught by the likes of Kantorek and Himmelstoss. Kat seeks ways to make war more tolerable, and to lessen the suffering of his comrades. The army, he argues, brings out the animalistic, reducing the veneer of civilization. At forty years old, Kat is older than Paul, and it’s unlikely the two would ever have met in peacetime. Kat’s life experience renders him reliable, a consummate survivor and a source of comfort to the men, and he becomes a father figure to Paul as well as his closest friend. But it’s this very experience that allows him to see modern warfare for what it is: their enemy. A cobbler by trade, Kat represents a preindustrial way of life, one which opposes the brutal hierarchies of the military.

Overall, the war was always cruel no matter the time, weapon or sizes, every soldiers and citizen of the country was innocent, the only sinners of the war is people who made decision to declare war and fire the bullets on these innocent. Such as what Kat think, the only meaning of the war in this boom was there there will be no elegant end for any of them—just more victims, unfairly slaughtered.

PR 2 # “All Quiet On The Western Front”

The novel opens as the narrator describes his current life on the front lines of World War I. They have eaten well for the first time in a long while and have also received a large amount of cigars and cigarettes. The narrator notes that this windfall of food to the fact that half of the men in his platoon were killed in combat the previous day, though they can still hear bombs from the front lines in the distance. The soldiers begin to lose track of days and weeks, counting time only by season and time spent at the front.

So for me, I do think that being in a war is dreadful because I might not get enough food or food that is delicious. And being in the horrible front line with all these barbed wire, gun fire, explosion the smell of dead and rotten bodies… oh I just don’t even want to think about it. It is just too horrible like a living hell…

I have never expected that in the last chapter everyone except Tjaden had died including our main character-Paul. I had never expected that this book was going to have a sad ending. As all of the books I have read before the main character had never died before so I was astonished by the ending of how almost everyone who was introduced and described had died. I was very depressed when I had finished the book.

After all I would recommend this book to others if they want to know the life of being in an army or people who would like to know more about World War one. But if you are the kind of person that would cry in a movie I definitely would not recommend this book.

PR “All Quiet on the Western Front”

All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque, is a novel that narrates the story of a WWI soldier named Paul Bäumer. One thing I find interesting about the author is that he was in combat during World War I himself. This could mean that the war novel he wrote was based on his experience and the things he lived on the front lines. Also, I consider that the author is a very skilled writer. He managed to describe everything in a way that the reader could feel part of the story and sense the emotions and tension of what was written.

Now, let’s talk about my thoughts on the book itself. I’m not a reader who usually reads history novels. The reason why I liked this one is because of how well-written it is. The history was narrated realistically. It described how the lifestyle of people was back in the times of WWI. It focuses on the people who were living on the front lines. The characters had interesting and relevant backgrounds for the story. This was useful to explain why the characters felt what they felt and did what they did. An example of a scene where we can appreciate the human behaviour of Paul is the one in which he kills an enemy soldier and realizes that he’s a human, a human just like him and his friends.

As soon as I finished reading the novel, I had the awful feeling of wanting a longer story. I enjoyed this book a lot. It made the study of WWI easier for me. As mentioned in the first paragraph, I’m not the kind of person who is interested in history. Somehow, this novel captured my undivided attention. I would recommend this book to my friends. It gives you an accurate idea of how terrible WWI was for everyone. WWI’s impact was so devastating that we can see it in some aspects of today’s society and lifestyle.

PR “All Quiet on the Western Front”

While I was reading “All Quiet on the Western Front” I had different emotions, and it was a different experience. this was an amazing book to read because it gives us an amazing perspective on the soldiers on World War I.

Paul, the main character, takes us on a trip that show us the awful realities of war and its significant psychological effects. The book was really difficult to read because of the representations of real horrors of war. I felt like if I was taken to the trenches because of the powerful and amazing description. The book also exposes the psychological and physical consequences that the war takes on soldiers, their loss, the insolence and the horrible impacts of combat.

Additionally, the book explores the idea solidarity and the relationships that soldiers developed the faced with suffering. Because of their common experiences, Pail ad his allies depend on one to another for supply. This showed us how how strong can friendships become in the chaos and sadness, this gives us a reminder and a lesson that the human on hard and difficult moments is super strong.

Another important thing that was on the book is the lasting effects that the survivors had, this were terrible effects shown in the book, for individuals and groups. Watching all the soldiers broken dreams was something super sad and it was an eye-opening symbol of the high human cost of war.

In conclusion, the book “All quiet on the Western Front” shows the horrific effects of war. It made me think a lotted made me see the perspective on the experiences of soldiers during World War I. This left an impact on me, forcing e to confront the realities if war and face the human spirit.


All quiet on the western front by Erich Maria Remarque is a novel telling the story of a young soldier named Paul Bäumer who’s part of the Germany army. 

This book talks about the true about the war, how cruel It can be and how there are horrendous experiences that use as an audience wouldn’t never imagined it and will shock us. 

The daily life of a German soldier fighting on the French front, all the unimaginable experiences going for the simplest as flirting with a lady to the cruelest like the lost of a dear friend without filter, without sweetener for the audience, everything write it with the harsh true. 

This book really stuck to me, the way it was written, in old words I found it hard to understand, how the author really felt the sorrows of the wars and how he could portrayed it and use as an audience share the pain with him as we read the novel. 

Is a book I will definitely never forget, that will always help me remember myself the horrors of the war. 

PR: “All Quiet on the Western Front”

All Quiet on the Western Front, written by Erich Maria Remarque, it is a powerful pacifist novel. The book talks about a German group of soldiers: Paul, Tjaden, Kat, Müller, Detering and Kropp. Paul Baümer, the protagonist (the reason the book is called All Quiet on the Western Front), reveal us the truth about war. How they confront a harsh, cruel, and murderous life. The physical and emotional effect war have on the soldier’s lives. The novel points out in an obvious manner how they become dehumanized in such innumerable ways.

As a pacifist, I was shocked while reading the pages 205-206. So shocked I know the number of the pages by heart and needed to put down the book for a while. Tjaden ask “what exactly is the war for?” Kat  doubting responds that “there must be some people to whom the war is useful”. Tjaden grins and says he is not one of them and neither are the soldiers fighting the war. Tjaden insist by asking again, for who the war is useful?… it must not be for the Kaiser because he has everything he wants. Kat answer to the question by saying that every full  grown emperor requieres at least 1 war to become a well known emperor the children learn at the school.

This is true, most of the emperors and generals are generally known because all the territory and power they achieved. It is true, there are people to whom war is useful. But, it is also true all the losses and the dehumanization society experience, and this cannot be forgotten. The importance of learn history from a more realistic and human way (not just figures of casualties)  like this novel, it is so useful to avoid repeating the same mistakes all over again.

My Personal Response All quiet on The Western Front

All quiet on the Western Front is a very good and powerful novel that had a lot of impact on me. It’s an eternal classic story of the sadness that people lived in the war and the hardest emotions that they passed.

The story is narrated by Paul Baumer, a young German soldier who is sent to the front lines during World War I. In his own brutal and bad perspective. It’s incredible how he shows the reality that he passed, and in the time of the transmit of reality of the war when he shows. Unvarnished reality of the front lines from the constant fear and violence to the environment among soldiers.

One of the aspects of the story that shocked me the most is the way it explores the laws of innocence in the form of the younger generation who where trust into the horrors of war. Paul and his colleagues are just teenagers when they are send to fight, and they quickly loose the youthful idealism as they confront the brutal truths. The novel shows the profound emotional scars of those who survived.

The book also gets deep into the absurdity of war, showing the disconnect between soldiers and the front lines and also the leaders and politicians who made decisions of the safety of their officers. Its a reminder of the humane cause of the war.

“All Quiet on the Western Front” it’s a novel that makes you reflect and catch hard emotions about war and the sacrifices made by those who serve and the profound impact of violence in humans. Its a book that serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of peace and understanding in a world makedby conflict and fight.

Personal Response: “All Quiet on the Western Front”

“All Quiet on the Western Front” it’s a powerful book that explores the harsh realities of World War I and the physical and psychological impact on soldiers.

Regarding on the physical and psychological impact that it had on the soldiers one of the most affected ones is Paul, he has to go through different chapters during the time that he was on war and ended up as a broken individual. I enjoyed a lot the way in which the author expressed how the soldiers spent their time in the trenches, how could they die at any moment and the sacrifices they made, I found it eye opening and also very shocking.

What struck me most about this book is that it serves as a reminder for all humans of the cost that war involves, it is an anti-war message and that war can lead to a lot of unstoppable destruction, death and pain.

Reading this book made me think about the broader implications of war and how it shapes not only those who fight in it but also the generations that follow. It’s a timeless story that continues to resonate today, as conflicts and the toll of war persist in the world.

In conclusion, “All Quiet on the Western Front” left me deeply move and contemplative; it is a masterpiece of the English literature that in my case it left me with a sense of empathy for the soldiers who endure the horrors of war.

PR #2: All Quiet On The Western Front- Amelie

The book All Quiet on the Western front by Eric Maria Remarque is a book that will forever stick with me throughout my life. It was things like the context and the emotions of this book. It was things like the ironic sense of reality that soldiers can be boys and death can be normalized. Even the outlook on life, which was so blunt and simplistic, was almost animalistic. It is the things that most other books do not possess are what I remember from this book.  

Today’s novels that I have read have very different outlooks on wars and their soldiers. The soldiers at war are always strong, admirably brave, smart and willing do anything for their leaders. The leaders are always smart, kind and always do the best for their country. The enemies are always evil, cunning and evenly matched with the ‘good guys’. Granted it is natural for people to fantasize things, however it put things out of context. To read the nitty-gritty experience of war from the eyes of a soldier boy was flooring. To see the soldiers be ripped of their dignity on the trench lines like the young recruit from the German trench lines. An example being in chapter four when Paul, Albert and Katczinsky were placed in the front trenches and the bombing began. The story of military glory and bravery was ripped from my mind when the reality struck me. When the young recruit literally crapped his pants and cowered in fear from the bombing. Especially when even in the stillness of the night the mad sound of horses screaming in pain could be heard. The realization that soldiers were no more than boys who had lost their way was almost humbling.   

Living in the society I live in today and seeing the ways of life presented in All Quiet on the Western Front increased the impact. To see what Paul saw as normal or everyday was bizarre and almost scary for me. I feel almost childish thinking that I fear such trivial things. One thing that especially bothered me was when Paul came home on leave. In my mind I had built up this mentality that his friends and family would rejoice in Paul’s return. I had imagined that Paul would come and never want to leave. What I would not have expected was for him to become distant and vague with his friends and family. When his mother pleaded him to tell her if he was hurt from the war, he dismissed her and told her that he was fine. But what shocked me the most was how Paul felt as if he belonged nowhere in his home. He described hometown it as foreign and the people: unfamiliar. Even trivial things like the screaming of tramcars reminded him of the shrieks of shells from the frontlines. The people I thought would be open with Paul were telling him about war. No one ever listened except for his mother who he could not even bring himself to tell the truth. 

