Base Instinct? A report on All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

Essay by neo1513High School, 10th gradeA+, July 2004

download word file, 4 pages 4.8 1 reviews

Downloaded 46 times

Throughout time, the existence of humans has been characterized as rational beings capable to wander away from the rest of the uncivilized world. But, in situations involving pride and power, they tend to revert to their primal nature. In the book All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque, nine friends are forced to depend on their survival instincts because of a nation's need to justify its expansion. In the book Paul Baumer and his friends are pressured into joining a war in which they will be emotionally scarred before they are left for dead. On the political side, World War I, like most wars was declared and followed through without any real thought if the soldiers. Because of the nationalistic attitude of the governments, the power scramble led to ill placed hate forced on all the soldiers. This book well characterizes the needs and instincts of man based on his primal nature.

When an individual is given control over others, they often flex that power and then crave even more. This was shown when Kat explained why humans will act like animals irrevocably. ["For instance, if you train a dog to eat potatoes and then afterward put a piece of meat in front of him, he'll snap at it, it's his nature. And if you give a man a little bit of authority he behaves just the same way, he snaps at it too."] The reason people act like this is because they have a need to elevate themselves above others due to their insecurities. When animals are insecure about their position, they find more defendable positions or they move. When humans are insecure, they also find more defendable positions but usually they are only attainable by competition making them resort to their inherent "nastiness". ["Three...