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Prose Text Analysis- All Quiet On The Western Front

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Introduction

Ivana Osenk 1101BU English Studies Stage 1 Prose Text Analysis: All Quiet on the Western Front ________________ Topic: This World War I novel is a story of powerful bonding among men. Using examples from the book, explain how Remarque develops his idea of comradeship in the face of battle In All Quiet on the Western Front, the audience is exposed to the dreams of men who endure months upon months of warfare. Conditions are appalling and death is a common occurrence. This violent context shapes the soldiers' – and in particular our narrator's – concept of life and objectives. The soldier’s objectives are not elaborate, rather to keep sane and to stay alive. Throughout all the horrifying pictures of death and inhumanity, Remarque scatters a redeeming quality: comradeship. It is through Paul Bäumer’s interactions with characters and events that the importance of comradeship is developed and shows how the powerful bonding of men can enable them to face and survive in deadly, inhumane and ghastly environments. Corporal Himmelstoss symbolises the violent elements of war, forcing the soldiers do inhumane tasks. ...read more.

Middle

They get to know each other intimately. Paul notes as he goes off on his leave and says goodbye to Kat and Kropp, "I know their every step and movements; I would recognize them at any distance" (p. 155). A typical example of the comradeship theme comes when Paul has a panic attack hiding in a shell-hole, however, the voices of his friends restores his courage. His thoughts at that point sum up the entire theme of comradeship: ?At once a new warmth flows through me. These voices, these few quiet words, these footsteps in the trench behind me recall me at a bound from the terrible loneliness and fear of death by which I had been almost destroyed. They are more to me than life, these voices, they are more than motherliness and more than fear; they are the strongest, most comforting thing there is anywhere: they are the voices of my comrades.?(Ch. 9. p. 216) Gerard Duval was a major character foil in shaping Baumer as an individual and highlights the theme of comradeship. In this passage from Erich Maria Remarque?s All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul Baumer is overcome by guilt after killing an enemy soldier, Gerard Duval. ...read more.

Conclusion

Paul describes his friends by saying "I belong to them and they to me; we all share the same fear and the same life; we are nearer than lovers, in a simpler, a harder way; I could bury my face in them in these voices, these words that have saved me and will stand by me." (212) The vivid imagery such as ?these words that have saved me and will stand by me? and powerful metaphors such as ?I could bury my face in them in these voices? illustrate the depth and compassion Paul feels for his comrades. The events of All Quiet on the Western Front are depicted horrifically, however in both a blunt and subtle manner. The daily events of war destroyed cities, men and hope, and its devastation marked an imprint for the generations to come. However, in scenes of battle and rest, the comradeship of men is exceptionally powerful. Even though Paul counts their losses at various points, he values their inseparable relationship and attempts to keep them together to help each other. There is certain elegance, in all sorrow and depression, a grace that occurs when the men realize their compassion and dependence on others. ...read more.

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