• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How Does Erich Maria Remarque Portray the Horror and Futility of war in All quiet on the western front?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How Does Erich Maria Remarque Portray the Horror and Futility of war in All quiet on the western front? The First World War came at time of social unrest where years of tension between the expanding empires of European countries led to a situation where all that was needed to start a war was a small event known as a trigger. This trigger came in the form of the assassination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand, by a member of a Serb national group known as the Black Hand gang. The assassin's name was Gavrilo Princip. Little did he know what terror he was about to unleash. At the time of the assassination Europe was in political turmoil and split into two distinct groups, members of the Allied forces France, Britain and Russia known as the Triple Entante and Members of the Axis forces, Germany, Austria Hungary and Turkey known as the Triple Alliance. These two groups vowed to help the countries within them if war started. ...read more.

Middle

When the cook asks where the rest of the company is he is simply told "Pushing up daises". At this point although the reader may be shocked at the loss of the large number of men and the callous manner in which Tjadan refers to them, they are probably not as emotionally affected as they will be later in the book because seventy is just a number. The men who died do not as far as the reader is concerned, have lives; they are just numbers. It is not until later that Remarque starts to put lives to the numbers and make the deaths of men all the more tragic and horrific. Thus working on the pacifist theme. The callous manner in which the soldiers refer to the dead is not because they are evil and cold, but because war has taught them that if they become involved with every death emotionally then it will just greaten their own suffering. Tjadan, after hearing the cook had prepared food for one hundred and fifty people rather then mourning the dead, says, "each man gets practically two issues". ...read more.

Conclusion

The Futility of war is shown right through the book but is particularly evident when the group of central characters discuss alternative methods of fighting a war. "The generals of the two countries, dressed in bathing-drawers and armed with clubs can have it out among themselves." Although being a humorous suggestion it still relates to the fact that "the wrong people were doing the fighting" and the leaders of the countries had attempted to turn their men into fighting machines. "Individuals are no longer recognisable" This book gives an excellent insight into the First World War through the eyes of a Pacifist. The horror and futility of war is portrayed graphically and disturbingly, making a mockery of some of the propaganda of the time encouraging young men to join up and fight for their countries. The book destroys much of the glamorous image of war and what was described as "The Iron Youth". Remarque certainly achieved his objective of showing war in its true colours and produced a powerful and enjoyable book in the process. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. All Quiet on the Western Front, by Enrich Maria Remarque and Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt ...

    In other words, the sobering experience has given them a shock that their perspective of war is changed. Similarly, in Slaughterhouse-Five, the protagonist, Billy Pilgrim is exposed to the shock of war when he experiences the catastrophic firebombing of the German town of Dresden during World War II.

  2. Critical Appraisal of 'Futility'

    the truth behind the deaths of hundreds of thousands of young soldiers during the war, a poignant yet useless loss of life. It is this theme that is reflected in 'Futility', although the soldier has died in battle, his death is 'futile' as is emphasized by the poem's title.

  1. All Quiet on the Western Front' is a Powerful Anti-War Novel. Identify Some ...

    The soldiers need as much food as possible so they kill the rats, battering them to death with spades. The writer gives impact by the way he describes the rats: 'They have shocking, evil, naked faces, and it is nauseating to see their long, nude tails.'

  2. "Poems and stories; official accounts. Which of these give a more accurate picture of ...

    However because this piece was written in 1932 its accuracy is brought into question, memory often tends too exaggerate, also the incentive to get the memoirs published may have led him to exaggerate about the conditions. The more interesting the book is, the more likely it is to be published.

  1. HOW REMARQUE PRESENTS THE READER WITH THE BRUTALITY OF WAR IN HIS NOVEL "ALL ...

    "We were forced to recognise that our generation was more honourable than theirs - they only had advantage in phrase-making and cleverness. Our first experience of heavy artillery fire showed us our mistake, and the view of life that their teaching had given us fell to pieces under that bombardment"

  2. All quiet on the Western FrontBy Erich Maria Remarque

    And it will be hours until we get up again". They are no longer embarrassed about "such trifling immodesties". Sitting on the toilets together they read letters and newspapers, smoke and play cards. "One could sit like this forever". Paul remembers that he and his friends were embarrassed to use the general latrines when they were recruits.

  1. All Quiet on the Western Front-Erich Maria Remarque Some people argue that the benefits ...

    If the leaders had been subjected to the huge amount of needless pain and suffering, the war would be over very quickly. One private thought that the cost of war was so terrible that they easily outweighed the benefits. He believed he was fighting something that he should not.

  2. Birdsong and All Quiet on the Western Front.

    injured in so many different places and with many different types of weapons, "...those who have been blinded, hit in the lungs or in the pelvis, in one of the joints, in the kidneys, in the testicles or in the stomach..."

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work