Letter about "All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque.

Essay by Punjabi-Bl00dzHigh School, 10th gradeA, March 2007

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Dear Bob:I strongly disagree with the decision of the Board that Erich Maria Remarque’s novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, is unsuitable material for the tenth grade curriculum. I disagree because this novel helps us understand the reality and horror of war, it also provides us with the German point of view on this war, and it’s written with a well and effective style.

This novel is not just an ordinary reading book, but it’s a novel with a message. The message that this story conveys to us, is the reality and horror of war. Everyone has a misconception in their head that war is exciting and sort of like a game, but after reading this novel that was proven false. For example, when Paul and his comrades are under attack, the horses are receiving wounds from the enemies’ attacks and are screaming in pain. Paul and his comrades can’t bear to hear the anguishing cry of the horses and are completely horrified.

This proves that war isn’t a fun place to be, in fact it’s hell for people who have to go through it. Another example in which this book conveys the reality and horror of war was again when the horses were used in the war. The author describes one horse who’s belly is ripped open, and the guts are trailing out! The horse tries to get up, but gets tangled in his guts, and falls over again. Remarque may have been very detailed in this gruesome scenario, but Remarque is trying to snatch the blindfold from people and show them the reality and horror that war has in stock for them.

Another reason why this novel should be allowed in the tenth grade curriculum is because it’s unique. I have never read a novel in which so much truth is told, and the entire story is told through the enemies eyes. After reading this novel, I was able to see that the Germans are also suffering just like the allies are, and in fact the Germans are doing worse than the allies. They are left with fewer supplies and food throughout the war, whereas the allies have far better provisions than them. Remarque succeeds in letting the readers of his book know that the enemy, or Germany, are human beings as well. Most textbooks provide the Allies point of view on World War II. However Remarque, tries to tell the book from Germanies’ side of view for once and he succeeds.

The last reason as to why this novel is essential for the tenth grade is because of the effective writing style used by Remarque. The novel is written so vividly and realistic compared to other novels. One reason why this novel is so realistic is because the author was there when this war happened! He has experienced this war himself, and has been wounded 5 times! That means that he knows what the war is like. He won’t be making up stuff; in fact all the scenes in the novel are true. Remarque passes his vision and what he saw using words to express them to us. Also, by writing in first person mode, he has really helped us understand the war, and get into the book. He has used excellent vocab, he has emphasized sound, which really stands out in this book, and he explains every little detail, which helps understand the message of this book.

Although this book may have been gruesomely written in many ways, the message that this book is trying to convey to us is very important. By writing the book through the eyes of the enemy and using a great selection of words, Remarque has done an excellent job in putting this book together. This book is essential for the tenth grade curriculum and must be taught to all sophomores.