All Quiet on the Western Front Theme Analysis All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque has two major themes. The first is that war is hell. Remarque uses detailed descriptions, comparisons, and imagery to convey this theme in his novel. The second theme is the lost generation. Remarque uses the various characters to show how the men who mature during the war have nothing to go home to. They do not have wives or a job that they would have acquired while they were in the army. The themes of the novel are well developed by Remarque throughout the novel using various techniques to make the reader feel like he is a member of the lost generation experiencing the horrid war.
The first main theme, war is hell, is greatly shown during the front-line scenes of the novel. The story of a soldier's life in the trenches is made up of brutality, treachery, heroism, foul intimacies, coarseness, and the gradual social, emotional, and moral decay (Church 624).
The four years of hell, known as World War I, cannot be imitated by even a nightmare, and the years trample the built civilization into the mud of the trenches (Church 625). Louis Kronenberger writes in his review called "War's Horror as a German Private Saw It,"Ã¯Â¿Â½ that "We have a picture of that physical horror unsurpassed for vividness, for reality, for convincingness, which lives and spreads and grows until every atom of us is at the Front, seeing, mingling, suffering."Ã¯Â¿Â½ Joseph Krutch adds that war is a nightmarish, exhausting business that is interminable and has no purpose. War is hell can be described as the monstrous unacceptability of trench warfare (Rowley 101-112).
Modris Eksteins says the simple theme of the novel is that war is a demeaning and wholly...