Personal Response

This book gave me new awareness and feelings. I thought these questions in my own way through this book.{Focus on the “big questions” raised by the text: Who are we (identity)? Where are we (environment & society)? What are we doing and what should we be doing?}

I focused on at the end of the story mainly. It says “And men will not understand us-for the generation that grew up before us, though it has passed these years with us already had a home and a calling; now it will return to its old occupations, and the war will be forgotten and the generation that has grown up after us will be strange to us and push us aside. We will be superfluous even to ourselves, we will grow older, a few will adapt themselves, some others will merely submit, and most will be bewildered;-the years will pass by and in the end we shall fall into ruin”. I found we are “that” generation. We pushed them out and made the new world without reminding them. Though we are in the same place where they used to be, it’s all different situation and environment that we have. And Paul also says that “All that meets me, all that floods over me are but feelings—greed of life, love of home, yearning for the blood, intoxication of deliverance. But no aims. Now if we go back we will be weary, broken, burnt out, root-less, and without hope. We will not be able to find our way anymore.” This means people who survived from the war have nothing left. There’re no reasons to live. They just live and repeat same days without no aims or hopes. But we have aims and hopes. And I think they should have same things as well. Their meaning of life should be telling how cruel the war was. Paul and others are only people who can tell the truth of the war.

I wondered why we do the war. Humans are standing at the top of food chain. We don’t have to care about being haunted. Then why do we have to fight amongst our own species? That’s the ugliness of humans. The war plunders everything. There is no turning back. I feel a keen sense of sympathy with Paul because they have nothing after the war. What frustrates me is that no matter how much I read, there is a limit to my understanding of their suffering as they say. However, we need to keep reading and learning in order to tell to future generation. I think it’s a good opportunity to know about World War 1. I could learn what we couldn’t learn by only taking history classes for example situation at that time or feelings of someone fought in the war. From now on, I need to know who I am that means we are humans that don’t have to fight each other and clarify what we should do that means to try not to repeat same mistakes.

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