All Quiet Blog Posts

Honestly, I have no idea what Mr. Stuck actually meant for us to do today, so just post your individual blog postings as comments on this post and the timestamp should suffice as proof of meeting your deadline. These should cover major elements of the novel including the literary devices, themes, intent of author, and literary significance, and be at least 500 words long. Be sure to include the names of everyone in your group.
Because I’m the admin and have all sorts of cool power, my group’s post actually goes into the blog.

Isaac Wood, Lindsey Bryant, Kelli Peterman, and Andrea Thompson
September 28, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Erich Maria Remarque’s novel All Quiet on the Western Front has been hailed as the best war novel of all time. It centers on a German soldier named Paul Bäumer, who enlists in the army as a young man and participates in World War I. Remarque uses his semiautobiographical character to illustrate the evils of war and the negative effects it has on its participants. He does so using various plot elements that are not only effective in illustrating his point, but are also interesting in a literary sense.
One of the more unique literary devices is the foreshadowing attached to Kemmerich’s boots as a sign of impending doom. Initially, Kemmerich takes the boots from the corpse of a dead airman. Müller, who is the next of Paul’s comrades to die, then owns the boots. Paul then receives the boots and is killed. In this exchange, Remarque shows just how corrupt the partakers of war have become because of it – to them, a pair of boots has become more important than the life and death of a fellow soldier. As Paul said on page 21: “[Good] boots are scarce.” The book is also peppered with various literary devices such as strong imagery, similes, metaphors, and personification.
The most obvious theme of the novel is the physical and psychological toll war takes on the soldiers. In this same token, All Quiet on the Western Front can show us the extremes to which a person will go under the right stimuli and conditions, in this case, war. While on the field of battle, Paul hides inside a small hole, only to find himself joined by an enemy troop. Without even thinking, Paul kills him, and regrets what he has done afterwards. This also illustrates a loss of innocence. The soldiers also tend to want what they cannot attain, especially Paul. When he is in the war, he wants nothing more than to go home, but while he is on leave, he longs to be back in the fray.
Another theme of the novel is the corruption and abuse of power. A prime example of this is Himmelstoss, the tyrannical drill sergeant. When he was a civilian, he was just a mail carrier, but as soon as he was given the smallest bit of power, he abused it. This principle is best explained by Katczinsky: “‘For instance, if you train a dog to eat potatoes and then afterwards 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 […]” (43-44). Because the government encouraged the citizens of the country to join the war, Kantorek (the former teacher of the younger soldiers) also urged his students to enlist. But when Kantorek himself joined up, a former student of his took advantage of Kantorek’s lower status.
Remarque’s novel is, in essence, a historic account. It uncovered the truth behind the lives of soldiers during war and shattered any previous notions and stereotypes attached to such a role.

Yeah. Be here by midnight or forever hold your peace.

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14 Responses to “All Quiet Blog Posts”

  1. Meghan Christian, Katie Slemp, and Anne Delaney (3rd hour) Says:

    All Quiet on the Western Front is full of themes and literary devices. This work of literature is significant in many ways and it is also important to understand the author’s intent. The title in itself holds significance to the story as well.
    First, the title tells us a lot about the story. The title All Quiet on the Western Front can be interpreted in a few ways. For example, one could argue that it is ironic. It really wasn’t quiet on the front because gunfire and bombardments were commonplace. One could also argue that it was quiet for Paul at times when he would randomly have a vision or memory of home. This novel is significant because it shows how horrible wars can be to those who are forced to fight in them.
    All Quiet on the Western Front is a huge Anti-War novel and this theme is throughout the book. It shows the negative effects of war on the soldiers and even the civilians back home. To a soldier, it is traumatizing to have to kill another human being in a kill or be killed situation. Back home, everyone is worried about their family members in the war and is anxious to hear about the front and how it’s going. This novel shows that though it is usually a common choice, war isn’t always the best one.
    Another theme is the Loss of Innocence. Paul and his comrades were sent off to the army right after high school because their country needed them. During the course of their military careers they had to kill other men and do things that most people never do in their entire life at the age of twenty. This theme is huge in the novel as well because it helps show the negative effects of war.
    Next, literary devices in the novel are huge. One of the biggest is the motif of the boots. These boots reoccur in the story as a harbinger of death in a way. The boots are always passed on to the next soldier who ends up dying. There is also irony. The title is All Quiet on the Western Front when it wasn’t quiet on the front at all.
    Lastly, the author’s intent was simply to show how bad war really is to both the soldiers and those back home. He shows that the lives of a soldier are changed forever and many of them feel that they can never return home because of the changes they have undergone. They can no longer blend in with society. He wanted to inform people of what war is like and how people will act when forced into situations where they must kill another person or die themselves.

