All Quiet On The Western Front By Erich Remarque

1700 Words 7 Pages
At 0900 hours the shelling started again. Our commander stood, and yelled, “Take cover!” It was a mistake on his part, because when he came back down, half of his face was gone. This was above and beyond the call. I wanted to be a hero, not a corpse. With the staccato firing of the machine guns, I felt even more tense and wondered, What in God’s green earth am I doing here? For many, the First World War was a time of great anticipation and anxiety. It was shed in different lights, sometimes good, and sometimes bad. The media felt that this war would be the “war to end all wars”, such was not the case but the propaganda posters of the time would dictate otherwise. In later years, books like All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque and …show more content…
Many people believed that the war would end before Christmas of 1914 and leave minimal damage, and thus people became excited for this new adventure. As expressed through various literatures, military service was viewed as honorable and patriotic and was believed to bring soldiers glory. In All Quiet on the Western Front, Baumer explains how Kantorek, his old school teacher, persuades the boys to join the war by explaining, “that duty to one’s country is the greatest thing” (Remarque 13). With such pressure from authorities, young men obtain the patriotic fervor as expressed in Kathe Kollwitz’s diary, in which her son, “Peter [and his friends], Erich, Richard, all have subordinated their lives to the idea of patriotism” (Kollwitz 74). The diary exhibits the common desire of young men from all countries to enlist in war due to extreme patriotism and nationalism. As they had done in the past, civilians believed that if they bolster the war effort, they would win the war. A propaganda poster by the US Food Administration reads, “Victory is a question of stamina--Send - the wheat, meat, fats, sugar--The fuel for fighters,” while showing two weak, malnourished soldiers running (Dunn). This poster depicts the desperation for civilian help in forms

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