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All Quiet On The Western Front.

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Introduction

All Quiet On The Western Front Remarque was born in Osnabr�ck, Lower Saxony. His mother was Anna Marie Kramer and father, Peter Maria Kramer, a bookbinder. He drafted into German army at the age of 18, and was wounded several times. After his discharge, Remarque had taken a teacher's course offered to veterans by the government. Remarque began his writing career as a sporting journalist, and assistant editor of Sportbild. Fame came with his first novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, which touched a nerve of the time. In the 1930s Remarque's books were banned by the Nazis. All Quiet on the Western Front was among the works consigned to be publicly burnt in 1933 by the Nazis. In 1938 Remarque lost his German citizenship, and left Germany after that. First, Remarque went to Switzerland and moved later to the United States, where he made friends with Hollywood stars. He died in Locarno, on September 25, 1970. All Quiet on the Western Front presents the gruesome specter of war as it actually exists and as soldiers experience it. The opening chapter is devoted to presenting the novel's main themes: the horror of war and its effect on the ordinary soldier. ...read more.

Middle

These people must be on edge all the time; peace is unattainable in that state of mind. However, as the paragraph continues, those suspicions are put to rest. We are comforted by words. Everyone is happy. They all have full bellies; they even have enough to eat to fill a washbasin with more food. All the soldiers are comfortable and at ease. The war seems to be the last topic on their minds. Baumer is so carefree that he can even criticize his friends' behaviour. He describes M�ller's decision to fill his washbasin with food as foresight, whereas in Tjaden's opinion this is voracity. This not only indicates that he is so bored and calm that he has nothing better to do, it also points out something very interesting. Baumer must have been very good friends with these people to be able to criticize them like that. This shows us that, even in war, friends are needed. These men would not have been able to get through the war if they had not relied upon each other. This shows that whatever the circumstances, camaraderie is always important. It also puts us at ease with the passage. ...read more.

Conclusion

That is all that the word means in war, it does not mean happiness, not now, not ever. Our mistake was to take what we read for the truth, and not to read between the lines. We fell for it "hook, line and sinker". We were all lulled into a sense of security, and when the full scale of what had happened was evident to us, we were shocked. The brutality and senseless killing of it all chilled us to the bone. The horrors of war have become so routine that Paul mentions that nearly half of his company was killed with the same detachment that marks his descriptions of mundane details. All of a sudden, our view of these soldiers changes. These survivors are more concerned with whether they will receive enough to eat than with the deaths of their friends and comrades. "This shockingly callous attitude serves the structural function of creating suspense and motivating development of the story." How dare these selfish bastards enjoy themselves and be merry when more than half of their comrades had been killed? How dare they revel in the luxury of having a full belly and being at peace? It is just not fair that these soldiers benefit from their fallen mates, and then forget all about them. Unfortunately, life isn't fair and these egocentric men do a great job of biting the hand that fed them. ...read more.

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