At the beginning of the 20th Century, the great powers of the world engaged in the largest war concerning deaths in modern times.
This war, which is often called the Great War, or World War I, had serious consequences that have affected our world today a great deal. One novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, has been considered a classic and possibly “the greatest war novel of all time”. The story follows the adventures of a German solider, Paul Baumer, from the time he enters the military to his unfortunate death at the end. This book could possibly be used to illuminate discussion about the Great War because of the past history of the author, the daily experiences that the soldiers encounter, and the effects of the war had on the soldier’s personal lives. Before the novel opens, there is a short explanation which states: "This book is neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war.
- Thesis Statement
- Structure and Outline
- Voice and Grammar
"Erich Maria Remarque, the author of All Quiet on the Western Front, was a hero in the time of World War I. During this time period, the only people who truly knew what was going on on the battlefields were those who were fighting. The war novel All Quiet on the Western Front could be used as a source to discuss the Great War because of the past history of the author. Remarque, was a World War I veteran for the German army. He was wounded five times in combat during the course of his time in the war. Remarque fully experienced what war was really like. His novel can probably be recognized as a highly autobiographical piece of literature.
The characters in his book went through many of the same trials and tribulations that he did while being a German solider in World War I. For this reason, I believe it is very rational to assume that All Quiet on the Western Front could be used as a source for discussing the Great War. Remarque saw the battles first hand and possibly incorporated much of his own life as a solider in the book. Another reason that the novel All Quiet on the Western Front could be used as a source to discuss the Great War is because of the daily experiences that the soldiers encountered in the book. The life of a soldier in the Great War was a constant avoidance of death. The characters in the novel dealt with such problems also. This continuous evasion from death caused people to become very unstable mentally and physically, in the book as well as in the actual war.
Trench warfare, which was an important war strategy used, forced soldiers into horrendous conditions. In the text of “Modern Europe,” the author, Merriman, states, “Persistent lice, mice, and enormous starving rats were… constant companions in the stagnant water of the trenches” (pg.1046).
In chapter 6 of the book Paul describes him and his company fighting off giant rats to protect their food. This is an evident similarity concerning the trench warfare in the book and in real life. Furthermore, when Paul is in the hospital with Lewandowski recovering from his wounds, the hospital is forced to use paper bandages. This was at a late point in the war when Germany was at a loss of supplies for much of their military.
The significance of this is that it showed that.