Each side believes patriotically in the rightness of its cause, but they cannot both be right.To say that war happens because one country offends another is ridiculous, says Tjaden, since the ordinary people of each country do not feel offended. His conclusion is that it is only the rulers who order war, and only emperors and generals who profit from it.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. 216) The Psychology of the Soldier Remarque, who fought in World War I himself (he was wounded five times) gives great insight into the psychology of the soldier who has to endure such unendurable conditions.
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The book contains a number of major themes but it's impossible to cover all of them in a single essay.
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The Folly and Deceit of War All Quiet on the Western Front has a fiercely anti-war theme.
The trench warfare of World War I is shown to be a hell on earth that inflicts cruel deaths and senseless suffering on all who are caught up in it.Set from the perspective of a young German soldier, it carries a clear message that war is brutal, unglamorous and often ultimately pointless.It has been a popular choice for essays for many decades and shows no signs of fading away.In All Quiet on the Western Front, two themes that dominate the plot and complement each other are war and the "rites of passage." In literature, war often becomes the proving ground on which a youth is initiated into one of the rites of passage — as instances, Crane's The Red Badge of Courage (1895) and Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms (1929).Paul Baumer candidly relates his own initiation into war and, as typical of rites of passage, he gains knowledge from his experiences.He is undone when he allows the sight of the cherry tree in blossom to reawaken his desire for life and home.He is no longer adapted to life in the trenches and so makes a fatal mistake.The appalling slaughter that is the soldier's everyday companion results in the "annihilation of all human feeling" (p. Paul explains this psychology of survival most completely at the beginning of Chapter 11. The soldier only allows that which is absolutely necessary to life to occupy his mind and dictate his actions; "all else lies buried in gloomy sleep" (p. The sole goal is the preservation of basic existence; the men have been transformed into "unthinking animals." But this is a precarious and vulnerable position to be in, since it is artificial and can only be maintained with great effort.What happens when a spark of the longing for life is reawakened is illustrated in the story of Detering.It dehumanizes the soldiers who fight endlessly for nothing, since in many of the fiercest battles, hardly any territory is won or lost-and yet casualties are huge.The anti-war theme is seen in everything from the detailed descriptions of battle, to the terrible mutilations and injuries of the men in the military hospital, and the patriotic nonsense talked by the men of the older generation.