My Personal Response To ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’

I enjoyed All Quiet on the Western Front more then i thought I would have, this was because of the way Erich Maria Remarque portrays the characters. It shows the readers how those who fought in these wars weren’t just soldiers, they where common young people. This was made obvious when Paul Baumer (the main character) says “ An hour passes. What if he were to open his mouth and cry out! But he only weeps, his head turned aside. He does not speak of his mother or his brothers and sisters. He 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.” (P. 31) Another instance that the writer shows realistic emotions through the characters is when “Tiedjen, who called for his mother- a big bear of a fellow who, with wild eyes full of terror, held off the doctor from his bed with a dagger until he collapsed.” (P. 31) This tells us that Franz and Tiedjen, along with many other young boys at the time, never wanted to die in battle, and the majority were very scared of death.

The book gives a different and more educational perspective on the war. It explains to the readers how the war really damaged and scarred everyone who was a part of it, meaning family, friends, and people who experienced the war first handed. It told the story of the main character Paul and his classmates and what they experienced when they went to war. When you read this book you will notice that the soldiers never fought like how normal fiction war story’s would, this is because this story is focused on the more realistic side of the war, and how in real life it is never the good guys who always win. This is shown at the end of the book when describing Paul, “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.”

In conclusion I think ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ represents a more realistic picture of what war was like and how it effected all who where involved. I enjoyed reading how Erich Maria Remarque represented the emotions of the characters.

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