All Quiet on the Western Front Final Essay
In the story, All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque, imagery and figurative languages are used to develop themes including the loss of innocence of soldiers. In World War I, many young men were recruited into the war. This disrupted their youth and in turn, stripped them of their innocence because they had to face many gruesome and terrible things. This theme was one of the main ones throughout the novel.
To begin with, Remarque develops the loss of innocence theme by using imagery. One example is when Paul Baumer, the narrator, is sitting with his soldier friends in a field and describes the setting as, “These are wonderfully carefree hours…the white butterflies flutter around and float on the soft warm wind of late summer” (Remarque 9). The carefree hours taking place match the young men’s mood, showing that they are still childlike, even though they have been thrust into this horrible war. On the other hand, the scene takes place in late summer, which could mean the ending of their innocence and the beginning of their rapid mental aging. In addition, the white butterfly could signify innocence that will be changed just like the butterfly has gone through a metamorphosis. Another example of imagery is when Remarque writes, “ The berries of the rowan stand out red among the leaves, country roads run white out to the skyline,” (295). This highlights the loss of innocence because the color white is usually a symbol of innocence and in the excerpt, the white country road runs out, just like Paul’s and his fellow soldiers’ innocence ran out. This piece of evidence also tells how the berries look red among the leaves, which could be compared to the red blood of the soldiers against the brown earth. What Paul and the oth...