The perspective I have now on war has changed and warped over the span of reading this book. It showed me how different life can be. How simplistic and even terrifying it can be. Even as I end this personal response and move on with my life, this book has given me a tool. A tool to look at the past and the future with a new lens. 

PR#2 All Quiet On The Western Front

“All Quiet On The Western Front” is a book about World War I. The book perspective is from Paul Bäumer. This book is filled with mixed emotions from good to bad. If I were on the front line with the fearless soldier I wouldn’t be able to move from side to side hearing those sounds of guns and shell explosions. The pain in their eyes from our minds made us feel the same way. Their brotherhood and friendship bond were the most eye-catching. How strong their communication skills were. 

I still can’t believe that it took place in an actual World War and is based on a true story. How everyone’s life just disappeared in front of them. Everyone’s life just got taken away within seconds. How the book just straight up said that “Paul died”. I wish he didn’t. I feel so connected with them like they are one of me. Feel like they are my friends. 

“He fell in October 1918, on a day that was so quiet and still on the whole front, that the army report confined itself to the single sentence: All quiet on the Western Front…(p.269)”

This quote made my heart sink to the bottom of the earth. Everything stop. My eyes started to fill with tears. One by one slide down my cheeks. Overall this novel was the most I enjoy of all the books I’ve read.

Personal Response #2 All Quiet On The Western Front

“All Quiet on the Western Front” is a book about war, specifically World War I. It tells the story of Paul Bäumer, a young german soldier. What I liked most about this book is how it shows the harsh reality of war. It doesn’t hide the brutality of it all. The author describes the fear, suffering, and death that the soldiers experience. It also shows how the soldiers find comfort in their friendships. The book explains how war affects the mental health of young men, as they lose their innocence and realize that they are just being used in a war that doesn’t make sense.

The book’s portrayal of the dehumanizing effects of war is particularly poignant, as it shows how the young soldiers are stripped of their identities and become mere cogs in the war machine. What makes this novel so powerful is its ability to convey the human cost of war, not only in terms of the physical toll but also the emotional scars that last long after the war has ended.

This book has left a lasting impact on me. It has given me a glimpse into the lives of soldiers during World War I and made me realize the devastating effects of war on young minds. The book has made me reflect on the importance of peace and has left me with a deep appreciation for the sacrifices made by soldiers. It has shown me that war is not just about winning or losing, but about the human cost of conflict. Overall, “All Quiet on the Western Front” has left me with a sense of empathy and a desire to promote peace and understanding in the world.

This book makes you think and feel deeply. It reminds us of the terrible effects of war. It is essential for anyone who wants to understand how war affects people’s minds and why peace is important.

PR #2 – All Quiet on the Western Front – Kate Homer-Dixon

All Quiet on the Western Front (1929) was written by Erich Maria Remarque, a European writer. Remarque’s novel was a very intense experience for me. I was horrified by the protagonist’s, Paul Bäumer, vivid experiences while also being completely immersed in the story. Each experience felt honest and unfiltered, with every detail acknowledged regardless of whether it was good or bad. I think this is why reading how Paul slowly succumbed to the hopelessness during World War I was so upsetting. I wanted him to keep fighting even though continuing would hurt him more than giving up.

Hope is a constant theme throughout the story. It drives every character to survive, even though a lot of them do not know exactly what it is they are hoping for. Even when Paul gets these short moments of normality, it usually leaves him feeling even more unhappy. At one point, Paul is on leave and returns to his hometown in Germany where he feels deeply disconnected from his family and past life. He observes that:

“Out there I was indifferent and often hopeless –I will never be able to be so again. I was a soldier, and now I am nothing but an agony for myself, for my mother, and for everything that is so comfortless and without end. I ought never to have come on leave.”  (p. 185)

Relieving these feelings of discontent, disconnect, and emotional agony caused Paul more pain than if he had stayed on the front lines. He has no way to manage these feelings when he needs to focus on survival at the front, so he hides them and hopes for a future that will not force him to confront the trauma he has experienced. I will probably (hopefully) never be able to fully relate to his experiences, but it is devastating to know that millions of people had to endure these experiences in a senseless war.

The feelings Paul describes appear throughout the book but never lead to anything good. The reason is a simple one: empathy is not welcome in war. If Paul felt empathy for every enemy soldier he had killed, every soldier that he watched be shot, and every soldier who he saw slowly waste away surrounded by death and disease, he would not survive. Even when Paul had to tell the mother of his close friend, Kemmerich, that her son died, he cannot empathize with her. He explains that “When a man has seen so many dead he cannot understand any longer why there should be so much anguish over a single individual.” (p. 181). This explanation is even more devastating when he tries to comfort her by lying and saying that Kemmerich died an instant and painless death. Whenever I think of this scene I think of my mother, and what would happen if I were in this position. I cannot even begin to explain how awful it would be to die away from my family, unable to comfort them or say goodbye.

Erich Maria Remarque wrote these scenes to share what many soldiers experience fighting on every side of the war. The sheer brutality, destruction, damage, and pain conveyed in this book, combined with brief moments of happiness, is what makes Remarque’s words have such a direct message: the pain and horrors of war is shared on both sides of the conflict and outlasts everyone.

PR#2 – All Quiet on the Western Front

After reading All Quiet on the Western Font, I was struck by the incredible power of war and its devastating effects on the life of the soldiers. The vivid descriptions of the trenches and the horrors of war made me feel as if I was right there in the trenches with the soldiers. I was particularly moved by the way the characters expressed their fear, loneliness and despair. I was also touched by the strong bond of friendship that the soldiers had with each other.

The fact that this story is based on real life events made it even more powerful. The death of Kemmerich, in chapter 4 was particularly heartbreaking. His death serves as a reminder of the ultimate cost of war and how quickly ones life can be taken away.

The descriptions of the physical and psychological effects of war in chapters 7 and 11 were very moving. I was particularly struck by the way the soldiers had to cope with the constant fear and exhaustion of the battle. The scenes of the soldiers’ despair and hopelessness were also very powerful.

Overall, All Quiet on the Western Front was a passionate book. It reminded me of the importance of cherishing life and the need to work for peace.


Erich Maria Remarque antiwar novel “All QUIET ON THE WESTERN Front” published in 1929. Talks about the story of Paul, a German soldier in the first World war.

I enjoyed reading the novel. Talked by a person who wasn’t so lucky in the war and died. I found also interesting how Erich Maria tells us how the protagonist dies.

    He fell in October 1918, on day that was so quiet and still on the whole front, that the army report confined itself to the single sentence: All quiet on the Western Front.                                                  He had fallen forward and lay on the earth as though sleeping. Turning Him over one saw that he could not have suffered long; his face had an expression of calm, as though almost glad the end had come. (p. 296)

Normally in novels, the main character doesn’t die.


In conclusion the Book tells a very different view of the war.


All Quiet on the western Front – #PR2

“All Quiet on the western Front” By Erich Maria Remarque is a book of high quality and interesting novel, I’d say this because it is not a basic WW1 book, I like how this book talks about the experiences effect of war in young men. In some of the chapters Erich Maria Remarque would add more feelings and physiology into the novel, which I feel other WW1 novels wouldn’t do, for example, I’d say other novels would consist of action and battles and heroic moments since the start. Thats why I enjoyed some of these chapters, because I feel it helps to understand other chapters and glorify WW1. Another thing I really enjoyed of this book was how Erich Maria Remarque, would make us get to know the characters, physically and emotionally, the author would explain in detail the personalities of the character, and their physical appearance, and after getting to know the character and empathize with them, Erich maria Remarque, would choose their fate, making the reader let go of them harshly, Making us feel how WW1 truly is.

I absolutely enjoy how the author made me empathize with characters and give me a good perspective of WW1. Some of the quotes in the books made me see how hopelessness was WW1, for example ” We loved our country as much as they; We went courageously into every action; but we also distinguished the false from Ture, we had suddenly learned to see” Personally, what I get from this quote is how soldiers realize the enemies aren’t the bad people, that there are just exactly like the rest of the soldiers.

I think this is very well written and it can lure the reader. I enjoyed how this book is, emotional and touching to the reader, I like how the author used and amazing way of explaining WW1 to us in a non-basic way.


The Uttur Brutality of War, Personal Response – Liath

                   “All Quiet on the western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque is a unique and interesting novel because it does not follow the conventional rhythm often found in other war-themed books. The chapters did not always consist of action packed battles and the heroic feats that one associates with war, Remarque instead intentionally left mundane chunks in between the thrilling action. These ‘chunks’ delved into the overlooked hardships and physiological tolls present outside of the trenches. Though I was not initially as interested in these chapters, I am glad that they were included because it helps defeat the trend of romanticising war.  Another aspect of the book that distinguishes it from others is the fate of its characters. I am accustomed to reading about characters improving from surviving the adversities they face in their story. Remarque however, chooses that the fate of the characters we’ve spent time getting to know, is to be killed by the unrelenting nature of WW1. This is to show us the destructive randomness that befelled countless soldiers, only for them to be replaced by younger optimists who would meet the same grim fate. Paul and Tjaden were able to survive by holding on to the friendship and bonds of their fallen comrades, up until the heartache of losing all his friends caused Paul to draw his last breath in the midst of complete quietness.


                   Each character being killed (except for Tjaden), though sad, was important to show the reality of war and the impact on those who fought it. These tragic deaths served as a reminder of how scarce survival was in this brutal conflict.The readers are exposed to the harsh emotional and physical tolls that the soldiers were cruelly forced to endure. Witnessing their friends and fellow soldiers meet horrific deaths on the battlefield, paints a picture of the relentlessness of war. I used to picture these types of deaths as statistical instead of understanding that each one is extinguishing one vibrant life. Paul was only 19 when he enlisted and I was haunted to find out, some of his comrades were even younger. These youths were robbed of their innocence and forced into a brutal life where they were being used as pawns for the interests of those in power. The youths experienced a sense of seclusion from the rest of society. Paul’s short connection with the woman across the river told us a lot about his character. After parting with the intimacy he had not felt in a long time. Paul felt lonelier than ever because he realised how much he missed that sort of affection that was bereft in his current life.


                   Erich Maria Remarque masterfully conveys the pure hopelessness of war. Remarque remarks “Not even a fly can survive the endless artillery barrage” which shows us the sheer constant savagery in the trenches, and that even the most stubborn of creatures would eventually fall to the endless violence. I have always pictured soldiers as highly trained killing machines with each fighter having the ability to turn the tide of battle. Instead of the primary objective being to minimise casualties, the ultimate goal was to outlast the enemy with a relentless rotation of troops. One single life was nothing compared to the grand scheme of things, this is why war is a never ending cycle of misery, with the soldiers’ lives being replaced as quickly as they were lost.


                   I think this book is well written and immersive to the reader. This book drew an emotional reaction from me by intricately describing the death of so many people, some that we had come to know and others who we did not. “All Quiet on the Western Front” used a unique way of storytelling, had interesting characters who endured a lot, and accurately expressed the hopelessness of war.

Personal Response to All Quiet on the Western Front.

