Category Archives: WWI Literature

War reflection

The war hurt many people. The war produced many problems and consequences that would last forever for people that participated in the war and had to see what they saw. People that were in the war had to see many horrific sights that we couldn’t even imagine, this would leave to many soldiers with emotional disorders and impact their states of mind permanently. soldiers would come home from the war and their families would say that they were never the same person.  For example in all quiet on the western front when paul comes home he says “that he wishes he never came back to this place on leave”. The reason for this is because the war had permanently scared him and he could now not relate to anyone. The war did not just hurt the family’s and soldiers but would turn nice towns into ash and mayhem. in honor of the soldiers that fought for us, we have remembrance day to recognize the soldiers that sacrificed it all for there country. Preventing war has been many world leaders’ goals for a while now. But everyone has there opinion on how we should stop wars. But if you want to stop a war you have to know that all of our past attempts have failed miserably. We need to all come together as one whole and work together to create peace, this will take lots of negotiating and hard work though. now at first glance when I look at remembrance day I don’t see anything wrong with it or anything that could potentially offend anyone. But when I look more closely I start to realize how some people have a problem with it. For example, why would we want to celebrate something that soldiers spend most of there lives trying to keep out of there minds? Furthermore, we shouldn’t celebrate something that has caused so much pain, grief, and destruction. I understand that commemorating soldiers is incredibly important but maybe we should just change the way that we do things just a little bit, thanking the soldiers are important but the war is general overall just set us back from world peace. Now if I were to design my own remembrance day ceremony it would start on the 11th day, at 11 am, on the 11th month. Then there would be an explanation of why we are commemorating the soldiers from me. Then the moment of silence, 2 minutes. Then after the moment of silence, we will have the wreaths put up to the monument if there is one. After this, we will have soldiers or family that would like to have a word spoken on the mic for everyone. There will be no requirement on what you have to say. After that for the end we will have hopefully a world war two plane fly overhead if possible, I got this idea from the ceremony my family goes to every year in Cobble Hill, where there is a plane form the war that flys over. The people then may exit if they will or thank the soldiers for there service. 




War; the useless slaughter of millions of innocent lives, caused by petty disagreements of those in power. Wars which were fought by brave young men forced to sacrifice their lives for the pride of their country. The profound truth is that wars are rarely won; those who have not died are the only ones considered winners. War is a devastatingly savage and unhuman act; physically and mentally devastating to all involved. The horrors are not only present in life on the frontline but live in the ongoing guilt of the survivors. We forget all too quickly the feelings of those at home, friends and families, and the effects of war on them. The physical impact of war is one of the most terrible things society and humans have ever experienced, the slaughter of innocent man for small areas of land.

Pieces of literature, such as Flanders Fields and Marching Men, give a patriotic perspective on war. They are leading us to believe that fighting for your country is not only a duty but a privilege. Comparing soldiers to god, saying the sacrifice of their lives is something they should not only take pride in but be willing to do. In comparison, literature such as Dulce et Decorum Est, and All Quiet on the Western Front have contrasting views. They show the more truthful and first-hand experience of war.

Remembrance Day is a holiday of great importance, recognizing the sacrifices soldiers willingly and unwillingly made for a more significant cause. The ceremonies we have now celebrate the soldiers and thank them for there braver. We have a minute of silence and poems are usually read. If I were to create a remembrance day ceremony, I would generally keep it the same as Canadas current ceremony with a few minute changes. I would place more focuses on the en humane parts of war, putting stress on what the soldiers went through and how badly it affected a whole generation; along with education on prevention of future conflicts and PTSD. I believe remembrance day should be un militarized as this draws the focuses pro-war and the ceremony should be conveying the opposite, war should not be glorified by a ceremony morning those who have lost there lives due to this cause.


WWI Remembrance Day

World War I (WWI)  involved more countries than any other war did before. Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire (the Central Powers) fought against Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan and the United States (the Allied Powers). Over 9 million from the military died during this war, and over 7 million men were left disabled for the rest of their lives. It is not surprising at all that the effects of WW1 were still present decades later, it just brought too many consequences. The world would never be the same again, WW1 definitely created an atmosphere and a new place to live that allowed the rise of the Nazi Party and the start of WW2.

We tend to remember past wars for honoring the people who sacrifice themselves for standing up for their country. Those people demonstrated great values that somehow they must be reflected in the society we are living. We must remember wars in a way we feel proud for all of the soldiers that lost their lives, and for remembering that we can get over anything and move forward as a united country.

A way of preventing conflicts that might end in wars, it’s really important to understand what causes it, and what approaches have, and haven’t been successful in the past.

“In Flanders Fields” by John McRae, he is principally focusing on the sacrifices that the soldiers are making for their countries and for the people living in them.

For example:

“Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw the torch;
be yours to hold it high.” (In Flanders Fields by John McRae)

All Quiet on The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, describes the German soldiers’  physical and mental extreme stress during the war, and the detachment from the civilian life felt by many of these soldiers once they return home from the front.

At the sound of the first droning of the shells we rush back, in one part of our being, a thousand years. 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. . . . It is this other, this second sight in us, that has thrown us to the ground and saved us, without our knowing how. . . . We march up, moody or good-tempered soldiers—we reach the zone where the front begins and become on the instant human animals. (chapter 4 – p, 56)

Paul Baümer best describes with this quote, the transformation that soldiers have when heading into battle (psychological and physically). Paul observes his fellow comrades perform this act through battles.  They tend  to become good-tempered men/soldiers, but instead they all become fierce beasts (human animals). To survive the battle, it is necessary that soldiers put aside the thoughtful and analytical part of their minds and lean completely instead on their animal instinct. Paul outlines men who have been walking along and suddenly thrown themselves to the ground just in time to avoid a shell, without having been consciously aware that a shell was approaching and without having the intention to avoid it. Paul calls this behavior a  “second sight” and states that it is the only thing that allows soldiers to survive a battle. We could say that Paul mentions personally  that battles and wars are animalistic, they can bring out the worst of a person, and can wreak on a soldier’s humanity.

If someday I get the opportunity of making a Remembrance Day ceremony, it would be the day the war ended at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month. People would wear a red poppy as a symbol of remembrance for those who fought and helped in the war. First there would be 2 minutes of silence remembering the people who have died in wars. Then, the recitation of “In Flanders Fields” by John McRae, to commemorate fallen soldiers.  Finally, I would love if a family member of a soldier or the soldier himself gives out a speech, there’s no specific things they have to say, just some words that are born from their hearts.



