Text their humanity and become “animals” tosurvive
Text Response:Extended Pose TextAll Quiet on the Western Front By Erich Maria RemarqueThe novel “All Quiet on the Western Front” written by Erich Maria Remarque,presents the story of “a generation of men who, even though they may haveescaped its shells were destroyed by the war.
” The novel portrays the ‘pityof war’ as described by the poet Wilfred Owen, the horror of death. Thestory is told through the eyes of a young soldier named Paul BaumerThe pressure on young people to join up was massive. ‘At the time evenone’s parents were ready with the word “coward”‘. Kantorek the schoolteacher, because of his position, pressured the young men to join the army.They trusted him so they thought it was not that bad to go to war.
This wassoon proven to be untrue. If this happened to me I would be very annoyed atthe people who had no idea what it was like at war, where they had sent usto fight for them.The soldiers lived in terrible conditions. The food rations were scarce.They had rats, “corpse rats” as Paul Baumer called them, because they usedto eat all of the dead bodies.
The rats were so big and fat the rats usedto eat all the rotten or stale food that the soldiers could not eat. Therewasn’t enough equipment to last through the war. The guns were unreliable.They couldn’t even shoot straight. This made them dangerous.
The uniformswere very uncomfortable to wear. The boots that they had to wear made thesoldier’s feet hurt. The cold was another bad factor of the war because inthe winter there was no way the soldiers could get warm and dry in thetrenches.Not only were the living conditions terrible, the reality of death wasterrible as well. Just being there watching people die around you wasshocking. The smell would have been horrific especially the dead bodiesthat were in the trenches. “Many have these bellies swollen up likeballoons”.
The horses dying was also terrible “wild with anguish, filledwith terror and groaning.”War has a terrible effect on the soldiers who participate. Paul describesthe way he and his friends lose their humanity and become “animals” tosurvive at the front. “We reach the zone where the front begins and becomeson the instant human animals’. Paul cannot relate to people when he returnshome on leave.
He has to lie to his parents because there was too muchpressure to tell any stories about what it was like on the front. ‘Irealized he does not know that a man cannot talk of such things’.Even if Paul survived the war he would not be able to live a normal life,as the war has destroyed him physically and emotionally. When Paul was inthe crater and had to kill the Frenchman, he faces the reality of hisactions. “This is the first time that I have killed with my hands.” In thismoment Paul realizes the full enormity of the war- the fear, the killing,the dying. The Frenchman is a man just like Paul and now he has no future,all his hopes have been ended.
If I was in this situation I would of donethe same as what Paul did, because if he didn’t kill the Frenchman, theFrenchman would of kill Paul.The message that the author is trying to say is about the ‘pity of war’,that war is a terrible waste of human life, especially the young men. Paulsurvives until the last month of the war.
This shows the tragedy of war, tohave survived so long but all for nothing.All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque shows us the tragedyof war. From the points above it show that how much it was a waste of humanlife.