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All Quiet on the Western Front-Erich Maria Remarque Some people argue that the benefits of war outweigh the costs. Discuss this view in relation to the novel.

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Introduction

All Quiet on the Western Front-Erich Maria Remarque Some people argue that the benefits of war outweigh the costs. Discuss this view in relation to the novel. Whether a war is worth fighting for is a hard question to answer. There are many factors that make a person either believe that it is beneficial or not. In one person's opinion, such as the victor, it may be worthwhile but for another it may be a pointless loss of life's beauty. All Quiet on the Western Front demonstrated how the horrors of conflict slowly destroyed the men and left them with painful memories. It presents war as being a futile struggle that made men lose hope and showed war as not actually beneficial when compared with the cost to the people involved. War for the people fighting was an entirely different concept to that of the political man or woman. The political leaders that made the decisions about where and when the soldiers fought would have presumably believed that the final benefits outweighed the damage involved. ...read more.

Middle

War made the men change from human beings to savage animals. It took away their logic and their sense of consequences. This ruthlessness ruined the young men. In letting themselves become like animals they survived longer but were left with memories and pain which would be with them till death. The war made them soldiers but in doing so destroyed their innocence. For them "on the borders of death, life [followed] an amazingly simple course, it [was] limited to what is most necessary, all else [lied] buried...besides [their] primitiveness and [their] survival."4 It had "...transformed [them] into unthinking animals in order to give [them] the weapon of instinct."5 This instinct made them able to survive in such a horrific environment yet made them so ferocious that even "if [their] own father came over with [the enemy, they] would not hesitate to fling a bomb at him."6 The men that fought came into the war as young adults but because of the harsh conditions were transformed into weary 'old' men. ...read more.

Conclusion

"turning him over one saw that he could not have suffered long; his face had an expression of calm, as though almost glad the end had come."12 The war left the men broken and full of despair, to them the advantages of war were not enough to make it worth all the pain and suffering. For the soldiers, the war was a destructive force that took from them hope, innocence and youth. The only thing it gave them in return was despair, fear, sorrow, weariness and death. The word war encapsulates so much, and for the soldiers in All Quiet on the Western Front it was something that had such high costs involved with it that the benefits could never be worthwhile. 1 All Quiet on the Western Front p. 224. 2 Ibid., p. 229. 3 Ibid., p. 41. 4 Ibid., p. 230. 5 Ibid., p. 231. 6 Ibid., p. 100. 7 Ibid., p. 22. 8 Ibid., pp. 238-239. 9 Ibid., p. 150. 10Ibid., p. 224. 11 Ibid., p. 247. 12 Ibid., p. 248. Jack Smith ...read more.

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