The book All Quiet on the Western Front left me a great lesson which I will talk about later but for now I will talk about the book in summary. The book is a narration by Paul Bäumer, a young 20-year-old German, who, together with his friends, joins the army to fight in the First World War. At first, for everyone the war was something exciting, it was something they could feel proud of since they were defending their country, but very few managed to see the consequences and the negative social impact that the world would suffer due to the war. As the war progresses Paul and his friends live the cold reality of war, seeing a friend die and having to continue fighting for life or death against other human beings was what Paul and his friends had to experience in war. Sadly, Paul and his friends, except one, end up dying, leaving us to understand how cold and cruel war is. The lesson that the book left me is how pride can blind a human being so much, leading him to do negative actions from which the people around us can be affected and, apart from that, those same actions can lead us to repentance. Pride can be used positively as motivation, although there must always be a limit and control.

PR #2 – All Quiet On The Western Front – Animal Instincts

The novel “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque made me feel very emotional. Considering that I am a sensitive person finding a novel about war heartbreaking wasn’t very unusual for me. However, I found the way Paul described his emotions and behaviour in this novel very fearsome and unnerving rather than sadness or pity. This behaviour is the animalistic and survival state of mind Paul described himself and his comrades being driven to.

 A depiction of the animal-like state that was constantly described throughout the novel was when Paul Baümer volunteered to crawl through no man’s land to collect information on the enemy’s current state. Paul finds himself in a shell hole as the enemy begins to send waves of soldiers, a French soldier falls into his shell hole and Paul’s instincts to stab him ensues,” I do not think at all, I make no decision–I strike madly home, and feel only how the body suddenly convulses, then becomes limp, and collapses.” (p. 209). In this example, Paul describes the instinct to kill any soldier who falls through the shell hole he is hiding in. That moment of having no control and desperately trying to survive he regretted no more than a few minutes later, after recovering. It was as if he had lost consciousness, his mind had gone into survival mode. This scene felt very disturbing to me and helped me connect to Paul as I was trying to imagine what I would do in such a situation.

Paul Baümer even describes some of his comrades or other soldiers directly using the word animal. The animalistic behaviour that is described is also connected to survival instincts that they had to learn in training. For example, in this quotation Paul’s division and some recruits are assigned a dangerous task, to set up barbed at the front. A shell bombing begins, Paul and the older recruits in the division bury themselves underground and fold their bodies to dodge the shells, “By the animal instinct that is awakened in us we are led and protected. It is not conscious; it is far quicker, much more sure, less fallible, than consciousness. One cannot explain it.” (p. 59). This quotation emphasizes how the young boys who joined the war did not originally have such instincts, as many of the new young boys who were conscripted died in this scene. This segment of the novel sparked many feelings, I felt mortified at the thought of having these animal instincts induced by the war. This contributed to Erich Maria Remarque’s goal, to write a novel about war that did not romanticize it. Instead, it showed the truth behind war the people who fought for their lives, not for glory. The soldier’s reliance on animal instincts to survive.

PR #2 – How Life can Change in the Blink of an Eye

While reading the novel All Quiet on the Western Front I connected to the character Kemmerich while noticing his purpose as a character. Additionally, I noticed the sheer difference between the setting of our lives compared to the soldiers’.

After first hearing about Kemmerich’s leg, which had got shot off and amputated (Chapter 1, Pg 14), I was quite taken aback.

“We looked at his bed covering. His leg lies under a wire basket. The bed covering arches over it…. The leg is amputated. He looks ghastly, yellow and wan.”

This quotation made me think about how I would feel if my own friends got injured on the battlefield, how it would affect the lives of their friends and family.

When Bäumer spoke about Kemmerich’s mother being the “least composed of all” (Chapter 1, Pg 15), I felt a connection with the character as my mother would act the same in that situation. It seems as though the author Erich Maria Remarque intended for Kemmerich to serve as a reminder to us of how abruptly life can change. How in the blink of an eye, the friend you cherished and shared memories with lies on a hospital bed, yellow and frail, with death creeping through his body.

The setting of this story is very different to life today due to the lack of resources, particularly food. This was first seen in Chapter 1, when all the soldiers were satisfied because they got enough food.

“Yesterday we were relieved, and now our bellies are full of beef and haricot beans. We are satisfied and at peace. Each man has another mess-tin full for the evening; and, what is more, there is a double ration of sausage and bread. That puts a man in fine trim. We have not had such luck as this for a long time,” (Chapter 1, Pg 1).

In this quotation Paul Bäumer, the protagonist speaks about getting double rations. It seems that all the men are happy about this. The quotation “We have not had such luck as this for a long time,” signifies that they aren’t used to having such an abundancy in food and apparently it is a rare occurrence. In today’s developed parts of the world, food is abundant and most people have easy access to it. However, there is still a lack of food in the developing areas where food and resources are not easily accessible. In Chapter 7, Pg 160, Bäumer returns to his house with food that Kat provided him with and asks his family if they get enough food.

‘Is it pretty bad for food here?’ I enquire.

‘Yes, there’s not much. Do you get enough out there?’

I smile and point to the things I have brought.

‘Not always quite as much as that, of course, but we fare reasonably well.’

This quotation also shows that it is quite normal for there to be a lack of food.

Overall, I thought that All Quiet on the Western Front showed the importance of the difference of setting between life in the past and life today, since it teaches us to cherish the privileges we share today, and it taught the invaluable lesson of how quickly life can change.

𝒲𝒽𝒶𝓉 𝒟𝑜 𝒯𝒽𝑒 𝒲𝑜𝓇𝒹𝓈 𝒜𝑔𝑒 & 𝑀𝒶𝓉𝓊𝓇𝒾𝓉𝓎 𝑀𝑒𝒶𝓃 𝒯𝑜 𝒴𝑜𝓊? – 𝒫𝑅#𝟤

𝙸 𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚗𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚌𝚎𝚒𝚟𝚎𝚍 𝚖𝚢𝚜𝚎𝚕𝚏 𝚊𝚜 𝚊𝚗 𝚒𝚗𝚍𝚒𝚟𝚒𝚍𝚞𝚊𝚕 𝚠𝚑𝚘 𝚌𝚑𝚘𝚘𝚜𝚎𝚜 𝚝𝚘 𝚏𝚒𝚡𝚊𝚝𝚎 𝚘𝚗 𝚊𝚐𝚎 𝚘𝚛 𝚊𝚜𝚜𝚞𝚖𝚎 𝚘𝚗𝚎’𝚜 𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚒𝚝𝚢 𝚋𝚊𝚜𝚎𝚍 𝚘𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚊𝚋𝚜𝚞𝚛𝚍 𝚗𝚞𝚖𝚋𝚎𝚛. 𝙸 𝚘𝚏𝚝𝚎𝚗 𝚏𝚒𝚗𝚍 𝚖𝚢𝚜𝚎𝚕𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚔𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚊𝚕𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚗𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚟𝚎𝚕𝚢, 𝚊𝚐𝚎 𝚖𝚞𝚜𝚝 𝚋𝚎 𝚖𝚎𝚊𝚜𝚞𝚛𝚎𝚍 𝚋𝚊𝚜𝚎𝚍 𝚘𝚗 𝚘𝚗𝚎’𝚜 𝚊𝚌𝚌𝚞𝚖𝚞𝚕𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚎𝚡𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚜 𝚊𝚜 𝚎𝚡𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚜 𝚘𝚏𝚝𝚎𝚗 𝚍𝚎𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚖𝚒𝚗𝚎 𝚘𝚗𝚎’𝚜 𝚎𝚖𝚘𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚊𝚕 𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚒𝚝𝚢. 𝙸𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚗𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚕 𝙰𝚕𝚕 𝚀𝚞𝚒𝚎𝚝 𝙾𝚗 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚆𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚗 𝙵𝚛𝚘𝚗𝚝 𝚋𝚢 𝚊𝚞𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚛 𝙴𝚛𝚒𝚌𝚑 𝙼𝚊𝚛𝚒𝚊 𝚁𝚎𝚖𝚊𝚛𝚚𝚞𝚎, 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚝𝚊𝚐𝚘𝚗𝚒𝚜𝚝 𝙿𝚊𝚞𝚕 𝙱𝚊𝚞𝚖𝚎𝚛 𝚒𝚜 𝚠𝚛𝚒𝚝𝚝𝚎𝚗 𝚝𝚘 𝚖𝚊𝚔𝚎 𝚗𝚞𝚖𝚎𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚜 𝚛𝚎𝚖𝚊𝚛𝚔𝚜 𝚍𝚎𝚙𝚒𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚑𝚘𝚠 𝚘𝚗𝚎’𝚜 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚙𝚎𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚊𝚐𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚒𝚝𝚢 𝚒𝚜 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚙𝚕𝚎𝚝𝚎𝚕𝚢 𝚍𝚎𝚙𝚎𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚗𝚝 𝚘𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚒𝚛 𝚎𝚡𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚜. 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚊𝚖𝚘𝚞𝚜 𝚊𝚗𝚝𝚒-𝚠𝚊𝚛 𝚗𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚕 𝚋𝚢 𝚁𝚎𝚖𝚊𝚛𝚚𝚞𝚎 𝚏𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚎𝚜 𝚖𝚞𝚕𝚝𝚒𝚙𝚕𝚎 𝚜𝚒𝚝𝚞𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚜 𝚒𝚗 𝚠𝚑𝚒𝚌𝚑 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚊𝚞𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚛 𝚞𝚝𝚒𝚕𝚒𝚣𝚎𝚜 𝙿𝚊𝚞𝚕’𝚜 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚜 𝚝𝚘 𝚍𝚎𝚖𝚘𝚗𝚜𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚎 𝚑𝚘𝚠 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚞𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚌 𝚌𝚒𝚛𝚌𝚞𝚖𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚜 𝚎𝚡𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚍 𝚍𝚞𝚛𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚗 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚗𝚝 𝚊𝚜 𝚋𝚛𝚞𝚝𝚊𝚕 𝚊𝚜 𝚊 𝚠𝚊𝚛 𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚢 𝚊𝚐𝚎𝚜 𝚊𝚗 𝚒𝚗𝚍𝚒𝚟𝚒𝚍𝚞𝚊𝚕.

