All Quiet On The Western Front Essay

1277 Words Mar 7th, 2016 6 Pages
World War I was undoubtedly one of the most brutal, yet eye-opening wars fought in recent history. Fueled by fervent nationalism, distrust, and rivalry throughout Europe, countries were already taking sides and building armies far before the first shot was fired. From 1914 to 1918 countries and people fought to gain power and glory, but ended up fighting in vain to gain nothing but pain. Many young men were virtually forced to become pawns to solve the problems of a prior generation, enlisting due to fear of emasculation, peer pressure, and for some, the power trip associated with having authority. An insightful demonstration of the motivations of individuals during wartime can be seen through German veteran Erich Remarque’s novel All Quiet on the Western Front, which chronicles the effects of war of young soldiers, namely 19 year old Paul Baumer. Furthermore, both the countries and soldiers did not understand the realities of war, due to rampant misconceptions about war propagated by commoners on the home front as well as lack of consideration for the technology that would be used in a modern war. This general disillusionment coupled with modern warfare led to immeasurable long and short term impacts for the individual soldier and countries as a whole. A significant, and immediately felt consequence occurs because soldiers are forced to value the act of survival above all else, leading to a lack of ability to comprehend, or desire, life beyond war. After a…

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