  2. Polina Hristova, Laura Bauermeister, Lindsay Hannah, Becca Skinner Says:

    All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque was an excellent portrayal of the life and hardships of soldiers during World War I. This war was unique in relation to previous wars due to new advancements in technologies and strategies. World War I was undoubtedly a difficult journey on all involved; therefore, this persuaded Remarque to enlighten readers through literary devices, themes, intentions, and the book’s significance.
    In the novel, Remarque signified various symbols. Among the several, a major one was Kemmerich’s boots. Passed down from dead soldiers, the boots symbolized death to the next person who owned them. They also managed to create a distraction from the war, and demonstrated how a single item can overshadow a person’s death, since they were used to blocking out grief and despair for one another. This connects to the motif of “animal instincts.” Throughout the battles and difficult times, the soldiers were convinced to shut their minds off and strive only off of instinct in order to survive.
    The main theme of this book would be the general idea that war is a tough and morbid situation. The author emphasizes how gruesome it really is by creating several mental images of bloody and injured men, as well as an extremely unhealthy environment. Another theme would be the loss of innocence, which was mainly directed towards Paul and his other young friends. They were forced to grow up and become immune to seeing terrible things, like death. In the long run, it took a toll on the physical and mental status’s of soldiers.
    The intention or message the author tried to convey in this book was to give readers a realistic insight and understanding of what being in a war was truly like. In society, then and now, many people go to fight in a war because they have been convinced that doing so will make them stronger and more independent; however, many of these people also have no idea what they are getting themselves into. For this purpose, Remarque, being a soldier himself, attempted to portray an honest and practical point of view.
    These intentions also connect well with the literary significance. This story shows a universal perspective of a soldier’s position in a war. As previously mentioned, many people do not realize how greatly being in a war can affect you. Starvation, injuries, diseases, little sleep, and death are just a few side effects that can result from being in a war. Remarque also does an excellent job showing how you lose connection with your family and friends. Paul, for example, clearly lost his connections with his mother and sister, and did not even feel at home when he visited them.
    All in all, this book captures the period and environment of World War I very well. Through different literary devices, themes, intentions, and literary significances, Remarque created a well-rounded vision of what being a soldier was like. He wrapped up the idea that war is an extremely unpleasant situation and sent a well-thought out message to the readers.

  3. Arien Wright, Ashley Connelly, and Anna Gainey Says:

    After getting over the initial shock of not knowing how to blog or what a blog should sound like, our group decided it would benefit us the most if we actually discussed All Quiet on the Western Front instead of wasting class time fretting.

    We first took on the literary devices used throughout the text. We focused on the motif of Kemmerick’s boots. As Kemmerick lay dying on the hospital bed, the other soldiers were more concerned with what would happen to the boots and making sure that the boots were kept out of the hands of the hospital workers that that their friend, Kemmerick, would be dead in a matter of hours. The boots were valuable than human life and gave the soldiers something to look forward to inheriting instead of focusing on the death and destruction caused by war. The inheritance of the boots foreshadows the death of the character in possession of them, thus eliminating the element of surprise when the characters die.

    We also discussed an unofficial motif of All Quiet on the Western Front. If it had not been for Anna, we probably would have missed out on discussing this aspect of the novel. Different descriptions of the earth are made three times throughout the novel. The first excerpt (p.55) describes the earth as something beautiful and mysterious that soldiers fling their bodies into upon fire. The earth grants them life by giving them folds and ditches to run to and hide in. The second excerpt (p.115) describes earth as torn, blasted, and gloomy because it holds the bodies of their brothers in arms. The final excerpt (p.188) thoroughly describes earth’s most beautiful aspects such as earth’s woods, leaves, clouds and shadows. These three descriptions show that Paul and possibly other soldiers have not been completely hardened by war, but spend time examining and appreciating life on such a beautiful earth.

    The major and most apparent theme of All Quiet on the Western Front is the anti-war theme. The author shows no signs of heroism or glory in this war novel. Remarque solely focuses on the brutality, carnage and violence of war. There is no girl waiting at home that Paul is fighting for or anything that Paul looks forward to seeing when he returns home. The aspect of love and romance is completely avoided within the text of the novel. Instead, love and romance is replaced with the easiness to kill others, and a sense of heroism is replaced with a sense of being out of place at home. The Loss of innocence is also an apparent theme of the novel because the novel follows the war lives of Paul and his young friends who are fresh out of high school and have left to join the army. Without really experiencing life’s joys and happiness, they were thrust into a life of killing, death, and destruction, and then they die before they can experience anything more that the life they found in war.

