War Literature

4 April 2015
An analysis of “All Quiet On the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque

This paper reviews the book as war literature. The author introduces the reader to the many war crimes, giving an insight into the dark side of the psyche of man, and his inhumanity to his fellowman.
“This war had a dramatic effect upon the soldiers. An example of this is when Paul talks about a fellow soldier in the trenches. “The first recruit seems to have gone completely crazy. If we let go of him he butts his head against the wall like a goat.” The intensity of the combat these soldiers encountered caused physical and mental anguish that was indelible in nature. These traumatic experiences burnt images into their minds permanently, causing these poor victims of war to relive these memories in their mind over and over again. To see their own limbs being blown off or those of their compatriots in arms.

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Or being faced with images that no human should see, let alone commit. Forced to bury their emotions, their humanity, and sometimes their very faith itself. They had to suppress their emotions, or the pain of war would be too much to bear. Paul and many others were riddled with guilt and felt inhuman, but “this was the survival of the fittest” they told themselves they were soldiers, no longer human beings and the killing of conscience became the saddest death of all.”

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