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All Quiet on the Western Front

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Introduction

Book Review After reading the novel All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque I found that I have learned many new things about World War I. Some things I learned had great interest to me, and others I wish I had never learned. The novel is narrated by the main character named Paul Baumer. Paul is a young man who is fighting for Germany during World War I. He is fighting in the trenches on the French front, hence where the title All Quiet on the Western Front comes from. I found that throughout the story there were some main messages that the author is trying to get across. The first is how horrible and devastating war can be. This is shown by the detail that the author goes into with how each of Paul's friends dies and how the author describes the gore and bloodiness in each battle. The second is how war can affect a soldier. This is shown when the soldiers are sitting and discussing their plans for after the war and most of them say that they feel that the war will never end and how all they now know is war. Finally, there is a message about how human instinct can save lives and also cost lives. The author shows how it can save lives when Paul knew to run and hide at certain times and it shows how it can cost lives when Paul killed the soldier that jumped in the hole with him. ...read more.

Middle

In chapter eight, Paul is returning to the war when he stops by one of their Russian soldier prisons. He takes the time to stop and talk to the prisoners. He finds that the Russian soldiers are just like him, and he wonders how there can be a war between countries that have no grudge against each other. When he returns to his company he finds that the German emperor is visiting them. Soon after that, during a battle, Paul's instinctive fighting style takes a turn on him. During an attack he is forced to hide in a shell hole to protect himself. A French soldier then jumps in the hole with him for protection from cross fire, not knowing that Paul was already in there. Paul instinctively stabs the innocent French soldier and causes the soldier to have a slow and extremely painful death. He is quickly filled with regret and sorrow for having hurt the French soldier because he feels that he was not a threat nor an enemy to him; but just a victim of war like himself. After the battle calms down he goes through his victim's things and finds out that the French soldier had a wife and children. He then can't get over the fact that he destroyed an innocent family and is filled with even more regret and grief. ...read more.

Conclusion

I found that I couldn't improve the book if I tried. The author did an exceptional job of describing how horrible war is through this brilliant novel. The structure and organization of the book was ideal. The details in the book were phenomenal. The historical accurateness was right on the target. Finally, the content of the novel was one of a kind and worthy of a reward. If I have time over the summer I will definitely read this novel again. Overall, I found that All Quiet on the Western Front to be a classic. I can see why this book is called "The Greatest War Novel of All Time". In my opinion it was perfect in every way. It had its happy points and its sad points but throughout the whole novel, it never lost my attention. The quality of the words written was so strong that I was brought to tears of joy during moments of hope, and tears of sorrow during moments of misery. The content was also extremely accurate for a novel about war based on real events. This book has the rare quality and uniqueness that each time I had to stop reading I would constantly wonder what would happen next. The novel shows how horrible and depressing war really is, rather than how people recently render it as honorable and glorious. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves to read and enjoys books about war or books about a soldier's life. ?? ?? ?? ?? Frazette | 1 ...read more.

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