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Discuss the way that Remarque uses structure to present and enhance the meaning and effects of his story.

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Introduction

Essay All Quiet on the Western Front B. Discuss the way that Remarque uses structure to present and enhance the meaning and effects of his story. The novel operates structurally. Remarque uses the structure of the novel to grasp the story together. He does this by creating contrast within the story and dividing up the novel creating flashbacks of emotion, memories and thoughts. This enables the structure to let out hidden emotions. It enhances the meaning and effects of the story in such a way that it indulges the readers deeper into the novel. The novel does not follow the classic pattern of plot development, as Baumer battles mentally and physically against the war, however, there is a definite main structure in the novel. It has a beginning - (introduction to the soldiers), middle- (fighting in the war), and an end- (death of Baumer). From seeing that the main structure is very basic it shows us that the story is not very complex. This therefore shows us that other structures are needed in order for the story to have a greater effect. ...read more.

Middle

And good boots are hard to come by" (P15.) Before I read this quote I had jumped to conclusions. I immediately thought that Muller was being extremely selfish by asking for the boots from his dying friend, Kemmerich. However, when Remarque divided up the actual story from Baumers thoughts I contradicted myself. I realised that I agreed completely with the quote and I no longer thought that Muller was selfish. This division and recollection within the novel enhanced the effect of the story on me as a person. Many of these flashbacks consist of memories, emotions and thoughts. When Remarque flashes back to these points he does it to create a much more vivid effect for the reader. With these flashbacks the reader is enabled to empathize more with the characters and discover their hidden emotions. The actual structure of the novel enhances the meaning and effect of the story. The novel is divided into short episodes and has a heavy reliance on conversation. Remarque's work is divided into small sections, separated by asterisks. ...read more.

Conclusion

The reader suddenly becomes very confused with all the lack of emotion in the story and the amount of emotion which affects them. When writing about emotion Remarque's writes it in a very factual way. "He is right. We are no longer young men. We've lost any desire to conquer the world. We are refugees. We are fleeing from ourselves. From our lives... We don't believe in those things anymore; we believe in the war." (P. 63) In the above quote Baumer states the facts about what he feels. Remarque states no emotion. The reader is the one that sees and interprets how he feels. The emotion that is in the story is hidden within the facts. However it also appears in the flashbacks of memories, thoughts and emotions. In my opinion I think that Remarque's novel would be unbearably painful to read had the author handled the text any differently. Remarque uses structure to enhance the meaning and effects of his story in many different ways. The main ways are, contrast, division, emotion and flashbacks. All these different methods have an individual way of affecting the novel in order to make each topic more intense and vivid. ...read more.

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