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All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque is a novel which tells the reality of World War 1.

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All Quiet on the Western Front Essay Choose a novel which explores in an effective way a theme which is important to you. Explain how the novelist introduces and develops the theme and show to what extent he/she effectively engaged your interest in it. ?All Quiet on the Western Front? by Erich Maria Remarque is a novel which tells the reality of World War 1. The novel is told in first person from the perspective of a German soldier called Paul Baumer, and reveals the true horrors of war as well as both the mental and physical effects it has on soldiers that society was unaware of at that time. A common theme used throughout the novel was dehumanisation in which the soldiers were deprived of their basic human qualities and personality due to the numerous horrors of war they faced each day. Remarque manages to introduce and develop the theme of dehumanisation through such techniques as symbolism, imagery and first person perspective which therefore effectively engages the reader?s interest in the novel. In the epigraph Remarque says that he ?simply try to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped its shells, were destroyed by war.? Ironically Paul and his comrades represent a whole generation of men known to history as ?the lost generation? in which eight million men were died in battle, twenty one million were injured and over six and a half million civilians were killed. ...read more.


They were undoubtedly stripped from a down English airman before being passed on when Kemmerich dies. Muller, a fellow comrade, eyes the boot while Kemmerich is dying. ?Muller is delighted by the sight of them; he matches their soles against his own clumsy boots? ?Will you leave them with us?? Kemmerich doesn?t want to. They are his most prized possession.? This strong symbolism of the boots shows the worthlessness of life in the war. It is clear that the boots represent the need for the men to lose sensitivity to be completely practical in order to survive, and which they now no longer associated inheriting the boots with having something of a deceased friend, but with having a new pair boots. The boots seem to foreshadow death as every successive man to own them are succumb to a violent death afterwards. This symbolism reveals to the reader how ruthless the soldiers must be to survive and also how poorly the soldiers were equipped for battle. As the novel continues, Remarque shows the reader how ruthless and dehumanised the soldiers have become due to the tragedies of war through use of imagery. In chapter four there is a reoccurring imagery of the soldiers being compared to wild animals and beasts. Paul and his comrades are assigned to lay barbed wire at the front line, and extremely dangerous task in which they are bombarded with shells. ...read more.


Too much has happened at the front line for him to believe in human beings and compassion. Even with his family he realizes that life will never be the same again. ?A sense of strangeness will not leave me; I cannot feel at home amongst these things. There is my mother, there is my sister, there my case of butterflies, and there the mahogany piano-but I am not myself there. There is a distance, a veil between us.? Paul?s experience in the war and at the frontline has completely removed any humanity and compassion he once had which has made him feel alienated from society and home. He is too familiar with being around death and sadness that any love or compassion he had for his family is now removed. This effectively keeps the readers interest as this loss of humanity seems strange but is very intriguing and personal as the novel is in first person. In conclusion, ?All quiet on the Western Front? by Erich Maria Remarque is a novel which follows the day to day routines of a German soldier in World War 1 and how the horrors and traumas of war can affect a soldier mentally and physically, removing their basic human nature entirely. Remarque effectively shows how war dehumanises soldiers and makes readers manage to sympathise with them through the use of symbolism, imagery and first person perspective. ...read more.

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