All Quiet On The Western Front War Analysis

1857 Words 8 Pages
The Consequences of Corrupt Conflict
All Quiet on the Western Front, a war novel written by Erich Maria Remarque, incorporates a plethora of similar and contrasting ideas to many other renowned war texts. With new machinery and combat techniques introduced for the first time during WWI, the battle Remarque writes about had far more casualties than anyone had ever anticipated. Machine guns, flamethrowers, and particularly poison gas took millions of lives on the battlefield. All of this, in turn, caused conditions to be vile in WWI. The authors of other war literature also illustrate how the harsh realities of war heavily impact soldiers, but they refer to different wars and accounts of war when doing so. Despite the fact that these sources
…show more content…
In All Quiet on the Western Front, Remarque describes a deep sense of betrayal by those who know better to teach the new recruits. While Paul Bäumer, the main character and protagonist in All Quiet on the Western Front, and his crew are on the front being barraged and lit up by bombardments, enemy forces initiate a surprise gas-attack on the men. This attack turns out to be detrimental to Paul’s group because “[the recruits] have not yet learned what to do [when encountering gas]... Some of them in a shell-hole took off their masks too soon… when they saw others on top without masks they pulled theirs off too and swallowed enough [gas] to scorch their lungs” (Remarque 131). The inexperienced recruits in the hollows were never properly taught how to deal with situations taking gas into account and thus make the mistake of taking their masks off too early. Ultimately, many recruits are led to their demise because more experienced soldiers who know how to behave around poisonous gas never taught the recruits how to do so. From here on, the soldiers are never able to trust the higher authority in charge of their training and they become enraged …show more content…
The article claims that harmful emotions are embedded into soldiers when they are betrayed by authority; “the sense of betrayal when a buddy is hurt because of a poor decision made by those in charge” demonstrates how soldiers feel betrayed by their leaders and the irrational, death defying decisions that these leaders make (Wood). War campaigns romanticize war and entice individuals to enlist, but combat is actually a bloodbath. Soldiers are naive when entering war, but once they realize the propaganda that authority creates, soldiers become infuriated and subsequently lose their minds. The war poem “Here Dead We Lie” also shows how soldiers feel disdain for authority. In the second stanza, the narrator states that “[l]ife, to be sure, is nothing much to lose, but young men think it is, and we were young” (Housman 4-8). The poet questions if sacrifice is necessary in war. Authority figures convince society that sacrificing lives to help their country is heroic, but in reality it wastes and destroys young lives. Housman claims that soldiers feel betrayed because officials describe war as glorious, but warfare truly ruins morals and uselessly leads to a loss of individuals that could have had a potential to live superior lives. Chiefs claim the positives of war outweigh the negatives, but young soldiers including the author believe otherwise. Thus, since

Related Documents