"All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque - Describe and comment on life in the German trenches during World War One on the Western Front, as depicted in the novel.

Essay by batgirls_pineapplesHigh School, 10th grade June 2006

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Life in the German trenches during World War I on the Western Front is appalling, unbearable and horrendous, as depicted in the novel "All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque. This was because of many reasons, such as the unsanitary living conditions that the soldiers had to endure, the death and destruction that surrounded them, and the affects of the war and fighting that physically and mentally scared them for life.

The conditions in the trenches on the Western Front were unsanitary and uncomfortable, to say the least. Some soldiers spent days on end living with water up to their knees, which caused them to catch colds and their feet to rot. There were rats everywhere that were not only foul and ugly but they also carried diseases and ate the soldiers' limited supplies of food. Sometimes, the rats would even start eating at the soldiers while they were asleep.

'The rats here are especially repulsive, because they are so huge. They are the sort they call copse-rats. They have horrible, evil-looking, naked faces and the sight of their long, bare tails can make you feel sick.

They seem to be really hungry. They have had a go at practically everybody's bread.' (Paul, Chapter 6, page 73)

The trenches were filled with the putrid smell of death and unwashed men. There were no showers or toilets. If a man died, he was left there to rot in the trench unless he was dragged out. The soldiers were vulnerable to many diseases such as the common cold which could be deadly in a war zone as there was usually little medication available.

Food was also very scarce and the little food they had was hardly appetizing -

it was stale and mouldy. They had to ration their...