War Reflection

War can be viewed in several contrasting perspectives, or through multiple varying lenses. Despite this, the common factors are the astronomical amounts of death, the lengthy resolution processes, and the mourning period families have to go through after losing their loved ones. However, we don’t tend to see this side of war. It’s often portrayed as courageous young men fighting for the country they love. Although we acknowledge the unpleasant and devastating outcomes of war, the patriotic biases generally outweigh the true, tragic nature. During this unit, I discovered not only the patriotic or negative stances on war, but also approaches I would have never thought to consider. 

Reading All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque, allowed me to get a glimpse into the life of a soldier, which was quite eye-opening. Throughout the novel, there was a definite development between certain characters, as the soldiers’ relationships transformed from friendships, to brotherhood. The strength of their bonds are so powerful, that we start to observe the characters become more afraid for each other in combat, than themselves, as we see in the following scene:

I become gloomy: I will be away for six weeks– that is lucky of course, but what may happen before I get back? Shall I meet these fellows again? Already Haie and Kemmerich have gone– who will the next be? (p.152)

This passage demonstrates only a fraction the distress soldiers faced due to their rapidly changing lives, and the destruction they may face at any given moment. Often times, when looking at different wars, we look at them in a very broad, abstract, almost apathetic way. We don’t dwell on or even consider the individual lives that were turned upside down, because it’s much too difficult to make such a traumatic and catastrophic event personal. It would tear us down… but perhaps it should. Now, I’m not proposing that we inflict emotional suffering on ourselves. Nevertheless, perhaps the traditions of only honouring the success of the war needs to be balanced with more recognition and appreciation of what the soldiers and families lost.

After having the opportunity to read the varying poems, I began to understand the different impacts the war had on people. In Dulce et Decorum Est, by Wilfred Owen, I found an apparent tone of resentment, and a very rough sound that conveys the narrator’s view perfectly. The language used provokes a very negative, seemingly angry response in the reader, which I believe was the author’s aim when forming the diction:

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,

Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,

The expressions used, in particular old beggars, and coughing like hags, are very aggressive, which reveals the pain the war caused for the narrator. I also observed that the sentence is broken up in multiple places, creating a jagged and abrupt sound when reading it. This poem demonstrates a very raw, painful take on the war, whereas if you were to look at In Flanders Fields, by John McRae, there is a much more peaceful, serene and woeful outlook, such as in these lines:

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders Fields.

It’s interesting to compare, because it seems that the more vague the poem is, such as In Flanders Fields, the more it ties into patriotism, whereas the more detailed and thorough, the more gut-wrenching. This theory ties into what I mentioned early, about how we tend to focus on war as very vague, and far-away, which is potentially why we end up making it much more patriotic than it should be. I recognize that patriotism can be a good thing in many scenarios. However, when holding a ceremony titled “Remembrance Day”, I feel it is important to share more than that very one-sided opinion.

The more we educate ourselves on war, the more we deepen our understanding, which allows us to come to our own conclusions about it. I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinions about these events, not just mine. I strongly believe that knowledge is power, which is why I don’t think the war should be remembered in a certain, specific way. The more resources we have, the more we’re taught, the more informed our beliefs become. This literature has absolutely influenced and altered my conclusions, but now I’m truly able to understand and justify my opinions. Personally, I sit in between the two extremes, because I feel that certain details are too gruesome to share. Nevertheless, it is very important to understand the struggles the soldiers faced in order to make our country the safe, free, and peaceful nation it is today.

Following the same idea, in order to prevent a future war, we must promote the education of past wars, what caused them, and how much havoc they resulted in. We’re constantly encouraged to learn from our mistakes, and this happens to directly apply to this situation. As long as we continue to comprehend what we did poorly and successfully, we will be able to keep Canada a safe place. It’s definitely more complicated than that for leaders, because it’s extremely challenging to please everyone. Even so, that’s why it’s so advantageous for our nation to embrace diversity.

In a Remembrance Day ceremony, I would maintain certain traditions, but alter others. I have attended a ceremony at a cemetery before, and I found it much more meaningful. There is a program, called “No stone left alone”, which I think is a very good idea for Remembrance Day. The idea is to honour the individual soldiers, by putting a poppy on each one of their graves. I feel this is very important, because the individual lives aren’t as recognized as I believe they should be. We’re talking about people, who fought to protect us. It’s important to realize how much they sacrificed, and hoe much they went through, which is why I would read To His Love, Perhaps, and Anthem for Doomed Youth. I believe those poems are very honest, and they capture the sadness, while also expressing what the soldiers went through.

I don’t agree with a reading of In Flanders Fields, because we need to stop the glorification of the war, not encourage it. Yes, we’re fortunate to have freedom, and yes this is due to the war. Despite that, it’s not something we should be celebrating in the slightest. We should not be proud of the war, we should be relieved we aren’t obligated to fight in one now. We lost so many lives, which need to be valued, which is why I would make a Remembrance Day ceremony individual-orientated, rather than remembering the war itself.

I strongly believe that this is the way we should be honouring the soldiers, yet avoiding all glorification, as in the end, that’s what this day is all about.


War Reflection

WW1, also known as the first world war is a global war centered in Europe which began on 28th July 1914 and lasted until 11th November 1918. This war involved two opposing alliances, and this includes the allies and the central powers. The allies countries were Russia, France, British Empire, Italy, United States, Japan, Rumania, Serbia, Belgium, Greece, Portugal and Montenegro, and having the central powers included Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, and Bulgaria.

The consequences of world war one were immense, 9 million soldiers, and as many civilians died in the war, it was frightening and intimidating to even think about how the battle caused numerous people to die. But this was not the only consequence of this war. The most significant consequence of this war was the emotions of the soldiers who survived, as they have experienced everything in the war, all the bad experiences that they had been through would be engraved inside their heads. As a result, these soldiers would have Post-traumatic stress disorder. An example would be from an infamous poem by Wilfred Owen named Dulce et Decorum Est. In this poem, he talks about his experience fighting in the trenches in northern France during World War I. While having a conflict in the trenches.

“In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.”

In this part of the poem, he describes how one of his comrades suffered from chlorine gas and how this experience had affected him immensely.

As there were countless casualties and events during the first world war, how should it be remembered? Well, there are lots of ways we can recognize it. For example, they can be commemorated by memorials, as it can remind more people about the events of the war and the casualties. Another way we can remember World War 1 is by having a remembrance day so that it can recall the deaths of all the soldiers who bravely fought and sacrificed their lives for their country and family during the first world war.