𝚁𝚎𝚖𝚊𝚛𝚚𝚞𝚎’𝚜 𝚞𝚗𝚋𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎𝚍 𝚍𝚎𝚙𝚒𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚘𝚏 𝚊 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚐 𝚜𝚘𝚕𝚍𝚒𝚎𝚛’𝚜 𝚎𝚡𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚎 𝚍𝚞𝚛𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝙶𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚝 𝚆𝚊𝚛 𝚒𝚜 𝚊𝚗 𝚎𝚡𝚎𝚖𝚙𝚕𝚊𝚛𝚢 𝚒𝚗𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎 𝚒𝚗 𝚠𝚑𝚒𝚌𝚑 𝚊𝚐𝚎 𝚒𝚜 𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚗 𝚊 𝚝𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚢 𝚘𝚏 𝚢𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚜. 𝙲𝚘𝚗𝚜𝚒𝚍𝚎𝚛𝚊𝚋𝚕𝚢 𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚕𝚢 𝚘𝚗 𝚍𝚞𝚛𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚛, 𝚁𝚎𝚖𝚊𝚛𝚚𝚞𝚎 𝚎𝚡𝚑𝚒𝚋𝚒𝚝𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚒𝚖𝚙𝚊𝚌𝚝 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚛 𝚘𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚜’ 𝚟𝚒𝚎𝚠𝚜 𝚘𝚏 𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚒𝚝𝚢 𝚝𝚑𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑 𝙿𝚊𝚞𝚕’𝚜 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚜. 𝙿𝚊𝚞𝚕 𝚊𝚌𝚔𝚗𝚘𝚠𝚕𝚎𝚍𝚐𝚎𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚎𝚏𝚏𝚎𝚌𝚝𝚜 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚛 𝚘𝚗 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚝𝚢 𝚊𝚜 𝚑𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚐𝚛𝚒𝚕𝚢 𝚊𝚍𝚍𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚜𝚎𝚜 𝙺𝚊𝚗𝚝𝚘𝚛𝚎𝚔, 𝚊𝚗 𝚘𝚕𝚍 𝚜𝚌𝚑𝚘𝚘𝚕𝚖𝚊𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚘𝚏 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚠𝚑𝚘 𝚌𝚑𝚘𝚘𝚜𝚎𝚜 𝚝𝚘 𝚛𝚘𝚖𝚊𝚗𝚝𝚒𝚌𝚒𝚣𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚛 𝚒𝚗 𝚊 𝚕𝚎𝚝𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚑𝚎 𝚑𝚊𝚜 𝚠𝚛𝚒𝚝𝚝𝚎𝚗 𝚝𝚘 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚜𝚝𝚞𝚍𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚜 𝚏𝚒𝚐𝚑𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚛𝚘𝚗𝚝 𝚕𝚒𝚗𝚎𝚜. 𝙿𝚊𝚞𝚕 𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚏𝚞𝚕𝚕𝚢 𝚞𝚝𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚜, “𝚈𝚎𝚜, 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝’𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚢 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚢 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚔, 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚜𝚎 𝚑𝚞𝚗𝚍𝚛𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚜𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝙺𝚊𝚗𝚘𝚝𝚛𝚎𝚔’𝚜! 𝙸𝚛𝚘𝚗 𝚈𝚘𝚞𝚝𝚑! 𝚈𝚘𝚞𝚝𝚑! 𝚆𝚎 𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝚗𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚞𝚜 𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚗 𝚝𝚠𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚢 𝚢𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚜 𝚘𝚕𝚍. 𝙱𝚞𝚝 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚐? 𝚈𝚘𝚞𝚝𝚑? 𝚃𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚒𝚜 𝚕𝚘𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚐𝚘. 𝚆𝚎 𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝚘𝚕𝚍 𝚏𝚘𝚕𝚔.” (𝚁𝚎𝚖𝚊𝚛𝚚𝚞𝚎, 𝟷𝟿𝟸𝟾, 𝚙.18). 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚚𝚞𝚘𝚝𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚗𝚘𝚝 𝚘𝚗𝚕𝚢 𝚍𝚒𝚜𝚙𝚕𝚊𝚢𝚜 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚊𝚗𝚐𝚎𝚛 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚛, 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚠𝚑𝚘 𝚌𝚑𝚘𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚛𝚘𝚖𝚊𝚗𝚝𝚒𝚌𝚒𝚣𝚎 𝚒𝚝, 𝚋𝚞𝚝 𝚒𝚝 𝚊𝚕𝚜𝚘 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚏𝚎𝚌𝚝𝚕𝚢 𝚎𝚡𝚑𝚒𝚋𝚒𝚝𝚜 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚓𝚊𝚍𝚎𝚍 𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚊𝚕 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚝𝚎 𝚌𝚊𝚞𝚜𝚎𝚍 𝚋𝚢 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚜𝚌𝚊𝚛𝚛𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚜 𝚑𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚙𝚎𝚎𝚛𝚜 𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚎𝚡𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚛.

𝙰𝚍𝚍𝚒𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚢, 𝙿𝚊𝚞𝚕’𝚜 𝚒𝚗𝚌𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚜𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚕𝚢 𝚞𝚗𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚗𝚊𝚛𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚛 𝚍𝚒𝚜𝚙𝚕𝚊𝚢𝚜 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚙𝚞𝚛𝚎 𝚕𝚊𝚌𝚔 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚘𝚕𝚎𝚛𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚠𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚍 𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚝𝚢 𝚍𝚞𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚑𝚎𝚏𝚝𝚢 𝚗𝚞𝚖𝚋𝚎𝚛 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚞𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚌 𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚜. 𝙰𝚜 𝙿𝚊𝚞𝚕 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚊 𝚙𝚎𝚎𝚛 𝚘𝚏 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚒𝚗𝚜𝚙𝚎𝚌𝚝 𝚊 𝚐𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚙 𝚘𝚏 𝚗𝚎𝚠 𝚛𝚎𝚌𝚛𝚞𝚒𝚝𝚜, 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚢 𝚋𝚎𝚐𝚒𝚗 𝚝𝚘 𝚏𝚎𝚎𝚕 𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚝, 𝙿𝚊𝚞𝚕 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚜, “𝙸 𝚗𝚘𝚍 𝚠𝚎 𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚌𝚔 𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚌𝚑𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚜, 𝚜𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚒𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚘𝚙𝚎𝚗, 𝚜𝚑𝚘𝚟𝚎 𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚑𝚊𝚗𝚍𝚜 𝚒𝚗 𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚙𝚘𝚌𝚔𝚎𝚝𝚜, 𝚒𝚗𝚜𝚙𝚎𝚌𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚛𝚎𝚌𝚛𝚞𝚒𝚝𝚜 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚏𝚎𝚎𝚕 𝚘𝚞𝚛𝚜𝚎𝚕𝚟𝚎𝚜 𝚜𝚝𝚘𝚗𝚎-𝚊𝚐𝚎 𝚟𝚎𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚊𝚗𝚜.” (𝚁𝚎𝚖𝚊𝚛𝚚𝚞𝚎, 𝟷𝟿𝟸𝟾, 𝚙.𝟹𝟻). 𝙳𝚎𝚜𝚙𝚒𝚝𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚒𝚛𝚘𝚗𝚒𝚌 𝚞𝚜𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚍 𝚟𝚎𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚊𝚗, 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝 𝚒𝚜 𝚊 𝚍𝚒𝚛𝚎𝚌𝚝 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚟𝚒𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚘𝚏 𝚑𝚘𝚠 𝙿𝚊𝚞𝚕’𝚜 𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚊𝚕 𝚊𝚐𝚎 𝚑𝚊𝚜 𝚋𝚎𝚎𝚗 𝚜𝚑𝚊𝚙𝚎𝚍 𝚋𝚢 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚞𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚌 𝚎𝚡𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚜. 𝙸𝚝 𝚒𝚜 𝚎𝚜𝚜𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚒𝚊𝚕 𝚝𝚘 𝚗𝚘𝚝𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝙿𝚊𝚞𝚕 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚐𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚙 𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝚋𝚊𝚛𝚎𝚕𝚢 𝚜𝚒𝚡𝚝𝚎𝚎𝚗 𝚢𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚜 𝚘𝚕𝚍 𝚎𝚖𝚙𝚑𝚊𝚜𝚒𝚣𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚒𝚖𝚙𝚊𝚌𝚝 𝚘𝚏 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚎𝚡𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚜 𝚘𝚗 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚌𝚎𝚙𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚘𝚏 𝚊𝚐𝚎.

𝙰𝚏𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚝𝚊𝚔𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚝𝚒𝚖𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚏𝚞𝚛𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚛𝚎𝚏𝚕𝚎𝚌𝚝, 𝙸 𝚏𝚒𝚗𝚍 𝚖𝚢𝚜𝚎𝚕𝚏 𝚞𝚝𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚕𝚢 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚏𝚞𝚜𝚎𝚍. 𝚆𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚙𝚊𝚛𝚝 𝚘𝚏 𝚖𝚢 𝚋𝚛𝚊𝚒𝚗 𝚑𝚊𝚜 𝚌𝚊𝚞𝚜𝚎𝚍 𝚖𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚠𝚛𝚒𝚝𝚎 𝚊𝚋𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚊 𝚝𝚘𝚙𝚒𝚌 𝚊𝚜 𝚜𝚎𝚎𝚖𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚕𝚢 𝚜𝚞𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚏𝚒𝚌𝚒𝚊𝚕 𝚊𝚜 𝚊𝚐𝚎? 𝙰𝚕𝚕 𝚀𝚞𝚒𝚎𝚝 𝙾𝚗 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚆𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚗 𝙵𝚛𝚘𝚗𝚝 𝚒𝚜 𝚊 𝚗𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚕 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚙𝚛𝚒𝚜𝚎𝚍 𝚘𝚏 𝚜𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚒𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚖𝚎𝚕𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚑𝚘𝚕𝚒𝚊 𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚜 𝚊 𝚝𝚎𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚛 𝚝𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚖𝚘𝚗𝚒𝚊𝚕 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚖𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚜 𝚘𝚏 𝚜𝚘𝚕𝚍𝚒𝚎𝚛𝚜 𝚠𝚑𝚘 𝚝𝚘𝚘𝚔 𝚙𝚊𝚛𝚝 𝚒𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚛 𝚢𝚎𝚝 𝚗𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚕𝚒𝚟𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚘 𝚝𝚎𝚕𝚕 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚝𝚊𝚕𝚎. 𝙰𝚜 𝚖𝚢 𝚎𝚢𝚎𝚜 𝚖𝚎𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚋𝚘𝚝𝚝𝚘𝚖 𝚘𝚏 𝚢𝚎𝚝 𝚊𝚗𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚌𝚘𝚏𝚏𝚎𝚎-𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚒𝚗𝚎𝚍 𝚖𝚞𝚐, 𝙸 𝚏𝚒𝚗𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚢 𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚣𝚎𝚍. 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚗𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚕 𝚑𝚊𝚜 𝚋𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑𝚝 𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚍𝚎𝚎𝚙, 𝚕𝚘𝚌𝚔𝚎𝚍-𝚞𝚙 𝚎𝚖𝚘𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚜 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗 𝚖𝚢𝚜𝚎𝚕𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝙸 𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚜𝚙𝚎𝚗𝚝 𝚢𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚜 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚙𝚊𝚛𝚝𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚣𝚒𝚗𝚐. 𝚁𝚎𝚖𝚊𝚛𝚚𝚞𝚎’𝚜 𝚖𝚎𝚊𝚗𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚏𝚞𝚕 𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚟𝚒𝚎𝚠 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚌𝚎𝚙𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚘𝚏 𝚊𝚐𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚒𝚝𝚢 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚗𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚕 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚏𝚎𝚌𝚝𝚕𝚢 𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚙𝚊𝚜𝚜𝚎𝚜 𝚖𝚢 𝚕𝚘𝚗𝚐𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚝𝚘 𝚋𝚎 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚌𝚎𝚒𝚟𝚎𝚍 𝚊𝚜 𝚊 𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚐 𝚠𝚘𝚖𝚊𝚗 𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚗 𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚠𝚑𝚘 𝚒𝚜 𝚖𝚎𝚛𝚎𝚕𝚢 “𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚎 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚊𝚐𝚎”. 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝙸 𝚕𝚘𝚘𝚔 𝚊𝚝 𝚒𝚝, 𝙸 𝚋𝚎𝚐𝚒𝚗 𝚝𝚘 𝚞𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝙸 𝚊𝚖 𝚗𝚘𝚝 𝚕𝚞𝚌𝚔𝚢 𝚗𝚘𝚛 𝚜𝚑𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝙸 𝚋𝚎 𝚐𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚏𝚞𝚕 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚖𝚢 𝚘𝚠𝚗 𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚞𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚌 𝚎𝚡𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚜 𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚌𝚊𝚞𝚜𝚎𝚍 𝚖𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚋𝚎 𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚎 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚖𝚢 𝚊𝚐𝚎. 𝙰𝚜 𝚊 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚐 𝚌𝚑𝚒𝚕𝚍, 𝙸 𝚞𝚜𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚘 𝚋𝚎𝚐 𝚝𝚘 𝚋𝚎 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚌𝚎𝚒𝚟𝚎𝚍 𝚊𝚜 𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚎 𝚊𝚜 𝙸 𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚋𝚎𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚎 𝚖𝚎𝚊𝚗𝚝 𝚋𝚎𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚗 𝚒𝚗𝚍𝚒𝚟𝚒𝚍𝚞𝚊𝚕 𝚘𝚏 𝚜𝚞𝚋𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎. 𝙽𝚘𝚠𝚊𝚍𝚊𝚢𝚜, 𝙸 𝚠𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚐𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚞𝚙 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚕𝚍 𝚒𝚏 𝚒𝚝 𝚖𝚎𝚊𝚗𝚝 𝙸 𝚌𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚕𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚗 𝚝𝚘 𝚋𝚎 𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚗𝚘𝚛𝚖𝚊𝚕 𝚠𝚊𝚢, 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚕𝚊𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚊𝚕 𝚕𝚊𝚌𝚎𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚜. 𝙸𝚏 𝚒𝚝 𝚖𝚎𝚊𝚗𝚝 𝙸 𝚌𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚠𝚑𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚕𝚎𝚏𝚝 𝚘𝚏 𝚖𝚢 𝚌𝚑𝚒𝚕𝚍𝚑𝚘𝚘𝚍 𝚋𝚊𝚌𝚔. 𝙲𝚘𝚗𝚌𝚕𝚞𝚜𝚒𝚟𝚎𝚕𝚢, 𝚁𝚎𝚖𝚊𝚛𝚚𝚞𝚎’𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑𝚝-𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚟𝚘𝚔𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚝𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚖𝚘𝚗𝚒𝚊𝚕 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚛 𝚑𝚊𝚜 𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚊𝚜 𝚊𝚗 𝚎𝚖𝚘𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚢 𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚖𝚞𝚕𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚙𝚒𝚎𝚌𝚎 𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚘𝚠𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚖𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚞𝚗𝚌𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚍𝚎𝚎𝚙 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚙𝚜𝚢𝚌𝚑𝚘𝚕𝚘𝚐𝚒𝚌𝚊𝚕 𝚑𝚒𝚍𝚍𝚎𝚗 𝚝𝚛𝚞𝚝𝚑𝚜. 𝙸 𝚞𝚛𝚐𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚝𝚘 𝚍𝚎𝚎𝚙𝚕𝚢 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚖𝚙𝚕𝚊𝚝𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚘𝚕𝚕𝚘𝚠𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚚𝚞𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗, 𝚠𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚍𝚘 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚍𝚜 𝚊𝚐𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚒𝚝𝚢 𝚖𝚎𝚊𝚗 𝚝𝚘 𝚢𝚘𝚞?

