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All Quiet on the Western Front - Book Report/Review Example

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Summary
Erich Maria Remarque, a German veteran of World War I wrote the novel “Im Westen nichts Neues,” which literally translates to “In the West Nothing New.” The English translation by Arthur Wesley Wheen gives it the title “All Quiet on the Western Front.” The original…
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All Quiet on the Western Front
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All Quiet on the Western Front

Download file to see previous pages... The book’s immediate popularity encouraged other writers to produce books on the war but none achieved as much popularity or acclaim as Remarque’s.
Remarque’s book is a description of the last days of the war. The book has epitomized the devastating effect of the war on a generation of youngsters, most of whom did not survive it. As the scenes change from the war zone to places of peace, the author successfully impacts the reader’s mind by contrasting the two. The book records the savage brutality of war, the constant threat, the struggle for survival and the predominant role of chance in the lives of soldiers. This is so poignantly illustrated in chapter eleven when Paul carried his wounded friend to the aid station to tend to his wounds through intense shelling, only to realize that Kat had been struck by shrapnel on his way there and was dead.
The story is of a group of young boys, who under pressure from their school master join the army with high ideals of nationalism. The horrors and deprivations of the war on both soldiers and their prisoners results in an internal destruction of the minds of the young boys who are unable to return to the carefree life of the pre-war days. As the author declares in the preface of the book “It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war.” (Remarque, preface) The protagonist Paul’s experiences when he returns home on leave, unable to connect with the people in his hometown or share his traumatic experiences with them points to what soldiers returning from a war zone typically experience.
The war pits man against man although all feel the same pain and share the same feelings of love for their dear ones. The protagonist Paul’s killing of a man while hiding in a shell hole to escape the enemy on his ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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