The novel I am going to write my personal response about is “All quiet on the western front”, written by Erich Maria Remarque. This novel provides us with a side of the War that is not usually taught in books, specifically World War I. This is because this novel doesn’t focus on highlighting things like the typical fearful soldier. This is because this novel does not focus on highlighting things like the typical fearless soldier who made history or the classic heroism of battles. Rather, it talks about the realistic aspects of war, the traumas, the nightmares, the fears that war leaves in a person who will never be the same again.
I would like to quote a short text by Paul in chapter 3 “There is no escape anywhere. By the light of the shells I try to get a view of the fields. They are surging sea, daggers of flame from the explosions leap up like fountains. It is impossible for anyone to break through this.” (p. 66) This part shows a situation in which there is apparently no escape from death, which shows us that soldiers also go through moments in which survival is not an option, and this kind of approach to war is not very common in books and novels that talk about it.
Moreover, because of situations like the ones just mentioned the soldiers end up convincing each other that the only task they can and have to do is to kill and survive. Unconsciously, because of the experiences, the way they teach and raise the soldiers to think and work, innocent people who had no need to die or kill or hate, end up hating, killing and dying because of two powerful and cowardly people who to solve a disagreement of ideas use armies formed by innocent, empty, terrified and traumatized people. And all those deaths and lifelong traumas only serve to fix the personal dilemmas of two cowards.
And it is mainly because of this that I firmly believe that the point of view of this novel is unique and peculiar since it is not usual to write or at least publish the truth and all the points of view about a real war.