PR #2: All Quiet on The Western Front – Desensitization

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque is a novel that I found very poignant and tactful, but what struck me the most about it were the descriptions of death throughout the book, which felt very realistic about how the soldiers may have felt.

One of the first depictions of death, which I found the most moving, was the death of Paul’s friend Kemmerich, due to the inclusion of Paul’s thoughts and emotions. Paul, sitting by Kemmerich’s hospital bed, attempts to ease Kemmerich’s suffering by describing what he could do after he healed, despite being aware that Kemmerich would not survive, and ends up worsening the situation. Paul’s thoughts are shown in this example: “…he is crying. What a mess I have made with my foolish talk (p. 30)!” For me this is a very heartbreaking scene as it brings me into Paul’s perspective as he berates himself about his behaviour during Kemmerich’s last moments. It doesn’t show Paul as someone who always knows what to say, and instead depicts him as someone who sometimes makes mistakes. This scene felt very genuine, and also let me relate to Paul and imagine what it would be like to have to comfort someone in such a situation.

Something else which struck me as very lifelike were the changes in the ways that the deaths of Paul’s friends were portrayed. At the beginning of the book, where Paul is present at Kemmerich’s death,  he has many strong feelings as he describes the moment: “[Kemmerich] says nothing; all that lies behind him; he is entirely alone now with his little life of nineteen years, and cries because it leaves him. This is the most disturbing and hardest parting that I have ever seen (p. 31)…” Paul is deeply affected, and we as the reader also have the opportunity to connect him to Kemmerich, as they are both the same age. This scene is very emotional, and differs greatly from the descriptions seen later in the book. When Müller – another of Paul’s old classmates – dies, he gets a much shorter description: “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).” Little more is said about Müller. When I first read this, the significant change in tone and description surprised me. In the first example, Remarque  illustrates Paul’s feelings, but at Müller’s death the description is very factual and none of Paul’s thoughts are shown. While Kemmerich’s death occurs first in the story, it still seemed strange that Kemmerich, someone who wasn’t described as being a particularly close friend of Paul’s, was given such a long description but Müller was not. Upon further reflection, I saw it to represent how Paul’s mindset changes throughout the book and I found this distinction very realistic. Before he has seen as much death on the battlefield, his friend dying is a substantial blow. However, by the end, Paul has seen many of his friends die and is desensitized to death as a whole. The addition of another death is not significant, and it is mentioned only as a passing fact.

I found All Quiet on the Western Front quite profound and emotional, but what I admire most about the book is the author’s ability to realistically portray the war in so many of its facets. Even when writing in a less expressive manner, Remarque manages to convey very meaningful parts of a soldier’s life.

PR #2 All Quiet on the Western Front

Two major factors made the book “All Quiet on the Western Front” appeal to me more than the movie “They Shall Grow Old”.

First, I was able to emotionally relate to the book’s main character. I empathized with Paul and his companions as they were going through all the atrocities of the war throughout the novel. The more I read, the more I enjoyed this emotional connection with the characters.

Second, unlike the movie, the book allowed my imagination to go wild and create my own picture of what awful really is. Everyone has a different idea of good and evil, and I enjoyed the creative freedom to paint my own picture of hell. Imagining something that was deeply and personally sad affected me much more than watching the images created by someone else.

PR #2 – All Quiet on the Western Front – A Change of Soul

The book All Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque is a World War I novel. It is narrated by a German soldier named Paul Baumer. The text expresses the experiences a soldier in WWl endured. In this Personal Response, I am going to reflect on the change of tone in Paul’s narration in the beginning compared to the end. I have noticed that the book starts in a playful and amateur manner, and by the end it displays a defeated, solemn and poetic one. These choices by the author allow the reader to at most fathom, the traumatizing exposures that the soldiers were thrusted into. During Paul’s training his experiences are recorded as blissful. Each day they get up, eat breakfast, shoot some bullets, exercise, smoke, then go to bed. Him and his comrades even play pranks on their non-commissioners. Paul has some idea of what the actual war will be like but not entirely. This is evident on page 26, when Paul says “We became hard, suspicious, pitiless, vicious, tough – and that was good; for these attributes were just what we lacked. Had we gone into the trenches without this period of training most of us would have gone mad. Only thus were we prepared for what awaited us”. He recognizes that the extensive training was not for nothing and had shaped them into strong men. Even so, Paul was not able to read forward in the book like we as readers have, and see that no amount of training could have prepared them for the war. This, is why Paul’s tone was amateurly blissful in the beginning of the book. Towards the end, Paul’s tone seems to sadden. The narration sounds more mature and confident. After weeks in the trenches he knows there is no positive outcome in his situation. The author has made clear of this. In the last paragraph of the book, Paul writes, “Let the months and years come, they can take nothing more from me, they can take nothing more” (pg. 295). This tone of emptiness and isolation brings the reader to at the minimum understand the perspective of how war has made these soldiers feel. It intrigues me how Paul says he “has nothing”. It is not true. He has clothes and food and his sister. He has people and things that could fulfil him superficially. But what the author means, is that the trauma this war has insidiously gifted to him, overcomes any tangible belongings. In the end, Paul’s soul and personality makes him who he is, and that was taken from him. Leaving him, and all the other fallen soldiers, with nothing.

The Cloud of War – All Quiet on the Western Front Personal Response

I wouldn’t consider myself to be someone internally inflicted by a written historical account. The novel ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’, written by German author Erich Maria Remarque, demonstrated otherwise. The novel voices the account of protagonist Paul Baumer’s experiences in battle as a soldier. It was captivating how the novel depicted the disillusionment of the early 1900s while engaging the reader with the reality of the effect of war on young men. The title alone is phrased in a nonchalant terse style, which graphically portrays the horrors of war in a laconic understatement. The word ‘quiet’ is conspicuous, stating the exact opposite of the novel’s depiction of war. Remarque often referenced the term ‘quiet’ to juxtapose the sounds of peacetime and war, associating it with everything the war is not. The word ‘quiet’ sounds alive, rather than ‘silence’, capable of erupting into an endless stream of sound at any moment, representing war, until it becomes a quiet memory.

The novel was repulsive yet indispensable, not clouding the reader’s interpretation with a romanticized version of the war. The overwhelming graphic depictions of war demonstrated the belligerent manipulative influence clouding the soldier’s rationality. Remarque expresses sediments about the contemporary nature of war itself. Throughout the novel, the reader becomes engulfed in Paul’s self-reflection, sharing accounts of atrocities and the ghastly truths about how the war destroyed the young soldiers. Soldiers’ mindsets could be described as hypnotized by patriotic propaganda. Paul describes the trance as becoming wild beasts, turning them into murderers, representing automata. These young boys were compelled by the idea to destroy the enemy, or they would destroy them, facing death, not other men. They were taught to become stolid animals, disregarding one’s moral identity.

As the novel progresses, Paul begins to recognize the reality of the war. “It’s the rulers who want to attack us, not the simple folk. Yet, the word of a command made them our enemies, making me perceive them as the melancholy of life” (Remarque, 1928, pg. 193). Paul acknowledges the inhumane actions of war, realizing the enemy are men just like himself, yet continues to feel obliged to fight, knowing nothing but death and fear. This notation of the segregation between those who declare war and those who fight it is portrayed throughout ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’. However, Paul doesn’t entirely accept this concept until he experiences the delusional guilt he receives after witnessing a French soldier slowly die from his hand. This scene introduces a cumulating transition where Paul begins to view the enemy as people rather than faceless targets. This guilt consuming him could be argued as inevitable, allowing Paul, and other soldiers alike, to omit the cloud of the ferocity of war, and recognize the reality.

This transition emphasizes the disconnect in Paul’s experiences. After suffering the guilt of ending one’s life, Paul’s demeanor shifts. He begins to describe the carnage of war in a laconic manner as if attempting to distance himself from the horrors. After accepting the truth about war, he avoids speaking about it, feeling isolated from anyone who isn’t a soldier. He refuses a sense of belonging. A distinctive factor of the novel was its refusal to take an explicit stance on war, acting as an unexpected contrast to the typical patriotic rhetoric accounts. This allowed the reader to perceive the war with logical representation, rather than through a biased account. The novel’s disclaimer insists that the account is not an accusation to any nation or individual involved in the war. Rather, the novel accuses war as an institution of stealing young boys’ lives, regardless of whether they died on the battlefield or survived, with their lives lost to the horrors of war. One can not decide which is worse.