To prevent future wars in the future, I believe that we should educate students nowadays about the history and the cause of the war so that future generations would see how tragic and obscene war is and will not try to start a war. Another way we can prevent war in the future is just by having stability in countries. For example, having a stable government, if the government is not steady, it might lead to war, as the government might be corrupt.

Remembrance Day:
If I were to organize a remembrance day ceremony, I would hold it in a war grave, so that people would remember all the people who died during the first world war. During the ceremony, if there were readings, I would want a war veteran to read a poem about the soldiers of the war so that we would remember them, such as the poem In Flanders fields by John Mcrae. Since, in this poem, he explains why exactly should we remember those soldiers who went to war. An example would be this quote:

“Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.”

in this part in the poem, he describes these soldiers were once living, breathing human beings, with their own lives and feelings. And that now they lie dead as a sacrifice to their country.

Also, if there were speeches, I would like the next generation to have a speech about the war, as I believe that the next generation should be responsible for passing on the legacy of their heroes to future generations. In their speech, they should talk about how they should not forget about the sacrifices of the people who contributed to the war, Such as the doctors and nurses who tended the wounded, or even teen boys, who were shipped off to fight before they got a chance at adulthood. Finally, they should end the speech by paying respects to these people.


WWI Lit: Nov. 4 (Remembrance Day)

War is a massively destructive and largely useless activity in which humans have been partaking for centuries upon centuries. Some wars have been between two countries, and others have involved almost every country in the world; some have lasted less than an hour, and others have been drawn out over two-hundred or more years. They occur all throughout humanity’s timeline, in every corner of the Earth, and for a variety of reasons. However, no matter the time period, location, or purpose, nearly all wars end up the same: with people dead.

To encourage their citizens to take part in their wars, which often boil down to trivial squabbles between wealthy or otherwise high-ranking people, leaders have spread ideals of war that paint it as the foremost way for an individual to be honourable, and to be a good citizen to their country.

This is exemplified in much of the literature written about various wars. One such piece of literature is World War One poem Marching Men by Marjorie Pickthall. In this, the soldiers are described as “Christs,” who march “in holiest fellowship.” Pickthall views these men as holy beings, even though in reality they are little more than shells of people, broken and hollowed out by the terror and death they experience.

This brokenness is shown throughout the book All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, which follows German soldier Paul Bäumer. He remarks that if the soldiers return, they will be “weary, broken, burnt out, rootless, and without hope,” and will be unable to find their “way any more” (p. 294). It is also demonstrated in the short story Soldier’s Home by Ernest Hemingway, where returned-soldier Krebs cannot relate whatsoever to his family, even though the war is over. In one passage, Kreb’s mother asks “don’t you love your mother dear boy?” And Krebs responds “no… I don’t love anybody” (p. 9). He then goes on to take back his statement when his mother bursts into tears, but feels nauseated while doing so because he cannot stand lying so much.

War should never be glorified, and nor should joining the army. There is nothing noble about killing people mentally damaging our citizens, no matter the justification. With our world growing more and more connected by the addition of accessible and easy international communication and travel, my hope is that it will be more difficult for people to view each other as less-than-human enemies in the future, as so often soldiers did in the past. Still, that is only as individuals, and these things are rarely determined by the will of the citizens. With so many countries continuing to build up their military power and weapon stores, it isn’t hard to imagine tensions rising between forces once again. This time, however, considering the technological advancement we have made, a world war would almost certainly leave Earth severely and irreversibly damaged.

This is why it is so important that we educate everyone on the effects of war now. Unfortunately, it seems for many people the only time we talk about war is during Remembrance Day. Even then, our ceremonies don’t include much educating on the more unpleasant details, even though that is exactly what we need to hear in order to understand that war is dreadful and wrong, and something we truly need to avoid at all cost.

If I were to design a ceremony, it would honour those killed in the wars, not by glorifying their cause, but by helping ensure that future wars would be prevented.

One good thing that our Remembrance Day ceremonies do is encourage people to donate money to charities that help provide veterans with the physical, financial, and mental care they need. This I would keep the same, thought possibly put even more of an emphasis on.

Something I would definitely change though is what is read– at almost every Remembrance Day ceremony, we read poetry such as In Flanders Fields by John McRae, and Marching Men by Marjorie Pickthall, that is all about acknowledging how virtuous soldiers are and honourable war is. To me, telling people killing is honourable does not seem like a good way to build a peaceful and moral society. For this reason, I would instead read poems such as Dulce et Decorum Est and Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen, which tell of the horrors soldiers have had to face, and of what war can do to people. I would also have veterans come to speak of what they have gone through, and how it has affected them.

By doing these things, I would hopefully be able to make people understand that war is not something to be proud of, and help prevent the “enlisting is honourable” mentality.



Reflection on War

Our world has changed over the years because of many different things. War is one of the reasons for a significant change in our society. Thinking back on World War I and World War II we can see that so much has evolved. Our society has grown, and there have been so many new advancements in technology. Hearing this, you could say that war helps us to grow, but the damage it causes affects many people’s lives. In most wars, people are often killed and families are left to suffer. Young men who joined the army during these times put themselves at major risk since the wars attacked them physically, mentally, and emotionally as well.

In All Quiet on the Western Front, written by Erich Maria Remarque, when Paul is given leave and returns home he feels uneasy, the war had changed him. The experiences he had faced made him stronger but they had affected him emotionally. When he saw civilians amongst the streets on his way home, they greeted him since he was in uniform. Paul disliked these interactions since he felt that emotionally, these civilians could in no way relate to the people who fought in the war. This is important because if there wasn’t anyone willing to risk their own lives in war, then there would only be more damage done. With no one to support one another, people are bound to fall.

Looking back on these past wars, we must remember the people who risked their own lives to create a more sustained future for us. We must use these past wars to educate ourselves on how people lived during those times, the violence which occurred, and what the result was. To help ourselves change our thoughts on war, we must look more towards the negative effects of war. Then people will begin to believe that there are no benefits that come from it. This will help us prevent wars from occurring in the future and advance together as a society. There will always be people in this world who will not agree with this, but I believe that if we work together we will succeed in creating a safe future for generations to come.

