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All Quiet On The Western Front

953 words - 4 pages

All Quiet on the Western FrontGerman author Erich Maria Remarque paints a hauntingly realistic portrait of the first world war. The reader understands the consequences better on the human mind as he follows the main character Paul Bauumer. The book is a timepiece occurring 85 years ago during World War I and invites the reader into the lives of Infantrymen in the German Army. Most of whom were Paul's classmates in high school, my age, in fact, which makes me feel that the story could be my story if I had lived in that time. As I read Paul's account of the war and the impact it was having on him I had to self-reflect on my own life, friendships, mortality, fears…..things that I frankly ...view middle of the document...

Though written much more recently and based on a true story, not a novel, the atrocities of death as seen from a youth's perspective runs parallel. The Rwandan holocaust wiped out over 400,000 of Immaculee's tribe. She survived hidden in a small bathroom with seven other girls. Her family was brutally murdered as she witnessed. Her mental stability credited to her fervent faith. I thought of the protagonist Paul in All Quiet on the Western Front and his devastation as one by one he lost his best friends.All Quiet on the Western Front makes for a contrasting comparison of our troops today. We are still at war in the Middle East and many of the soldiers are as young as Paul and his friends. I know that starvation is not an issue today as it was in the 1930's, however some very important factors in Remarque's book are "human factors" such as what was then known as shell shock or war fatigue. In 2014, we finally recognized this condition as a PTSD. Only since Vietnam has there been serious research dedicated to the after effects of war. The book shed light on the complexity of war and the simplicity of war at the same, overlapping time. By this, I mean: a world view is that our country is superior and thus the opponent country is a "bad guy" making it somehow less painful or easier to fight and kill them. Paul experienced that the marginalizing war is impossible from the front lines.In conclusion I learned a great deal about that time period and WWI. It was most...

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