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Comparing the two novels, The Wars by Timothy Findley and All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.

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Introduction

The two novels, The Wars by Timothy Findley and All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, have a few similarities. The two books are about the same war, but they tell the story of two very different people. Although one book is about a Canadian officer, and the other about a German soldier, there are some similarities. Both books give a narrative of the Great War, the effect it has on the soldiers fighting, and sadly, how the main characters die. These two books were written to help educate people about World War One. The Wars described what it was like to live at war. It described the brutality of the trenches, the horror of shell shock, the chlorine gas and all other terrors seen while at war. The book gives accurate details of what it was like in the trenches. All of these things are seen from Robert Ross's perspective. Robert is a young man, who is a nineteen-year-old Canadian officer on the French front. Because Robert is an officer, he doesn't actually fight in the trenches like the majority of the men sent to war, but he sees them in all their glory. The Wars focuses more on the relationships Robert has with fellow officers, and his relationship and duties with the horses. ...read more.

Middle

His job as an officer is quite unique from the rest of the men at war. Robert rides horses all day long, and has never once fought in the trenches. The effects that the war had on him are very different from the effects the war had on most other men. He is at no risk of contracting gangrene, or suffering from "shell shock". He remains quite sane and maintains his dignity, morals and values. He is not desensitized to all of the killing, and it's quite obvious when he sees Tattler, and old acquaintance from the past, in the hospital. He shows much emotion and feels quite sorry for the man. Although All Quiet on the Western Front explores many aspects of living in the trenches. They were very unhygienic, and caused many men to become infected with gangrene. Their feet would become infected and they would need to be amputated. After having one or both legs amputated, most men would die of infections in the hospitals. The men living in the trenches also suffered from "shell shock". The constant heavy artillery of the enemy is said to be what causes "Shell Shock". Eventually the men would suffer from complete mental breakdowns and could no longer fight anymore. It is believed that the heavy artillery of the enemy causes "shell shock". ...read more.

Conclusion

He fought in the trenches and died in the trenches, unlike Robert who took cares of horses and died of burns trying to save them. Both novels are similar in theory, but when analyzed further and compared, they are very different. In my opinion All Quiet on the Western Front is a much better book. I believe it to be a more accurate story of World War One. The author went into details, and really truthfully told the story of a German soldier at war. Paul fought in the trenches like the other men, and watched his friends around him get shot and killed and die of infections just like the other thousands of soldiers. The plot of The Wars differs. It talked a lot about Robert Ross and his relationships with people I've never heard of, and the author just assumed that I would know who these people are. I found it to be a very boring book and it confused me a lot. I thought it was about a war, but it turned out to be mostly about a man, some horses and a bunch of rich people. When comparing the two books, I feel that All Quiet on the Western Front portrays the war more accurately and tells a more a common story of a soldier at war. ...read more.

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