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In his novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, Remarque shared his experience from the war. Some of his experiences included fighting on the battle front, seeing his friends die, and being in the trenches

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Tyler Wiles October 25, 2012 Schulte Period 1 The Meaninglessness of War Fearful, bloody, psychological death, depression, pain, agony, and suffering all describe warfare. In history, trench warfare had been seen in what is known as the Great War. World War I, as people refer to it today, went on from 1914 to 1918 while changing the political landscape of Europe. World War I brought new weapons such as cannons and machine guns into play as well as a different style of fighting known as trench warfare. By bringing this new style of war along the style also brought more blood, gruesomeness, and death. The style of warfare also would have psychological effects on the soldiers. One of the World War I survivors, Erich Maria Remarque, wrote about his take on World War I. In his novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, Remarque shared his experience from the war. Some of his experiences included fighting on the battle front, seeing his friends die, and being in the trenches. In the novel Remarque presented the meaninglessness of the war by using irony, symbolism, and conflict. To begin, Remarque illustrates instances of irony, throughout the novel, to describe the meaninglessness of the war. ...read more.


The horses dying on the front symbolize helplessness and innocence; ?It is the moaning of the world, it is the martyred creation, wild with anguish, filled with terror, and groaning? (62). This relates to the horses as well as the soldiers, because they are just innocent men that are being dragged in to this war to fight. Next, in the novel there are cherry blossoms that are brought up during a conversation between Detering and Paul. Detering says, ?I have a big orchard with cherry trees at home. When they are in blossom, from the hay loft they look like one single sheet, so white. It is just the time? (276). The cherry blossoms symbolize freeness from the war. Detering wants to go back home to his wife and wants to live his life and not waste it fighting for basically nothing. In addition to the cherry blossoms, Kemmerich?s medical scene acts as a symbol. In the beginning of the novel Kemmerich is in the hospital after having his leg amputated. Kemmerich gets weaker and weaker while he is in the hospital. When his time comes to die there are no doctors that will help him. ...read more.


Finally the last conflict Paul experiences is internal. He needs to figure out if war is worth the agony, suffering, and pain that the soldiers go through. He says, ?Just as we turn into animals when we go up to the line... so we turn into wags and loafers when we are resting...We want to live at any price; so we cannot burden ourselves with feelings which, though they may be ornamental enough in peacetime, would be out of place here? (138-139). Paul concludes that it is not worth it. Finally, that is how the author, Remarque, conveys the ideas of war though internal and external conflict in the novel. Ultimately, Remarque proves that war is meaningless by using irony, symbols, and conflict. Remarque describes the meaninglessness of war and the pain and suffering that goes along with it. The author describes what he endures in the war, such as his close friends dying, his experiences battling in the trenches and also how he viewed war, which put him through pain, agony, and suffering. In conclusion, Remarque is setting an example of what war really is that war is not a beautiful thing, it is not great to die for your country, and war is pointless. ...read more.

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