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Kantorek(TM)s Extract From All Quiet On The Western Front

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Introduction

Kantorek's Extract From "All Quiet On The Western Front" The particular extract in Remarque's "All Quiet On The Western Front" that introduces the reader to 'Kantorek'contains many different characters all at once, this is an effective tool employed by Remarque as it helps keep the reader engaged and interested in the plot. The view towards Kantorek is extremely biased; the soldiers describe him as short and then claim 'its funny how often the miseries of this world are caused by short people' this is quite humorous as it is not possibly true yet shows how the soldiers saw Kantorek in a negative light. In addition a lot is learnt about his character, he was the driving force that made his young students enlist at the recruiting office. It is clear that he played on their emotions and he is portrayed as dogmatic - he is forcing the men into war without considering the consequences, " kept on lecturing at us in the PT lessons until the entire class ...read more.

Middle

Also, the narrative point of view is in a rather conversational tone which makes the extract less formal, allowing the reader to relate to how the soldiers must be feeling and adding to their overall understanding of the plot. It also seems quite controversial, "I have always tried to avoid landing up in companies with commanders who are short - usually they are complete bastards" this use of dry humour shows how certain people such as Kantorek were stereotyped and highlights that there was obviously a hierarchy in society and a general divide between the authoritative figures at the time and the rest of society, which was possibly more evident during wartime. The viewpoint is experienced and realistic therefore accurate, also Remarque's uses a range of sentence structures, there are some complex sentences but then they are often followed by short ones, this is effective in showing the blunt view of the soldiers, " But that never occurred to us for a moment at the time". ...read more.

Conclusion

As the extract was written by a soldier it seems more real and personal, helping the reader to engage and understand the plot that much more. The text helps demonstrate how men were forced into the war effort and how people in power abused their authority in order to influence others, using motional blackmail and exploiting the innocence of the younger generation at the time. For Behm enrolment was almost compulsory, he didn't want to enlist, but was forced to by Kantorek, who himself had nothing to do with the war effort, ' there were thousands of Kantorek's, all of them convinced that they were acting for the best' showing how it was a common view and practice to influence and encourage men into enlisting, as well as enforcing the point that the main concept of war. Put simply, survival of the fittest. ?? ?? ?? ?? Navneet Mangat English Essay September 2008 ...read more.

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