Horrors of War - All quiet on the western front

Essay by NeonFxHigh School, 12th grade February 2004

download word file, 3 pages 4.5

Horrors of War by Joshua Gonzalez aka NeonFx

War stories before Erich Maria Remarque's times still leaned toward themes of glory, adventure, and honor. In presenting his realistic version of a soldier's experience, Remarque stripped that from war novels in his antiwar novel, All Quiet on the Western Front. Remarque accurately depicts both the physical and mental hardships of war. This novel should be read by all soldiers thinking of enlisting in the army for several reasons.

First, the novel describes in detail the worst case scenarios associated with war. Soldiers would be able to make better decisions when enlisting. Second, those soldiers who enlist would be better prepared for the mental horrors that arise post-war. Finally, the novel sets a standard for the patriotism needed to serve one's country and the honor that comes with that patriotism.

The novel depicts war as it actually is. Remarque describes a moment of war by writing, "Everywhere wire-cutters are snapping, planks are thrown across the entanglements.

. . the earth shudders, it crashes, smokes, and groans, we stumble over slippery lumps of flesh, over yielding bodies" (pg. 117). By reading All Quiet on the Western Front before enlisting, a person would have a better opportunity to decide if they are prepared to face the horrors of war. Remarque's main character, Paul Baumer insists that he was not fully prepared for war. While on leave, he says, "I imagined leave would be different from this. Indeed, it was different a year ago. . . There lies a gulf between that time and to-day. At that time I still knew nothing about the war" (pg. 168). During war, unprepared men often cannot cope with the horrors of war. Remarque tells of one man momentarily going crazy. Remarque writes, "Suddenly little Kropp throws...