Every year on November 11, we have Remembrance Day. On this day we acknowledge the armistice of the end of World War I. Most people wear a red poppy which symbolizes the lives of the men and women who fought during the war, we wear the poppy to show that we care. After the war had ended, poppies grew where the battle had taken place, which is why it is used as a symbol on this day. The poem “In Flanders Fields,” written by John McRae was inspired by the poppies which grew on the battlefield.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

From these few lines within the poem, we are listening to the voices of the soldiers who had fallen on the battleground. They are sharing with us their lives, what they used to feel with warmth, how they were once loved, and where they now lie. They are trying to teach us to take advantage of every day, to spend more time with those you love, and to follow what you feel is right. Life is valuable, and we can’t take advantage of it, but we can use it to do the right thing.

This poem is often chosen to be read during ceremonies on remembrance day since it talks about World War I from the perspective of the soldiers. It addresses the battlefield where the war had been fought and how it had been such a life-altering incident for many individuals across the world. If I was to ever be given the privilege of organizing a remembrance day ceremony I would decorate the area of the event with poppies, and give every individual who comes to support the event a red poppy. To help symbolize hope and respect shown by everyone there. There would also be various flags that represented where the soldiers who fought in the war came from. The ceremony would begin with an acknowledgment of the land we are currently occupying, which is Songhees and First Nations land. There would then be a speech by a government official on the war, who would reflect on how it had greatly affected our society. After this speech, we would have 2 minutes of silence to reflect on the war ourselves. Then there would be the reading of “Flanders Fields,” by a young school student. Once this reading is finished we would end the ceremony and say thank you to all who came and supported the cause alongside us.


Reflection on War

WWI was the first war that had involved many countries and had more lasting consequences than any other wars in history. WWI killed more than 9 million soldiers and 6 million civilians, leaving 7 million men permanently disabled. It had resulted in the decline of monarchies in Russia, Austria, Hungary, Germany, and Turkey. It has also shattered the development of peace, which had lasted for 100 years before WWI.

The Remembrance day started after WWI ended. Although people celebrated it, WWII still happened. The way we choose to remember the wars tells us about the values of our society. Typically, we remember wars because we want to honour those who have lost their lives in war. We also recognize that the country needs people to continue to offer themselves forward to fight in the future. But this does not serve our world forwards, because it suggests that the military is ready to serve its next sacrifice, and does little to prevent future wars.

We should remember past wars for unity and peace. To prevent future conflicts, we need to reflect on how each war had thrust up entirely unexpected and dreading consequences to the participating generation. During the inception of WWI, people were stirred up about the grand beliefs of romantic national glory. The poem: “The Soldier” by Rupert Brooke portrays death for England as a glorious, noble end:

” If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England.”

Other patriotic poems, such as “In Flanders Fields” and “Marching Men” resemble the themes of Remembrance day. They tend to focus on the noble sacrifices that the soldiers made for their countries. For example:

“Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw the torch;
be yours to hold it high.” (In Flanders Fields by John McRae)

These lines encourage the continuity of nationalism and emphasize the proudness to serve in the army.

The endless trench wars in WWI shattered those ideas. In the novel All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul and his schoolmates were persuaded to enlist in the German army by their patriotic schoolmaster, only to find that the war is not romantic at all.

“We loved our country as much as they; we went courageously into every action, but also we distinguished the false from true, we had suddenly learned to see. And we saw that there was nothing of their world left.” (p.13) It shows that as much as Paul and the other soldiers loved their country, the avoidable trauma from the war due to patriotism was unforgivable. Their experiences in the war had destroyed their values as schoolboys, and they “have become a wasteland.” (p.20)

WWI poetry had also reflected upon this change of attitudes towards war. An example would be “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen. The poem uses many stanzas to describe gruesome scenes of the war. It ends with:

“My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old lie: Dulce et decorum est pro-Patria Mori.”

This sentence leaves a lasting impact, especially if you compare it with the earlier WWI poems. We can also connect this difference with All Quiet on the Western Front. The novel shows us to war from the perspective of a young man who has experienced and witnessed war. It is the same perspective as the narrator of Dulce et Decorum Est. The patriotic views are from people like the schoolmaster Kantorek and John McRae. The contrast between the literature produced from different perspectives shows that we might never relate to the veterans from the wars.

Just as no one saw the consequences of trench warfare and bombardment, WWII started when no one could predict the effects of using nuclear weapons. The significant forces believed that they were capable of combat and had taken stands. But the Holocaust and the invention of atomic bombs had startled the world. There will be no doubt that if WWIII happens, it will consist of conventional, nuclear, cyber, drones, and other unknown technologies to once again pull the development of human history into the wrong path. We can never underestimate what the future will look like, and because of this, we need to remember what the previous wars have told us.

The most obvious ways to prevent wars are diplomacy and arms control because war is a social phenomenon that arises from decisions made by political and military leaders.

Therefore, it’s essential to be educated about the roots of conflict and to question the rationalities. I think having a democratic government is an advantage because the press and the public are informed about all decisions. Another great strategy we can use is to address the awareness of climate change. I think that the emergence of popular cultures is also an excellent barrier for conflicts to happen because the generation is more open to other cultures. We live in a society more capable of receiving information, so we can exercise our abilities to evaluate the information we collect. We are more conscious of our thoughts, and we are less likely to be influenced by the blindness of propaganda. The acceptance of diversity and confidence in expressing our identities are also beneficial. We are capable of sharing our thoughts on social media, and make a stand for our preferences. If Paul and his schoolmates were able to reject serving the army, and no one would criticize them, the war wouldn’t happen as soon as people learned the cruelty and trauma enforced to the soldiers.

Trauma is a significant theme in this unit. The short story “soldiers home,” written by Ernest Hemingway, expresses it as an effect shown through the resolution of the war. After Krebs returns from the war, he is helplessly disconnected from everyone else in the town and rejects establishing any connections with others.

“He did not want to tell any more lies. It wasn’t worth it.” (p.3) The barriers between individuals could not be more distant by lies. He is unable to connect his true self with anyone.

The isolation from others also manifests itself in All quiet on the western front: In chapter 7, Paul receives a 14-day break, and he returns home to visit his family.

“But now I see that I have been crushed without knowing it. I find I do not belong here anymore, it is a foreign world.” (p.168) He feels unable to connect to his past life, and all he has left is the war. They both share a lack of desire to communicate with other people. When Kreb’s mother asks him if he loves her, he says: “I don’t love anybody.” (p.9)

Soldiers’ homes didn’t express the details of the war. In all quiet on the western front, it includes many aspects of the gruesomeness of the war. Looking back on history, we might be all too concerned with the significant patterns of things and forget about the rather simple and straightforward facts. The pure horror of destruction, elimination, and devastation caused by poison gas, armoured tanks, and shell bombardments should take into account.

