My Response On The Novel “All Quiet On the Western Front”

Overall, I have enjoyed reading the book “All quiet on the Western Front” as I find it informative and poetic in many aspects of literature and language. Eric Maria Remarque has used a variety of imagery and poetry to visualize the viciousness and brutality of the Great World War One. This book also gives the reader the perspective of an actual soldier that participated in the war and not just an overview of what happened, providing detail of what the experience was in the war. The book also shows the main character Paul Baümer’s friendship and life outside the war, which takes up a huge portion of the book.

 The horrors of war depicted throughout the novel, especially the atrocities committed on the soldiers were beyond what I could fathom. I particularly was shocked by the gruesome image of buried corpses emerging from the graveyard and groups of living men falling dead, due to the force of shelling when Paul and his friends were pounded by artillery where they were hiding to lay barbed wire. The soldiers were living on the edges of life with every step they took and knew that death could happen any day.

“Let the months and years come, they can take nothing from me, they can take nothing more. I am so alone, and so without home that I can confront them without fear. The life that has borne through these years is still in my hands and my eyes.” (pg.295)

Paul’s last words made me realize how hopeless and miserable he must have been after the war took everything and his friends. Through his emotions, I sympathize with soldiers and the horrors they go through. Paul’s friendship with Kemmerich, Müller, Kropp, Kat, and Bentinck also resonates with me in that I value my friendship highly.

I found multiple connections between the content of this book and my life such as my value in friendship and anxiety. The main character in the book (Paul Baumer) goes through various struggles and dilemmas while still fighting in the war. I believe these links with my current lifestyle and mental state, as I face these conflicts every day while living in a modern world and society. The world we live in and the battlefield in World War One have lots of things in common, and thus reflect how brutal and vicious life can be. However, we humans tend to move on with our lives, leaving all the struggles and conflicts behind. This book has given me the opportunity to reflect not only on my personal life but on the world, we currently live in. In my opinion, historical Fiction; fiction in general is a good way of discussing such topics, as there are no limits on expression and interpretation. This book was a good example of doing so, and I am willing to read more books on similar topics in the future.

Jm. Y

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