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What War Is Really About - To the common person, war is just a series of violence.

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Steven Medaglia ENG OA Ms Lebrun Dec. 16/02 What War Is Really About To the common person, war is just a series of violence. This causes some misconception; therefore, war must be defined. In the novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, war is defined as desire, anguish and death. Paul Baumer, shows desire by killing the enemy and doing what it takes to survive. The desire to succeed lives in everyone and is overwhelming at times, but is needed in war in order to conquer. Soldiers need this desire to help them conquer and strive forward. Anguish is, also, a big part of war and this is the toughest part. Paul Baumer's platoon shows this by spending countless nights starving, hearing bombs drop around them, and listening to the sound of the endless gun fire. Lastly, the part of war that no one likes to talk about: death. Death is unavoidable and is what every soldier must fear. Unfortunately, without death no war could ever be settled. All the German soldiers feel this pain, and no one more than Paul recognizes this. Through the novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, desire, anguish and death are evident and illustrate all the aspects that make up war. War is having the desire to continue on through any obstacle in any situation. Paul and the German soldiers through the novel showed numerous examples of desire. ...read more.


So by not eating proper and getting the proper sleep the cannot perform adquately. The Canadian Army at the battle of Ypres were also having problems getting food to all their soldiers. Colonel A. Fortescue Duguid writes, "Some rations in the nature of bread and bacon were brought up but the distribution was so haphazard that many men remained 24 hours without food"(Cassar, Beyond Courage 109). This is just showing how much pain they had to endure most nights. There was never enough food to go around and to sleep was out of the question, especially when on the front line. As the pain of not eating and sleeping has now sufficed, the mind frequently starts to wonder. The Germans worry now whats behind every corner and are starting to get afraid. Hence, in life not knowing when you can be taken is a weird position to be put in. Anyone in the army can relate to this. Paul and Tjaden are on the front line discussing their friends tradgic loses. Paul sympothisis and says, "But our comrades are dead, we cannot help them, they have their rest - and who knows what is waiting for us?" (140) This is expressing the soldiers views towards their life. They know not what to expect. They have to live not knowing what will happen to them. And from day to day this is very stressful and unbelievably hard to coup with. ...read more.


Paul was alone now and was thinking about how many months and years he had been fighting. He was so alone and so without hope that he just looked out into the night. "He had fallen forward and lay on the earth as though sleeping. 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"(291). The loneleness and hardship that Paul has gone through has weakened his will to live and his hope. Paul had been killed and on that day it was so quiet on the whole front, that the army report confined itself to a single sentence: All quiet on the Western Front. Through the novel All Quiet on the Western Front, war is explained in depth by looking into these three aspects; desire, anguish and death. Clearly with desire being implemented when contrasting with war it showed what great lengths soldiers would go to; to either go home, win a battle or stay alive. Secondly, anguish was shown steadily throughout the book in many cases regarding, food, sleep and wounds. Lastly, death was a constant factor in the novel to which Paul and his men encountered and which in the end caught up with Paul and most of his men. Futhermore, desire, anguish and death distinguishes what war is really about. Work Citied Cassar, George. Beyond Courage, Canada: Oberon Press 1985 Remarque, Erich Maria. All Quiet on the Western Front, Germany: Boston Little, Brown, And Company 1929 Remarque, Erich Maria. The Road Back, Germany: Boston Little Brown, Brown, And Company 1931 Medaglia1 ...read more.

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