The pamphlet that I read from the class was “Canada Netherlands Pays-Bas Nederland.” The participation of Canadian soldiers in the liberation of the Netherlands contributed an end to WWII. Similar to remembrance day, it talks about Canadian soldiers that died for the freedom to happen. An official bill passed the remembrance day by the Canadian Parliament in 1921, but it doesn’t only serve the purpose of remembering the ones who die for the nation in WWI, but also in all other wars. Many Canadian soldiers sacrificed their lives for this purpose, and thus Canada recognizes Remembrance Day.

But something feels quite off about the celebration of Remembrance day, especially if you connect it to the literature of WWI.

A remembrance day ceremony should change the core concept of mourning those who sacrificed into alerting the cruelty of the war. Instead of reading patriotic and honouring poems such as “In Flanders Fields,” I think it is better to read poems such as “Anthem for Doomed Youth.” Instead of remembering their deaths as the noble sacrifices for the country, we should not forget it as a horrific mass murder. If we look at the structure of “Anthem for Doomed Youth,” we can see that it suits perfectly for this purpose. The poem is an iambic pentameter because there are mostly five stressed syllables in a row. However, there are a few lines that do not follow this pattern, and it creates an uneasy sense for the reader. For example:

Only the monstrous anger of the guns.” (line2) In this line, we can find four stressed syllables, which disrupts the smooth delivery it would have as iambic pentameter. If we connect this to the short story and the novel, we might realize how we are never able to relate to veterans truly. For example:

“They feel it, but always with only half of themselves, the rest of their being is taken up with other things, they are so divided in themselves that none feels it with his whole essence.” (All Quiet on the Western Front p.169)

The above example is precisely why the importance of Remembrance day seems a bit slanted for me. If I were to organize a ceremony, it would take place at a graveyard. The pamphlet I read includes many cemeteries around the world that serve peace for soldiers (p.24). However, I would want patriotic signs excluded from the ceremony, but instead to only focus on the trauma of the war and the importance of preventing it. This is because any involvement for nationalism in topics of wars suggests the support of the military. There should be two speeches given. The authorities of the government should hold one. It should be about the desire for peace and the stance against war. Then I want to invite a veteran who would tell us their story. I would exclude the red poppies, as it resembles the patriotism from the poem In Flanders Fields.


Blog WW1

War is known as, armed fighting between two or more countries or groups. With many different types of war, like the nuclear, religion based and civil war it is important to make clear wich sort of war you are referring to. In this Blog post I will be writing about world wars, specifically WW1.

First of all, lets talk about the consequences of war. For the people directly involved in a war, like WW1 the biggest problem was the mental health and stability of the usually young men. With books like, All quiet on the western front, a primary source of the first world war we have proof what the war, no matter what kind, does to these men. The first sentence of chapter 11 in the novel

We count the weeks no more.

demonstrates this. They have given up they don’t even believe in time any more or when they can go home, the war has broken them and their will to live. This was mainly caused by the constant fear to die, suffering losses in your own lines and even the killing of the enemies. All these and even more factors caused all these, mostly innocent, soldiers to lose the life they had and be put in a different one, where everything is empty and there is no future. In the short story ~In our time~  by Ernest  Hemingway we join a soldier after the war who is unable to connect to society and who cannot feel human motions anymore.

Now why did so many people go to these wars, if they were so horrible and cruel. This was mainly thanks to the peer pressure the countries applied to the young folk.  Who ever didn’t want to risk their live for his Country would be abandoned from the social scene and even your own parents. On top of that, with most older citizens telling them how glorious and honorable the war was, most men didn’t know what they were getting into. And looking at poems like ~Dulce et Decorum Est1 ~ telling the truth it is not hard to tell how broken most of the men were, directly through the war or indirectly. But it was not only the elderly the whole world was thinking in these patterns as described by Cecil Woodham-Smith in ~ The reason why~.

Now it is not hard to see why we should NEVER repeat something as horrible as WW1 or WW2 again. But how could we achieve this? Now to let all people see how horrible those wars were, we can simply show them all the photos,poems and short stories. We have the chance to learn from their mistakes and do better should it ever be considered an option. War has to always be the last was to settle differences.

Remembrance day

I would refer to the end of the short story of Hemingway, in which he says that we should not just thank them and pray we should help them and stay on their side since they have sacrificed their entire life for this cause and ultimately us. So i would not organize a big orchestra or a group of dancers, I would kepp it raw, just a microphone and our respects.

All the war heroes would have the chance to share their pain and say what lies on those hearts. I would also let all the participants pay their respects to all the ones who have fallen, no matter under which circumstances or which age, because we have absolutely no right to judge them and their actions.

Finally I would have some readings. Poems like ~Flanders fields~ and passages out of books like ~All quiet on the western front~  which represent the war and its terrible consequences to show once again why events like that should never be repeated.




War, in the popular sense, a conflict among political groups involving hostilities of considerable duration and magnitude.  The analysis of war may be divided into several categories. Philosophical, political, economic, technological, legal, sociological, and psychological approaches are frequently distinguished. Consequences, one of the most obvious consequence of war is displaced persons. Millions of people and families who lived apart of their sons.  Sometimes there is nothing to return to, sometimes it renders millions stateless. All over the world people are fighting and dying, suffering and sacrificing, praying and purposing that, men have invented bigger and better weapons of destruction. People have tried before to find a way of preventing war, but they have not succeeded.

It was so interesting reading all this poems and this novel All Quiet on the Western Front, Everything we read in this book was very interesting because I understood all the pain and suffering that these soldiers and their parents had when they knew everything that came for them, to sacrifice themselves but to defend their country and the poems gave very interesting messages.

This celebration called Remembrance Day is very important for these families and for the country to remember for all the effort made by these soldiers, sacrificing their lives and giving value to their country. If I were to organize a Remembrance Day ceremony for the soldiers who sacrificed their lives and that their parents supported their decision and to protect our country I would invite their family, friends, and more soldiers, give them a good dinner with classical music and remembering good times reading things they left before going to war or happy moments they did before they died and have a great night celebrating those great soldiers.




War Blog Post

World War One was a military conflict lasting from 1914 to 1918. Nearly all the biggest powers of the world were involved. The war was cruel and 8 million soldiers died and 22 million were injured. This was the first time when chemical weapons were used. The youngest soldiers were just 12 years old and lived under poor condition. The people who were involved were very poor and they saw lots of dead people and they starved and a lot of soldiers died from diseases. The war is a inhuman cruelity for every human.