PR#2 – The Psychological Destruction of War – All Quiet on the Western Front

The novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque is a haunting story that sheds light on an intensely human perspective of the war which I had never considered before reading it. Remarque manages to both depict the physical and psychological horrors of war through the pages. He never glorifies any of the notable events, only telling a heartbreakingly transparent version of the conflict. The story captured my attention with immersive plot points, descriptive sentences and settings that added depth to the story and the characters’ identities in each chapter. Throughout the book, Remarque draws emotional responses from the reader through many different techniques, but the aspects that stood out most to me were the imagery, character development, and soldier camaraderie.

Remarque’s use of vivid imagery, along with his captivating exploration of the immersive plot, adds an extra layer of realism to the story that intrigued me from the very beginning. When describing the events of the war, Remarque leaves no details spared, which adds an unfiltered quality to the already brutal retelling. His inclusion of the conflicts, brutish lifestyle, and emotional depravity made it almost hard to read, as the emotions these details evoked were not familiar or pleasant to me. Through the eyes of Paul Baumer, the protagonist, I was able to understand the savagery and futility that went hand in hand with such a conflict. Particularly, I was struck by Remarque’s vivid portrayals of trench warfare’s atrocities, including artillery bombardments, shelling, barbed wire, and destruction. Ultimately, this book challenges the concept of war in ways that not many other authors have had the courage to do, and it opened my eyes to the agonizing truth.

Another jarring aspect that enhanced the emotional toll of the book was the strong character development and camaraderie among soldiers. The way Remarque brings each character to life, whether important to the plot or not, is remarkable and adds to the story’s poignancy. He doesn’t attribute the same aspects to each character and doesn’t make them all good, as people are never purely good. They each possess distinct flaws, whether that be stubbornness, temper, ferocity, or frivolity. It is these elements that made me connect with each fictional character, as it is these elements that I can understand and relate to in myself and those around me. These were the individual features of each character that carried them through the war, and these were also the features that allowed me to feel a sense of great sorrow and connection towards them. Similarly, the connections the soldiers made throughout the war enhanced the sentiment of loss. 

It was inspiring to experience the way Remarque interlinks the characters despite their diverse qualities. Exploring the strong bond formed between soldiers who shared a traumatic experience served as a reminder that light can be found in the darkest of places. Their camaraderie also displayed the stark juxtaposition between the horrors that they faced and the joy they shared in their everyday lives. How they could go from laughing and joking together one minute, to not knowing whether the other was alive the next baffled me. This made me believe that they had become desensitized to loss, explaining their emotional flexibility. While Remarque manages to highlight this camaraderie between the protagonist and fellow German soldiers, he also emphasizes the shared humanity of soldiers on both sides of the conflict. The scene where Paul shoots a French combatant and then regrets his action, reflecting upon himself and who he has become, highlights the discord between his soldier identity and his personal beliefs. It expresses how war pits young men against one another, even when they may have no personal quarrel, and wholly destroys their past persona. 

PR #2 All Quiet in the Western Front

The book “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque revealed the harsh reality of war to me. Initially, I had a limited understanding of what war was like and the seriousness of World War I. I was uninformed and had never explored into this subject, but this book truly enlightened me. What struck me the most was the book’s refusal to romanticize war; instead, it portrayed it as a dreadful and senseless conflict that took a heavy toll on the soldiers. The characters endured immense suffering, and it was heart-wrenching to witness their transformation from hopeful young men into battle-hardened soldiers. Throughout the book, it emphasized how young soldiers essentially sacrificed their youth to the horrors of war. Before reading this book, I hadn’t considered this, believing that only adult men participated in war. The harsh reality was different. Men of various ages who knew how to use a gun were called to battle and willingly gave their lives for their country. It made me realize how young men were traumatized, how a soccer ball could suddenly become a grenade, or a toy car transformed into a machine gun.

Additionally, the book showed the circumstances that forced 16-year-old boys into war and how two young soldiers with promising futures could end up taking each other’s lives in the trenches due to the extreme conditions of war. This book significantly expanded my knowledge on the topic, and I am grateful for it. It made me realize the true significance of World War I and presented me the most realistic and brutal perspective on it.


I selected a quote that caught my attention from the class book, All Quiet On The Western Front.

“We march up, moody or good-tempered soldiers- we reach the zone where the front begins and become the instant human animals”

This quote caught my attention because it highlights the importance of showing up and fighting back, no matter how the soldiers felt. War is a sensitive and emotional topic, but it’s clear that soldiers must push their feelings aside and give their all in battle. It’s almost as if they flip a switch and tap into a deep reserve of strength and determination.

Perssonal Response of They Shall Not Grow Old

Before I watched the film I don’t know much on WWI, I think that this war’s size will be smaller than WWII and much less cruel, bloody and terrified than WWII. But after I watch the movie I realized my mind was absolutely wrong, war never had a merciful face, it was always filled with tear, death and fear.

When I heard that they mention “they never regret their decision to join the war”, I was quite confused because I can’t realized that they were running beside the death and how did they not felt afraid to it? Then I understood the reason, the propoganda had encourage them so much and they survived in the war. They were the winners of the war.

But Europe had paid so much for this war, millions family broken, soldiers wounded and dead, whole Europe had been surrounded by the gas of death such like 600 years ago, but in that time was the nature using his death scythe but this time it was all because human themselves…

I was quite inspired after I watch this because now the Russia sill had war with Ukraine and millions people had been effected and lost their family, home and everything, that’s only what war gave us, no matter the time, size or weapon.

Hope the world peace, no more tear, no more smoke of gunpowder and no war…

They Shall Not Grow Old PR

My feelings for the characters and all the people involved in the film is mostly sympathetic, because of the suffering shown to us. They had to eat barely edible food if any, were always with a chance of getting hit or bombed and they hardly ever slept.

The setting was very different to the world we live in today, in their world they had to “be a man” at a very young age, for example; adolescents 16 years or older were signing up in the military and fighting the war, even though they were not forced to join the military until they were 19 years old, some even lied about their age to attend the war and fight for their country. The women had to stay at home and look after the children or if they did join the military they were usually assigned positions of little to no risk, like making the food, being an infirmary, take care of the cleaning, etc. Now women are doing the same jobs than men.

The imagery on the film was very interesting but very shocking to watch, as it depicted the horrors of the war and the casualties, it also showed how they lived their lives and what they did for fun in the war. I think the imagery was necessary to be able to be able to further explain what was happening and how it looked.

The narrator’s tone was neutral most of the time, but the guests always had some sort of nostalgic tone in their voice. I was able to pick that up by the expressions and words they used such as “There were bad times, but nobody regretted it” and “Some even enjoyed it”.

When the war ended it was a totally different welcome to what the soldiers imagined, when they came back nobody was interested in what happened and some were even unfazed by the events. Shop or factory owners did not want to employ veterans because of their traumas or lost limbs, some even excluded the war veterans because they thought they were freaks and insane.

Matteo Eden Personal Response They Shall Not Grow Old WW1 Literature

The film They Shall Not Grow Old didn’t seem to have a large impact on my feelings or thoughts. I didn’t feel any sadness or sympathy toward the soldiers and I don’t know why that is. The film was quite exclusive because it shows soldiers in and out of action. I feel that the movie was well made to inform you of what happened at the time and didn’t follow one regiment or group of soldiers,  it was quite spread out meaning that the film producers spent a lot of time getting multiple perspectives. I feel that because this film made me feel no emotion it is very hard for me to write about it. Meaning that this is the end of my personal response, thank you.

They Shall Not Grow Old Personal Response

This film truly shocked me. It’s the first time that i have really been able to get a grasp on the true horrors of a historical event like this, and it has opened my mind to many new ideas. The way that the film chose to keep every photo and recounting of the war uncensored with nothing cut out was such a new way to experience the story of the war, with no glorification to the actual events was very unique and mature. This new experience gave me countless new thoughts and opinions, but i will focus on one of the simpler and what i think to be the most intreasting. The fundamental root of this thought is how these men could survive these hardships, but to do it and call it an “adventure” and something they would gladly do it again. How could millions of men, nevertheless 15-19yr old boys, be so resilient and tough when faced with the harshest and most tragic condiotions human historty has ever seen? This puzzles me as it seems that these men were all like the heroes of old, scared of nothing and risking their lives for the greater good , such as Achilles or Heracules. But they were all just boys urged to leave from every corner of their home countires and die on the front. I wondor if this is a positive message, that even the most common man can be capeable of incredabile feats when given the chance, or that its a tragedy that the next greatest and most formidiable men we have ever had were wasted and discarded on a pointelss war.

They Shall Not Grow Old

   I can’t imagine how they risked their lives in that horrible place for years. I can’t believe those teenagers who lie about their age wouldn’t have a future if they lost their lives during the war. I’m stunned that even non-experienced soldiers/teens have to go to war no matter what happens. I know that many people are glad that they don’t need to experience that horror sight. 

   Even though we are still in the same world and there a new differences some are still the same. Like lying and judging people. But still, they could make some new changes. There are different and many different things that stand out to me. The most outstanding thing was the military and the soldiers. 

   How many military soldiers have to train and work hard day and night which is non-stop work! That they only have ONE uniform for a year-long, inedible food and artillery stuff. I’m so thrilled that nowadays we don’t need to worry about the shell-explosion, poison gases, and infection. 

   The tones of the voices of the soldiers sound really depressed, enthusiastic, surprised and scared. Which was actually eerie and flabbergasted because if I got put/forced to fight for my country. I would be frightened to even see my opponent/enemies and the dead bodies that were on the No Man’s Land. 

   I couldn’t imagine if I got put in the soldier position my knees would feel really weak and trembling. How the pain I would feel and how much I would miss my family members back home. I bet all the years would go by slowly and really tired. And I’m glad no one needs to go through that anymore.

My Personal Writing to they shall not grow old

The thinks that I thought was surprising, Interesting and my ancestors who fought on both world wars. Surprised, because I always imagen that the trenches were more terrifying, but when I saw the trenches in color and the thought of the soldier, gave me the sense that it was livelier than I imagen. It was also very Interesting, how they thought of these “Horrific” thinks that they lived in, like ” being in the first line of trenches was fun.”. Last point is my ancestors. They came to my mind because there were also affected by the war like this British soldier. In conclusion, the movie was very good at brining me to think about those men who fought on wars.

WWI Literature Jose Totado

How curious is the attitude of the human being when it comes to war, right?

My feelings and thoughts about the movie “They Shall not Grow Old” are very reflectives and a little bit shocking because, for me, it´s curios how at the beginning when the British entered the war against Germany, all british citizens were excited to go into the war and defend their nation, it is curious and interesting how sometimes pride or in this case patriotism can blind human beings from what they are really going to face. Like I said, at the beginning the british citizens were excited, also because they thought it wouldn´t last long and that in a certain part it would be fun.

