Analysis Of All Quiet On The Western Front By Erich Maria Remarque

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The bombs explode overhead, whistling and howling until they meet their final destination either on unsuspecting soldiers or the already-disturbed ground. Bloodcurling cries of men and animals alike echo from every corner of the battlefield, turning even the toughest of men green with anguish. Moreover, the men one cares about the most are being picked off one by one, delivering them from the monotonous horror that is war. It is for these reasons that Robert E. Lee said, “It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it” (Roy Blount). This just scratches the surface of the awful circumstances soldiers are put through in the heat of battle. In All Quiet on the Western Front (1929), Erich Maria Remarque describes the many …show more content…
One theme that Remarque portrays throughout this novel is the omnipresent death of the innocent in wartime. In Chapter Nine of All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul Bäumer kills a French soldier by the name of Gérard Duvall out of fear of being killed himself. Duvall just happens to stumble into the same shell hole that Paul is residing in and pays for it with his life. After the fact, Paul relents killing him because he begins to see the soldier as a person, a comrade, and an innocent man caught up in the same war of nations as he has been thrusted into. Furthermore, Paul believes he does not deserve to die just for wearing the opposite uniform as him (Remarque 223). This truly exhibits the author’s view of war in that the soldiers are innocent and that they are merely sent out by their leaders to take part in such horrendous conditions. Additionally, these soldiers are just as innocent as the civilians that get killed in the crossfire. These boys were basically brainwashed into joining the war and many do not even know why they are fighting. The soldiers, in his mind, have been pinned against each other in a battle of the innocent to satisfy the agendas of …show more content…
Paul is in extreme pain when he stays by Kemmerich’s bed until he dies. When he hears him begin to groan and gurgle, by then a known sign of nearing death, he ran to get the doctor in a panic to not lose his dear comrade, Kemmerich (Remarque 31-32). Kemmerich not only is a comrade of Paul’s in the war, but he is a close friend and a beloved classmate of his; therefore, it is so hard for Paul when Kemmerich receives a fatal wound to his thigh. Remarque displays Bäumer’s pain through him staying by Kemmerich’s bed until he dies, doing everything and anything he can to ease his dear friend’s pain as he nears his end. Furthermore, the brotherhood behind Paul and Franz’s relationship shows more than ever in Paul’s pain and suffering he goes through watching Kemmerich in pain. With that kind of relationship, as many of the soldiers had with each other, if one hurts the other hurts; if one is happy the other is happy. Remarque stresses this because it is yet another horrifying part of war, creating a bond to work together as a unit on the battlefield, and then in an instant, they are gone. It is an unimaginable pain that goes along with the grief of, “How come I survived? Why wouldn’t it have been me that died and not them?” All those things culminate to create an awful conglomerate of

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