The consequences of the World War One was that everything was destroyed, no normal life was possibile and everything has to start from the beginning. The people had to build up their life. There were as well political and economical impacts to the different countries. The soldiers were traumatized all their lives and often had to live with physical limitations. The rest of the population also suffered from the cruel events of the war.

The past has our main lesson to teach us to understand why this war happened and how to prevent it’s happening again. It’s important to remember everything and to forget nothing about the war.

It should be necessary for preventing wars in the future that everybody learns history in school so that everybody knows how terrible a war was. The knowledge should help that everybody is against wars. Only those who are concerned with violence, brutality, who has consciously dealt with suffering and death in war will always speak out against war.

World war one altered the world for decades and writers and poets reflected that shifted outlook in literature in poetry. John Mc Crae uppon seeing how red poppies grew in the fields that had been ravaged by bombs and litered with bodies vote in Flanders Fields. The poem, memorialysing the death of his friend and fellow soldier would later be used to recruit soldiers. In Flanders Fields Mc Crae’s land patreotic tones to the sacrifices of war early in the conflict and later it spawned darker reflections.

On the other hand the book All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque reflects the life of the soldiers with all awful and cruel war situations of the war.

If i have to organize a Remembrance Day ceremony at school, everybody will get a red poppy to put on it’s clothes. The school will observe five minutes silence for pupils and stuff along with a special assembly. I would use this day to raise funds for peace projects.  There should be only one theme „ war and peace“ about which the pupils have to discuss the whole day.  I think the school executive principale has  to give a speech, in which students are encouraged to fight for peace and to participate in peace projects themselves. I would not use the day to read war literature, i think it would be better to actively discuss with the pupils about war and peace. Hopefully this is the right way to learn students  about war in the past and peace all over the world in future.



Summative Assessment, WWI.

WWI was better known as the Great War. It was a fight between different countries including Allied Powers and Central Powers. This war took place in Europe, Africa, Middle East, China and finally in the Indian and North and South Atlantic Ocean. It started on July 28th, 1914 and finished on November 11th, 1918. (4 years, 3 months and 2 weeks). This war is remembered as a fight that had a lot of lost soldiers in battle, but it is also remembered as a new start, a new start to make a better place. The remembrance day is celebrated on November 11th. This day recalls the end of the hostility of the First World War. This event is also called Poppy Day.

“We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world, and we had to shoot it to pieces. The first bomb, the first explosion, burst in our hearts. We are cut off from activity, from striving, from progress. We believe in such things no longer, we believe in the war.”(Ch. 5)

This is a quote from the book: All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. This book was part of the readings in class. It explains the view of how WWI was and how young people like the narrator took place in the war. I really think that going to the war at that age was something really brave.

This was some of the issues people had to deal with in war, and when it was already ceased.

Economic Issues: Germany and Great Britain spent 60% of the money the economy produced. They also had to ask for money to other countries and they had to make more money to buy different guns needed for war.

Social Issues: The war changed all the society, all the birth rates decreased in big quantities, a lot of people lost their home due to the bombardier planes. Women also started to replace men in factories and offices. The people in the upper class lost most of their power leading in the society.

Political Issues: This war brought the end of 4 different monarchies: Russia, Germany, Austria and the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. There were also new countries made out of the old empires.

In the last years, humans have been learning how to prevent all the conflicts and wars as possible, they can only be prevented just if we have a lot of hard thinking. There are a lot of factors that have been contributing for example: reducing armed conflicts of proxy wars, there are some research such as the Human Security that have pointed that peace negotiations reduce the violent conflicts even if they are not successful.

If I had to organize a ceremony for the remembrance day I definitely would invite all the veterans and the families that had lost someone in the war. Each ceremony has some readings so I would like to read Flanders Fields that is a nice poem that can commemorate soldiers.


Reflection on War

The armed conflicts between states, governments, and countries, etc, include consequences such as extreme violence, destruction, and aggression. World War 1 is remembered due to the heavy loses faced but also the advances in warfare. It is memorialized by celebrating Remembrance Day on November 11th, which marks the end of the war. People wear artificial red poppies on their clothes to symbolize the memory of those who died in the war. Citizens pause for two minutes of a silent tribute and attend commemorative ceremonies. People have tried preventing wars before but did not succeed. Wars can only be settled by the will of the majority if they choose to think wisely about the effects and consequences.

As I was reading poems about the war and the novel ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ I came to understand what soldiers and their families go through during the times of war. The sights were awfully discomforting and unpleasant. The war affects soldiers physically and mentally through severe injuries, shocks, and traumas. WW1 had a big impact on the families. As most soldiers had gone to fight in the war, women had to replace men in the workforce, this put a lot of pressure on the older members of the families as they had to work and support the youngers. The families were scared about the dads or brothers going off to war as they might not be able to see each other again, whereas, some children were confused when their dads or brothers did return from the war because the did not understand the effects of the trauma they had and didn’t know how to communicate with them.

On Remembrance Day these families remember their loved ones who gave their lives for their beloved country. If I were to organize a Remembrance Day ceremony for the fallen martyrs, I would invite their families for a silent lunch and ask them to spend time near their tombs if they wished to. In schools, there would be a flag hoisting ceremony and a moment of silence for our martyrs. The news channels around the country could talk about how much we appreciate their courage and determination. There would be a national holiday and a few hours of silence on the streets. The government would give the families better-living facilities as soldiers do not have proper incomes.



I find war to be a disturbance to the peace. All the aggression and glorification of war are leading to further conflicts. I find that government officials and military leaders are more focused on increasing their military power than considering the harm done to innocent individuals within their region, and around the world. When we read “Soldiers Home” and “All Quiet on the Western Front,” I found the details to be disturbing. I think the authors writing novels like this do a great job of expressing the hardships people go through in war but it seems they still embrace war through their writing.


If wars are going to be remembered, they should be remembered everyday. We should take a moment to remember those that died, and take a moment of silence. When we keep embracing war and telling ourselves we are in the right, we often tend to try and increase that feeling we give ourselves, which can lead to aggression.This leads to further conflicts. I think people should not only remember the dead on Remembrance Day, but they should remember those who died privately every single day. When we pick one particular day to remember a topic, (such as war) it suggests that we don’t actually think about the matter any other day. In a way, it shows disrespect to those that died, as we pick only one out of 365 days to remember these fallen soldiers.