As the war progresses and the British soldiers see and live the harsh reality and cruelty of a war, their intial attitudes are destroyed and little by little they create cold and unfeeling attitudes. Althought as time went by, many soldiers became accustomed to the fact that at any moment they could die, either from a wound generated in combat or from a surprise attack by the enemy.

At the end when the war finished and the Allies won the British army captured a lot of germans and I kind of empathize with the Tommies of how they treated them and how they tried to communicate with them to have a normal talk.

My conclusion from the movie ‘They Shall not Grow Old’ is that it is shocking how, both in those times and currently, pride or patriotism can affect and decieve the attitude of human beings, leading them to do things that they may regret for their entire life.

They shall grow old (My personal response)- Amelie


They shall grow old. The name of the movie They shall not grow old, felt like a lie to me as I wrote my first drafts. As I wrote in my draft: “to say I was shocked at the atrocity of these soldiers would be a lie” felt uneasy to me. Although I am not at all shocked it still felt wrong to write it. These soldiers- these boys were 16 to 19 years old, the thing that felt wrong, was that I overlooked the fact that they were just my age. Leaving the soft beds of their home on the thread of a promise of military glory. They shall grow old because there were 16 year-old’s tip-toeing among the adults, charging into the raging fire of war: unaware of the danger’s ahead.

In the beginning of the Documentary the host asked a few of these ex-military men If they regretted this war. The part that stuck with me more than anything in the documentary was their response. Many of them took a breath in, and casually told the host that they did not regret the war. Some even casually mentioning that it was for the will of the country. I feel conflicted. There were these men on the documentary- some of them 16 or 17 years old at the time of the war -that ran past bullets beyond bullets, watched their comraded die to a graveyard of mud and slept with an undying nerve at the back of their heads telling them that today was their day. These same men talking about the war as if to be distant memory of an old job. Although at the very same time: there was a little person in the back of my head understands such casualty. How could they think of such an event in their lives as a horrific event if their whole lives they’d been told that the war was just another job. Their drill sergeant told the that it was their job to toughen up. The years on the battle field taught them a sense of normalcy. Even as they came back home, the people around them didn’t want to talk about the war and acted as if they came back from a big vacation. It was once described to me that a human mind is like clay in the sense that it hardens over time: however before it hardens it’s as moldable as play-dough. How could these ex-soldiers known that the war they’d lived through was a million times worse that the version in their mind if people had been molding their brains to think little of it.

As I write out these paragraphs there was a feeling of something that has been alluding me for the longest time as I’m sitting in my desk. The feeling of nervousness? or uneasiness? As I write sentence on sentence on these young soldiers this feeling continues to pester me. I suppose for reasons beyond me I can relate to these soldiers. Which from an exterior point of view could sound very presumptuous teetering on ignorance. Although for reasons I don’t have words for: the tone of the soldiers’ voice, the fact that these boys of 17 and 19 years old getting looked up and down as if shiny new weapons and told to grow up: swallow their tears and follow orders. Feels all to familiar. I remember teachers, peers, instructors, family tell me to grow up my entire life. Telling me to swallow my tears, do another hour, take pride or that they know I can do better. The feeling of being told to be an adult even though I’m not. As I sit in my desk I can’t help but feel a sense of sympathy mixed with a sense of familiarness. I suppose everyone does in the bigger picture. Everyone gets told to grow up: to to swallow their tears, do another hour or take pride.

As I reflect on this documentary the impact of the movie begins to sink in; the sense of uneasiness, the familiarness and the confliction. The feeling that life in this unforgivable world everyone is just running past bullets beyond bullets, watching their comrades die to a graveyard of mud and sleeping with an undying nerve at the back of their heads telling them that today is their day. Even if these bullets and mud looks different in everyone’s life. They shall not grow old made me look at this war an it’s soldiers in a different light- a brighter one. One in which it made me reflect on how these soldiers were told to grow up. Just as many of us were to to grow up. They shall grow old because they did. I did… We did.

My Personal Response: “They Shall Not Grow Old”

The “They Shall Not Grow Old” documentary left a huge mark on me beginning with the fact that the director Peter Jackson did an incredible work transforming a black and white story into a completely vivid experience in which the soldiers themselves become the central figures of the story. It surprised me that nowadays we can see this movie in vivid colors and images but back in those days it wasn’t like this, it was just black and white and the images were not as clear as they are today and this is an incredible advance in the filmaking process.

Watching this documentary make me experiment a lot of different emotions  because it really felt like if I was there watching all the horrible and difficult things that the soldiers went through during the war. It was really touching realizing that despite the horrors they passed, the soldiers created really good bonds and friendships between them. As I watched the film, I reflected on the difficulties of life and that not everything is what it seems. Speaking on my personal experience, I knew that war was difficult and that there were a lot of deaths, massacres and horrible and traumatic things but after watching these documentary it really opened my eyes and now I can relate in a more personal way with all those soldiers and be empathic with the situation.

The documentary’s plot is journey through the soldiers life starting with their recruitment and training for them to be prepared for whatever happens, then they have to go and fight on the trenches and after that it ends with the difficult situation that is for them to try to reintegrate into society, go back to their normal life and civilization. I think that the part of coming back home and be with their families again and try to pretend that nothing happened is the worst part because nobody could completely understand what those soldiers went through and all the traumas they have. It might be difficult not just for them but also for their loved ones.

In conclusion, “They Shall Not Grow Old” is a remarkable and truly interesting documentary that bring the World War One soldiers stories and experiences to real life. It is a reminder for all of us of the sacrifices made by all the men that participated in war and that gived their own lives for  their country and I think that the soldiers shall never grow old our memories.

My Personal response to the movie “They shall grow old”.

I want to start off by saying that this move was very intense. I cannot imagine what soldiers and people who lived during the war experienced. When I started hearing the gunshots I flinched and even got scared only by hearing the sound of it coming through a speaker, I can’t imagine what the soldiers in the war felt when gunshots were fired and when they saw their peers collapse to the ground. The movie seemed realistic but at the same time I couldn’t believe what soldiers went through, I started thinking that it was nothing like my life, I couldn’t imagine going through all those horrible experiences and traumas, I think if there were a world war now I would be completely useless. Partly because I’m just a teen and partly because I’m not prepared for that kind of challenge and the repercussions it leaves. It’s frightening to think that maybe someone related to me went to the war and maybe even died serving their country. The pictures shown in the video were very intense and horrifying, in some of them I had to look the other way or close my eyes to not look at them because of how graphic the images were.  It’s crazy to think that soldiers lived years in that situation, I can’t imagine how traumatized and tired they were during and after the war. I was shocked that after the war people were not hiring soldiers after all they did and sacrificed to serve their countries. The play was horrifying and very intense and shocking but at the same time it was very insightful and it reminded me that people were willing to sacrifice their lives to help others and serve their countries. I still can’t believe how soldiers survived all those years fighting, preparing, training, and hiding with only black beans and rice, how doctors survived all those days helping injured soldiers getting barely any sleep and sacrificing their health for the health of others. I think this movie helped me realize that people underestimate the abilities of human beings and what we are capable of and some of us don’t give enough importance to soldiers who fought for our safety and continue fighting for their countries.

They Shall Not Grow Old

At the start of the film, “They Shall Not Grow Old” there was mention of people ages 19 to 35 being allowed to join the army. Some soldiers expressed they were happy to join and fulfill the job. Even boys as young as 15 would try to sneak in by lying about their age as they were proud to go fight for their country. Being 15 myself, this was shocking to me. Watching the beginning, I felt surprised at how most soldiers seemed eager to join and help fight. Once we got deeper into the film, soldiers were expressing their feelings after being in the war and fighting. Hearing all the brutal words, I was devastated for all these innocent people giving up their lives for their country. Although some soldiers mentioned how they were “used” to the war and used to fighting, I felt horrible about all the suffering the soldiers had to go through and how many died trying. One soldier mentioned how the shooting was typically 10 minutes. I couldn’t imagine the thoughts and feelings going through their minds. As one of the soldiers was talking, it reminded me of a prison as he said they ate the same thing every day and had the same routine. I couldn’t imagine the pain of the families whose kids didn’t make it out. When the war was over, the ones to make it out alive had suffered so much and now have an unbearable amount of trauma and I couldn’t imagine all the pain and brutal memories. I have so much respect for and admire all the soldiers who gave up their lives for a future, our future. 

They Shall Not Grow Old and how the film shows my character

The film They Shall not Grow Old was set in a world so unlike my own that the story seemed fictitious when it was based on reality. The devastation wrought upon the people of this time by the war made me feel so very grateful for all of the choices and events allowing for my comfort and privilege. The circumstances that I would be in if I was raised in war times compared to the safety and opportunity that I am given by being raised in this time, socio economic status and part of the world are drastic and uncomfortable to think about. Imagining going to school, caring for my family, or working in a factory while my male peers, family and loved ones might be dying or dead is a thought I am grateful is unlikely to come to pass in my lifetime. It is difficult for me to understand how the men and boys signing up for war in this time would sign up at all and I’m simply dumbfounded that they would choose to return after being allowed home because of injury. Knowing the risks and the very real possibility that those soldiers might never see their families again shows me that I for one, am quite sure that my bravery is not comparable to theirs whatsoever.

A Cup of Coffee: Not so Trivial Anymore

While I was watching the film, They Shall Not Grow Old, I continuously tried to picture myself as a Canadian soldier in World War One, the difference between life as a man one hundred years ago compared to now, and different worldviews and perspectives. 

I was constantly thinking about life as a Canadian soldier, because some of the soldiers who fought in the war were the same age as me when they entered war, so I can somewhat relate to them in a sense, being a teenager who enjoys playing sports and who goes to school, and then suddenly having to decide, or in some cases be forced, into joining the war. I would have to sail all the way to Europe, and there would be some feelings of fear because I would be forced to leave my sheltered life and homeland. At the same time, there would also be an overwhelming sese of patriotism and pride in carrying out my duty to defend it. In addition to that, all my friends would participate in the war, family would also try to convince me to join, and there would be a great deal of propaganda coaxing young men to participate, which would make it irresistible for a boy of my age to join the war. Plus, if I did not join, I might be made fun of and thought of as a coward during those times, because people believed that it was a man’s duty to fight. 

Today, though, it would be a vastly different scenario. Looking at the film from a modern-day perspective, many would think of war as a crude way of increasing territory and gaining resources. Today, people frown upon the thought of war in order to retain peace. Governments should set up conferences and peacefully discuss their ideas rather than killing millions of people. War is a very inefficient way to get what you want, and it would be much more effective to simply communicate with other countries and open bilateral discussions to understand conflicting views. It is only through peaceful discussion that countries can achieve a better understanding of situations and find common ground. 

While I was watching the battle scenes, I was picturing what it would be like if my battle partners were getting shot and dying on the battlefield. The people who I bonded with and shared memories with disappearing in the blink of an eye. The adrenaline rush of trying to escape and frantically running for your life, and if you unfortunately got shot, the pain would be excruciating. I thought of it like a scary video game where you were always in fear and one where you could not pause or reload the game, so if you made a singular mistake, it would be “game over.” This made me think about how the soldiers would constantly be in a life-or-death situation for those four years from 1914 to 1918, but if we compared that to the lives of young men nowadays, there is such stark difference, because I can eat comfortably, go to school, have fun with my friends, and play sports, whereas if I was alive over a hundred years ago, I could be one step away from death at all times, barely eat enough to survive, and my friends would be getting killed left, right and centre. 

