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All Quiet on the Western Front - Essay Example

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Summary to essay on topic "All Quiet on the Western Front"
He prefaces the story by saying, ““I will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the…
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Extract of essay "All Quiet on the Western Front"

Download file "All Quiet on the Western Front" to see previous pages... The main themes of this piece are specifically the emotional, physical, and psychological impacts of combat. In addition, the focus of the piece has to do with friendships and interaction between people that function as a means of getting through horrific situations.
One of the elements of this piece is the concept of new technology.
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The advent of tanks, poisonous gases, and trenches appears throughout the story illustrating the butchery taking place. These new technological advances only aided in more precise and efficient killing. They also removed the killer a bit from who he was killing. In other words, placing a tank between two people depersonalizes the action of murder.
One of the heavier themes in this piece is the idea of nationalism and its hypocrisy. During the time period that this piece was written, nationalism was on the rise and acted as a catalyst for the first world war. Many authors that wrote about the war glorified the idea of nationalism, patriotism, and fighting for one’s country. This piece was opposite to the notion of nationalism and patriotism. In fact, Remarque emphasis the idea that the soldiers are not fighting for country at all but rather to survive. Even though Paul is lured into the idea of joining the German army by his schoolmaster, Kantorek, he no sooner becomes a soldier and realizes the waste and meaninglessness of war. At one point, Paul returns home on leave and discovers how damaged he has become by the war, ”And even if these scenes of our youth were given back to us we would hardly know what to do. . . . I believe we are lost”().
The reader follows Paul through the story as he loses friends one by one, “Our knowledge of life is limited to death” (Chapter Ten). In the end of the piece, it is the loss of Kat that seems to unravel Paul completely. He loses hope and stops caring. Kat was initially injured and when Paul was carrying him on his back to safety, Kat sustained a lethal head ...Download file "All Quiet on the Western Front" to see next pagesRead More
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