If I had to organize a ceremony, I would invite anyone in the audience whose spouse was a veteran who has died, to come up and speak about their partners life and experience. I would ask them to share what was going through their partners mind at the time, when they found out they were going to war. Hopefully, these stories would go through individuals minds, and remind them that war never has to be the final answer. And if war is the final answer, we should find ways to fight a peaceful war; such as a game chess (etc.). There would be no pamphlets or readings in my ceremony, as words on paper never cut deep enough into people’s hearts like the words that come from the mouth of a living spirit. Speeches, tears, and social exchanges, are my way of remembering those that died in a war that was so dreadful.


All Quiet on the Western Front

In All Quiet on the Western Front, written by Erich Maria Remarque, we follow the life of a young man named Paul Baumer. Who is an enlisted soldier in the German army fighting during the time of World War I. Paul narrates not only his own life but the life of his friends as well, who had joined the army alongside him. They had all been greatly influenced to join the army by their former school teacher, Kantorek.

During drill-time Kantorek gave us long lectures until the whole of our class went, under his shepherding, to the District Commandant and volunteered. (p. 11)

The quote above reveals what Paul and his classmates experienced while in lessons with Kantorek. Lessons which often encouraged them towards joining the army. I feel that Kantorek had an endless fire burning inside him, which was used to teach the youth and support the German army in any way he could. Kantorek was the reason why Paul and many of his friends volunteered towards serving the army, but after spending several weeks away from home, Paul viewed Kantorek as an ignorant fool.

With Kantorek, I believe that he is one of the reasons why Paul and his friends had been caught in such a mess. While in the war they had endured so much pain. Sustained not only by stress but by witnessing death as well. Death was common in the War, and with it followed depression and anger by those who yet lived. It is important for us to take into mind, not only the deaths which have occurred within the book but how the soldiers must have felt after Kemmerich had died. They knew that he would be better off without feeling any more pain but still, they mourned because he was no longer with them. With this novel, I don’t believe that many of us can relate to the characters’ experiences. Since they have been through so much at such a young age. But what we can do is try and utilize these characters’ experiences to help inspire us to keep fighting. Towards building a more sustainable future for not only ourselves but for generations to come.


All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, is a story narrated by Paul Bäumer, about a group of young men that have signed up for the army voluntarily after listening to a patriotic speech about joining. The book talks in great detail about how the war treated men and the backlash that it gave them afterward.

she pleads with me gently: “tell me. You must tell me. I know you want to comfort me, but don’t you see, you torment me far more than if you told me the truth? I cannot bear the uncertanty.tell me how it was even though it will be terrible, it will be far better than what I have to think if you don’t.”

I chose this quote out of the book because it made me think about not being able to tell your mom something. I tell my mom just about everything, if I couldn’t tell her something that was so immense like pauls situation I wouldn’t know what to do. It also made me think about if paul was doing the right thing, it’s hard to know because sam does not want to try to remember the things that he has seen but his sick mother is sitting there begging him.


All Quite On The Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front is a novel written by Enrich Maria Remarque and was published in 1928. The book describes the physical and mental stress the German soldiers went through at the time of war, and the feeling of detachment they felt from the civilian life. It captures all of the existential terror faced by the men who fought in the great war.

The novel revolves around the views of Paul Baumer, a young German soldier that fights against the French army in WW1. Their trench experience involves the terror of shellfire, diseases, and death. In chapter 9, the German soldiers were discussing how wars exactly benefit them.

“I think it is more of a kind of fever,” says Albert. “No one in particular wants it, and then all at once there it is. We didn’t want the war, the others say the same thing- and yet half the world is in it all the same.” (9.206)

In this quotation, Albert is using fever as a symbol to explain how war is contagious and spreads without anyone actually wanting it. It also tells us how Albert believes that war is spreading like a disease and killing everything in its path. Wars usually start by one country badly offending the other. The effects of war are devastating and can have physical and psychological effects for a lifetime.

This scene is significantly important to me because the citizens and the government of a particular country must try and maintain peace throughout their land. Wars are capable of destroying cities and having long-lasting effects on a country’s economy, public health, social order, etc.



WWI Lit: Oct. 28 (All Quiet on the Western Front)

In All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, the story follows a group of young men who were enlisted into the army. When reminiscing on their enlistment, main character Paul Bäumer talks about how only one boy, Joseph Behm, hesitated in joining up.

But he did allow himself to be persuaded, otherwise he would have been ostracized. And perhaps more of us thought as he did, but no one could very well stand out, because at the time even one’s parents were ready with the word “coward.” (p. 11)

To me, the idea that even parents would want to send their children off to war is astonishing. I can’t imagine my mother or father ever encouraging me or my brother to go off somewhere so far away and dangerous, let alone berating either of us for declining to do so. I understand that it was a different time, but still I don’t see how parents would willingly send their young kids into war to be bombed, gassed, and shot, no matter the era. You can tell when Paul returns to his hometown on leave, his mother is extremely glad to see him again, and very worried about his safety and his returning to the front. This seems like a direct contradiction to me.


All Quiet On The Western Front

The book All Quiet On The Western Front is written by Erich Maria Remarque. It is narrated by a young German nineteen-year-old soldier named Paul Bäumer, who fights on the German army on the French Front in World War One. It all started when Paul and his friends joined the army voluntarily after hearing a patriotic speech by their teacher Kantorek. After 10 weeks of brutal training, they no longer believe that war is honorable and glorious and they all live in constant terror.

I look at the portraits once more; they are clearly not rich people. I might send them money anonymously if I earn anything later on. I seize upon that, it is at least something to hold onto. This dead man is bound up with my life, therefore I must do everything, promise everything in order to save myself. (9.151)

I think that this quote is really memorable,  as the quote was able to show what Paul thinks after killing one person in war. After killing an enemy soldier, Paul vows that he will spend the rest of his life making money for the dead man’s family, I think it is really interesting as he is sacrificing the rest of his life for a cause that brings him peace.



All Quiet On The Western Front

All Quiet On The Western Front is an impactful novel written by Erich Maria Remarque, following the life of a German soldier in World War I. When Paul Bäumer, the aforementioned soldier, was deployed to face combat in the war, he demonstrates the hardships that no civilian could ever understand. Paul’s story goes in depth regarding the bonds soldiers make, the emptiness they face, and the separation that builds between them, and their former lives. This novel doesn’t glorify the war, but tells it as it is, which turns out to be an extremely lonely, devastating experience. This is revealed in the following passage concerning a passed away soldier’s (Kemmerich) mother.