To conclude, while I was watching They Shall Not Grow Old, I was constantly reminded of the difference between life as a Canadian man one hundred years ago compared to now. It brings to light the little luxuries in life that we take for granted today, and how in the past it would be so difficult to simply enjoy a warm cup of coffee in the morning. My ignorance about the hardships of a 15-year-old a century ago brings into focus how important peace is. As the Buddha once said, “There is no greater wealth in the world than peace of mind.” This film made me realise how important it is to revisit history and see things from a soldier’s perspective. It is only then that you can see the devastation of war. And make every effort to prevent it in the future. After watching this film, I was given a newfound appreciation for what we consider trivial in life. 

PR: They Shall Not Grow Old

I found several parts of They Shall Not Grow Old very striking due to the realistic elements of the time period and the people portrayed. For example, in one clip the German and British soldiers are swapping hats and joking, and in another part, a veteran says, “Snipers would fire and not hit anybody, you know?” I found these examples very moving because they highlighted the fact that the soldiers were all people just like us, but in a different time period. You can sense what life was like during that time through what they say and how they act, and I find that very humanizing. While we’ve grown up being taught about people from other nations, they may not have and have spent the last few years hating the opposite side and hearing stories of their brutality and monstrosity. But nevertheless, certainly some of them managed to be empathetic and compassionate and treat the soldiers that they had been fighting so long against as people.

I feel that “out of sight, out of mind” is a concept that greatly affects me. Sure, I can know the facts about historical events and people, and may even know their life stories, but it doesn’t seem real until I see something like this movie that shows the people involved being “real people” – not just unknown faces and mystery soldiers of the past. Looking at old pictures and hearing about “the soldiers of WWI” doesn’t make the events from over a hundred years ago feel real, but seeing the soldiers, in color, joking about with another, having a cup of tea made from water their gun heated, and hearing veterans talk about how “no one cared who won at that point,” really brought it home to me, so to speak.

They shall not grow old

The movie “They Shall Not Grow Old” was such an intense experience. In this documentary about World War I produced by Peter Jackson. At first, I thought it was gonna be all boring and old. But the way the producer made the black and white scenes turned into color scenes was amazing. It was totally not what I expected.

This movies felt like if i was like going back in time and seeing what those soldiers went through. I couldn’t believe it. It made me realize that these soldiers who fought in the war were just regular people like us, not some distant characters from the past. For example that people between 19 and 35 were able to go to the war, but some kids lied about their age so that they could go to war. Even some parents wanted their kids back home but the kids that were at war didn’t went back because they wanted to be there.

And those voices, the ones from the actual soldiers, were so real. It’s like they were telling their stories right there with us in the theater. Hearing them talk about how they felt when they signed up, the fear they felt in the trenches, and the match they had with their friends, it was all so emotional. Some of the phrases that the soldiers say were “I don’t regret going to war”, “Even though it was a sad experience watching how they killed my friends i would repeat it and go again to the war” and “The men’s best friend at was is the rifle”. This phrases shocked me so much and I was so sad listening to this.

Another thing that stood out to me was the way the soldiers became so close and created a really strong brotherhood. They formed these strong bonds with their fellow soldiers, and it made me think about my own friendships and how important they are. It’s crazy how in the middle of all that chaos and danger, these guys found support and friendship in each other.

And the way the film handled the darker aspects of war, like the injuries and death, was really eye-opening. It made me realize the true cost of war, how it affects not just the soldiers but their families and communities too. It’s not just a bunch of numbers; it’s real people. The way they said that that about 1 Million British people were killed was so heartbreaking.

What I really liked was that the movie didn’t softened anything. It showed the harshness of war, the mud, the rats, the injuries. It was tough to watch, but it felt real. It made me appreciate what they went through and made me think about the sacrifices they made for our generation. It also made me realize how easy our lives are compared to what they went through.

The sad part was not only the war, also when the war ended the soldiers weren’t able to find a job, it was very difficult for them to get a good job. This happened because they wanted to make a reflection of the economic and social challenges that many veterans faced during the post war period. This movie shows the struggles of these veterans and provides a glimpse into the challenges they faced in reintegrating into society after the war. It serves as a sad reminder of the human costs of war and the lasting impact it can have on the lives of those who served.

This movie isn’t just a history lesson. It makes you realize that war isn’t some cool adventure; it’s a brutal and heartbreaking thing. It’s a movie that every teenager should watch because it helps us connect with the past and understand the price of freedom.

They shall not grow old

The film I watched was more like a documentary. It was about the First World War. In my point of view there wasn’t a structured sequence or specific storyline to follow.  The film focused on the the British Army and their life style, all their toughs and difficulties thru that point of their life. I had a lot of mixed feelings watching it, I felt disgusted and moved about how could people do that to other people, In what world we live in that could be possible, aren’t we supposed to be a civilized species?

It made me think about our present time problems, how the wars still continue and how much possibility we have that a WW3 could happen again, all the small wars that are happening right now and how most of them are not talked about enough, how innocent lives can change from one day and other.

In my opinion wars should not happen all they do is damage, destroy landscapes and innocent lives.

PR#1 They Shall Not Grow Old, Vittoria Barocio

Can something in the past change the present into a different way of living? WW1 had a big impact on the modernized world, it changed it in many ways, and the soldiers who were part of that war changed the world for the better.

Soldiers do not regret going to war, that was one of the quotes the documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” Started with. This quote symbolizes a lot to me and represents a lot of things in WW1 because it shows how men of all ages, gave their life for the war. Without this man fighting, the world wouldn’t be the same as it is now. We are who are because of these soldiers. At the beginning of the documentary I was completely uninterested, but once I started observing the hard work all the soldiers apported to the war, I understood that they did all of that for the future of the world. The world is so much different, from how it was back then, maybe if those soldiers hadn’t joined the war, and done everything to stop it, the world would still be fighting. I have so much respect for all those people who made the war go to an end, and not only soldiers but also the people who sported in many different other ways; Like women, women filled men’s jobs while they weren’t available, or also the medics, people who took care of all those extreme injuries created in the ear. Overall I’m so thankful for the people who risked everything they had for the benefit of others, without World War One people’s actions we wouldn’t be who we are now.


PR #1 – Mixed Thoughts and Feelings – Julia Street

While watching the documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” directed by Peter Jackson my feelings and thoughts were mixed. They were emotions a majority would feel when mentioning war, sadness, anger, and horror. During the classes we spent watching the documentary I felt all these emotions, however, another emotion struck me, that of pity. Pity like an outsider, pity of those who could not relate.

 Throughout the documentary, I felt like the civilians after the war had ended, pitying but not fully understanding the experiences of the survivors, “However nice and sympathetic they were, attempts of well-meaning people to sympathize reflected the fact that they didn’t really understand at all”. In modern-day times it would be like reading about the war online or watching it on the news. You feel pity towards the people and the situation they are in but nonetheless, you go on with your day. Although the civilians had felt the pain of having their family and friends sent out to war, they could not truly fathom the horrifying feeling of surviving in the trenches, charging across no man’s land, the impending doom of getting shot or blown up. This frightened me, the horrors a soldier had to experience would go unnoticed by family and friends.

Perhaps, it is because I can not relate to the world of 1914-18 especially since the zeitgeist was different more than 100 years ago. The normalization of war is a very foreign idea to me. At the start of the war, the excitement moving through the young men in Europe shocked me. I was horrified at the thought that some of these young men lied about their age just to join, many not being more than two years older than me. I was in disbelief at how casually these people thought of war. After thinking about it, it makes sense, all they had ever thought about war was that it was a glorious thing that brought your nation power and wealth. They believed as a quote from the documentary, “The empire was strong, we weren’t afraid of anyone. Everybody bought little buttons and white flags and sang songs, there was no feeling of despair about it at all”. What civilians in 1914 to 1918 were made aware of through newspaper articles and photos was very different from the horrifying images, videos, and writings of the Great War we all have access to today. I could easily search for any information I wanted, even the original black and white film in this documentary is now colourized. The closest they could get to any graphics or descriptions of war life was from the newspaper’s blurry black-and-white photos and idealized writings of the war.

Anger was a prominent emotion I felt while they described the treatment of the soldiers and the recruiting of the guards. I asked myself why they were letting such young boys sign up. Why weren’t their parents stopping them? Why isn’t the Sargent stopping them? Why isn’t anyone stopping them? It filled me with a useless rage. Nearing the end of the war after millions of soldiers had been injured and killed the old soldiers were retelling how nice it felt to sip tea, a smoke, or a shot of rum. Again, it made me mad that just the absolute basic pleasures in life were so uncommon to them. It made me mad that the civilians didn’t understand, “People didn’t seem to realize what a terrible thing war was…They hadn’t any conception – how could they?”. It is not the civilian’s fault that they couldn’t comprehend. But it still makes me mad. The government and media outlets that made the war seem as if it would be over in two weeks made me mad. It makes me mad that the trauma the young men experienced went untreated and their mental well-being was ignored. I felt sad about the men both young and old who had to suffer the horror of the war. It made me sad to think of the families that suffered the loss of close family and friends, and it made me sad to think of the lasting repercussions for this generation and the next.

Personal Response (They Shall Not Grow Old) – Kate Homer-Dixon

I’ve probably spent too much time deliberating about what I should write here, and this is mostly due to how much one empty piece of paper (or in this case, empty draft) can intimidate me. How do I explain a war where millions died and accurately represent the complexity and brutality that occurred?

The tragedy of World War 1 isn’t an unspoken subject, it’s actually far from it. One search of the internet and I found websites, books, and films (such as They Shall Not Grow Old) all describing in detail the horrifying experiences that happened in the trenches and no-mans land. It would be wrong to say that I was never told about World War 1, although the topic wasn’t a common discussion in my household. For younger me, all I needed to know was that many people died, there was a good guy and a bad guy, and that my great grandfather had fought in the war. I didn’t think the topic was extremely important to my life since it had happened so long ago, so I didn’t pursue the topic any further and decided that the information I had was all I needed to know. For a long time I didn’t know about the terrible conditions the soldiers endured and the horrible things these soldiers witnessed. I think this is why, despite the stories being disturbing, I was thankful for how the movie They Shall Not Grow Old presented the war. It was honest about what had happened in the war, and didn’t censor the experiences of those who had fought and seen such atrocities. But again, I didn’t know a lot about this topic until I was in high school. I didn’t even know that the condition Europe was left in after the Armistice allowed for World War 2 to become such a devastating war. Because of World War 1, more people were forced to live in trenches, more dangerous weapons were created to allow for greater violence, and peoples’ mental health was sacrificed for their country. This first war — the “Great” war — paved the way for even more generational trauma; something that has affected older members of my family for multiple generations. Despite this, They Shall Not Grow Old was still able to show that there were good times during the war, and that the majority of soldiers were still able to show empathy to their enemies. World War 1 should not be seen as only a tragedy, but also a success from people who survived such a devastating time.