The Cause of Death. Speaks of Erich Maria Remarque's "All quiet on the western front"

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is a very interesting and true-to-heart novel based in the first world war

where many men and women died because someone called them the

enemy. The main character is Paul Baumer, a nineteen year old man who

is swept into the war, along with his friends, not one day before he is out

of school. They are sent to the front to 'protect the fatherland' or

Germany as it is called. Paul and his friends go from this idealistic

opinion to disillusionment throughout the book as they discover the truth

that the enemy is just like them, and Paul's friends start being killed one-

by-one. This novel is a gripping account of how war is most of the time

bloody and horrid. The few who came out of this war were not the people

they were when they left. They become pale and emotionless, without

feeling or thought.

Some killed themselves, they had experienced ultimate

horror, the horror of war. The novel starts two years after Paul and his

friends first reached the front and then goes back and forth between


present and past. The main topics throughout the book is the change from

idealism to disillusionment, the loss of Paul's friends, and especially the

loss of Paul's innocence.

The change from idealism to disillusionment is really the driving

force behind the novel. From young school boys, listening to their

schoolmaster asking 'Won't you join up comrades?'(11) to 'weary,

broken'(294) men, idealism and disillusionment play a major role on

Paul's decisions and thoughts. For example, on the second page of the

novel, Paul says, 'It would not be such a bad war if only one could get a

little more sleep.' (2) Later in the book, a disillusioned Paul...