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All Quiet on the Western Front

Autor:   •  April 2, 2011  •  Book/Movie Report  •  3,744 Words (15 Pages)  •  2,145 Views

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Born is Osnabruck, Germany in 1898, Erich Maria Remarque took an aptitude to writing at an early age. Upon turning 16, Remarque had already begun work on countless essays poems and novels. At age 18, however, the great literary artist was drafted into the German army where he served on the Western Front and gathered the content for his most famous work, All Quiet on the Western Front. During the war, Remarque was struck by shrapnel in numerous vital regions of his body, giving the German army no choice but to send Remarque to a German hospital away from the front. This excruciating wound that left Erich clinging to life by a thread would however be a blessing in disguise. In his time away from the war, Remarque was able to construct his greatest literary work, All Quiet on the Western Front. Based on the horrors Remarque witnessed on the front, All Quiet on the Western Front was written chiefly as a anti-war novel that exposed the horrors of the war than it was a novel to glorify the brave men that served their country to the death. This novel belittled the German war effort to such a degree that the novel, along with many others of his works were banned and publicly burned in Germany. After seeing the German response to the novel, Remarque fled Germany and lived out his life in the United States.

In All quiet on the Western Front, the reader was first introduced to Paul Baumer, the boy who relates the savagery that he saw throughout he war along to the reader. Paul did not go it alone, however, he was accompanied by his brothers in arms named Stanislaus Katczinsky, Muller, Haie Westhus, Albert Kropp, and a boy by the name of Tjaden. Together, these boys who were situated in Second Company witnessed barbarity that tested their inner substance and brought on a fear that forced them to rely on each other to preserve one another's lives, thus building a bond of brotherly love that only death can break.

These young men, once free and innocent, but now tied to a constant life of uncertainty where killing was their only option, were deceived. Kantorek, a patriotic man who taught the classes of Paul and the others, told the boys how great their lives could be and the glory they would receive should they enlist and defend their country. Indoctrinated by Kantorek's fallacies, the boys signed up, including a boy by the name of Joseph Behm. Joseph joined reluctantly, he felt pressured by the other boys in the class, believing he was less of a man and more of a coward should he neglect to sign up. Dreadfully, Behm was the first of the new recruits to lose his life. Strangely, Baumer notes that Kantorek's lie that has caused death and the loss of innocence for many young boys should not belittle Kantorek's image. Baumer believed that every teacher, including Katorek, had their personal beliefs that they shelled out at every opportunity, and Kantorek's lie was only meant to progress the war effort and to increase the


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