I pity her, but she strikes me as rather stupid all the same. Why doesn’t she stop worrying? Kemmerich will stay dead whether she knows about it or not. When a man has seen so many dead he cannot understand and longer why there should be so much anguish over a single individual. (p. 181)

I chose this scene because I cannot begin to imagine this type of attitude, and outlook. Their lives are completely consumed by this war, and it’s affecting them more than we can understand. However, this novel is helping me to comprehend that this was the only mindset soldiers could have in order to survive. They were surrounded by constant death, disappointment, and fear, that any type of connection or relationship would likely result in heartbreak. I thought that this passage was extremely powerful, because it made me realize the true importance and effects that opening up to someone can have. This level is much more extreme, considering the fact that it’s life or death, however it can be applicable to many. Furthermore, this paragraph is showing a very different perspective on self importance and quality of life, because it seems that it was very depleted during World War I. It’s very unfortunate that lives weren’t more appreciated, nevertheless, it seems that that emotion would have only made this more complicated, and distressing.


All Quiet on the Western Front / Independent reading

The book All Quiet on the Western Front is a novel by Erich Maria Remarque that describes the horrors of the First World War from the perspective of a young soldier. The story is told in the first person by Paul Baumer, a young man who, encouraged by his teacher, enlisted in the German army as one of a group of seven boyhood friends. Paul went home for holidays and met his classmate Mittelstaedt, now a training officer, that his old schoolmaster Kantorek has been conscripted into the war.

Mittelstaedt stops in front of him: “Territorial Kantorek, do you call those buttons polished? You seem as though you can never learn. Inadequate, Kantorek, quite inadequate–”
It makes me bubble with glee. In school Kantorek used to chasten Mittelstaedt with exactly the same expression–“Inadequate, Mittelstaedt, quite inadequate.”
Mittelstaedt continues to upbraid him: “Look at Boettcher now, there’s a model for you to learn from.” (p.175-176)

Mittelstadt arranged to be placed in charge of Kantorek’s company. Mittlestaedt has taken every chance to humiliate him, miming Kantorek’s admonitions as a schoolmaster. This shows that people, as soon as they have the opportunity to exercise power, also use it to take revenge for earlier situations. That’s why you should always treat other people correctly and with dignity so that you don’t get into such a situation of revenge later.



All quiet on the western front written by Erich Maria Remarque, in this part they are talking about a soldier and his parents, they say what they see in this situation about what the soldier does.

My mother is pleased to see me wearing civilian clothes, it makes me less strange to her. But my father would rather I kept my uniform on so that he could take me to visit his acquaintances.

I chose this quote because I am interested in what his parents think of him, and if they are proud or not, because I think it’s important to know if your parents like what you do or if they think it’s bad for you, because being at war is difficult. Pg164.



The novel I am currently reading is: All Quiet On the Western Front. The quote below describes how Paul has just killed a man out of panic, impulse, and instinct. Paul is explaining how he notices the man is slowly dying, he feels bad and wishes he could help him. He wants to write to the mans family, and he experiences conflicting feelings about the action he has done.

“It is mad, what I do. But I must do something. I prop the dead man up again so that he lies comfortably, although he feels nothing any more.” pg. 221


When Paul is narrating about how he tries to care for the dead body, I find it striking that he wants to help the man, as he was Paul’s opponent. I also find the quote sad, as the details described in this event have helped me ‘see’ the scene clearly. But the thing I like about the quote, is the fact that Paul actually has some empathy for the enemy, unlike some of the other soldiers. He demonstrates many Christian principles such as: ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself.’  I think this shows that under all the military armour, Paul has a need for peace like all citizens of the affected countries in the war.


All Quiet On The Western Front

All Quiet On The Western Front is a novel written by Erich Maria Remarque, published by Fawcett in 1978. The author himself combat during World War I and was wounded five times.

The story demonstrates the horrifying things in wars from the point of view from is the narrator who a young soldier, Paul Baumer.

Soldiers at such a young age, are fighting battles, starving, having lack of sleep, being in dangerous positions, and all for their country. This are  sacrifices people do to protect what they love.

When my mother says to me “dear boy,” it means much more than when another uses it. I know well enough that the jar of whortleberries is the only one they have had for months, and that she has kept it for me; and the somewhat stale cakes that she gives me too. She has taken a favourable opportunity of getting a few and has put them all by for me. (7.12)

In this moment, there’s a different kind of how sacrifice is represnted if you  compare it to the sacrifice soldiers make in giving up their lives for their country. Paul’s mother’s sacrifice is born out of love for him, and she sacrifices her rations, her family’s own food, for the sake of her son. This kind of love stands out like a neon light in the harsh and violent context of war.


blog post: All Quiet On The Western Front

The revolutionary war novel  All Quiet On The Western Front was written by the German soldier Eric Maria Remarque and published in 1928, ten years after the end of WWI. The book revolves around Paul Baumer, who is a German soldier of the age of 19, that fights amongst his comrades in the trench warfares against the French army in WWI. The soldiers had soon came to realize that the war isn’t glorious or romantic at all. They were taunted from it as their past lives were torn away from them and they were left with the agonizing experiences of the war. In chapter 4, the second company soldiers took cover during a bombardment after placing barbed wires at the front. When the attack was over, they had heard the taunting cries of the wounded horses. They found it unbearable and the horses’ sufferings came to an end when they were killed. 

Detering walks up and down cursing: “Like to know what harm they’ve done.” He returns to it once again. His voice is agitated, it sounds almost dignified as he says: “I tell you it is the vilest baseness to use horses in the war.” (p. 64) 

This quote shows that Detering sympathizes more with the horses than for humans. They have witnessed countless gruesome deaths as soldiers, and have grown more immune to it so long as they don’t think about it too much. However, they have failed to do so when they heard the wounded horses. Remarque described it as the “moaning of the world”. (p.62) The screams of the innocent and humble creatures are the most penetrating, and though they were referred to as “beasts” (p. 63), this was only because of the pain inflicted by the war. 

This part of the book was very impactful for me. Humans were known to have a strong link with (domestic) animals since the Stone Age. Soldiers were typically said to have a strong bond towards warhorses, the same with the police with guard dogs, and the disabled with the service animals. Unlike humans, animals have no particular idea of why the pain has been inflicted on them. Because of their innocence and obliviousness of the situation that not even the soldiers themselves could explain, they are pitied and sympathized with. Later in the story, Paul wonders why exactly are they fighting in the war. Just like horses, they have no particular reason to fight, as they hold no personal grudge towards the enemy soldiers. Most of the soldiers enlisted were persuaded by nationalism or propaganda. However, the death of the horses still seemed more impactful for me. It is the human’s war after all.