    Erich Maria Remarque wrote All Quiet on the Western Front to show that war is not always about heroes. War is about a struggle that could have been solved in a different way. In the front cover of the book, Remarque wrote, “It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by war.” To the world, Remarque gave a true understanding of war. His novel was published in different languages and has received praise from at least five countries to project his message to the corners of the earth that war destroys those involves.

  4. Arien Wright, Ashley Connelly, and Anna Gainey Says:

    *involved.

  5. Zafir A., Caitlyn M., Sonia S., and Neha T. Says:

    We started off our discussion on the topic of hair products for curly hair, since all of us have it (including Zafir). After deciding that curls do, in fact, rock, we carried on to All Quiet on the Western Front.
    The first simile we found compared the comfort of cigarettes to the isolation of far-off cottages. ‘”It looks as though they were little windows in dark village cottages saying that behind them are rooms full of peace.”‘ (194). Paul and his fellow soldiers took comfort in the cigarettes that reminded them of the normalcy of what they used to do before they came to fight in the war (kind of like soma, just with the possible resulting of lung cancer…)
    BOOTS OF DEATH- It seemed that Remmerich’s boots were the somewhat of a death warrant. Whenever the owner of the beloved boots died, they were passed onto another willing soldier. But it seemed that whenever the person received the boots, his death was right around the corner (destiny) which meant that the boots were going to be passed around yet again. Speaking of destiny, the company in which Paul belonged to, seemed to disintegrate as the story went on. Even though many soldiers do die in war, it seemed that by the end of the story, Paul was one of very, very, very few men left…We believe that since most of company died, it was his destiny to die in the war as well. (Sonia compared it to the Final Destination movies and Caitlyn agreed)
    Discovering yourself- it seems that no matter what a person does (besides dying before the age of 5), a person is going to lose some part of his innocence on their journey of self discovery (kind of wordy?). Bad experiences made Paul grow up (his first hand-to-hand kill) and become kind of cold, hardened to the outer world. When Paul went back home, he seemed so out of sorts, like a fish out of water (cliche or simile?) and somewhat cruel to his mother; but that could have just been from the shock of seeing his mother bed-ridden. Following the cliche of tying AQOTWF to Fahrenheit 451, both Paul and Montag lost their innocence by discovering what society had hidden from them. In Montag’s case it was the knowledge of books and in Paul’s case it was niceties -or “un-niceties)- of war. This leads into our discussion of Remarque’s intent…
    Results May Vary- Remarque made his opinion on war very, very, very, very clear in this book. The first thing our group agreed on was that the book’s biggest message to the world was that “War sucks!” Remarque created this tale to show a soldier’s journey and life during a war. It seems that when people come back from war they’re not the same and that they NEVER will be the same. Our society associates war with bravery and being a good patriot but they never show what happens in the war zone. Just as Uncle Sam was the figure that was used to persuade people to enlist in the war (“I want YOU!”), the infomercials like ARMY STRONG, don’t let you know what’s going to happen when you end up across the country fighting in a war. It seems as though many first time soldiers go into the army/navy/airforce with an ignorance as to what may come, just like Paul and his friends went into the war.
    This was fun…it’s like ranting – just with correct punctuation and grammar

    • Stuck says we should embrace our curls. Ouidad rocks my world and is the best stuff for curly hair. (Just thought I should say that)

      • Arien Wright Says:

        i personally love having curly hair! you can wear it straight or curly, and you don’t have to worry about rainy days…like today.

  6. Brian Gebhart, Robert Weiss, Samuel Heller, & Max Prawdzik Says:

    All Quiet on the Western Front Group Assignment
    Many various subjects and themes are apparent in All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erick Maria Remarque. The story, about a group of German soldiers fighting in World War I, effectively paints an accurate portrait of the horrors of war. Told in a gruesome, first-hand account, the author silently reveals how no one can escape the senseless onslaught of victory and defeat unscathed. Consequently, Remarque utilizes many literary devices to express his intended point, with many themes made evident in this blood-soaked tale of soldiers fighting to stay alive.
    For example, when the main character, Paul, returns to his hometown on leave, the lonely soldier remarks how the books he once cherished no longer “come to life.” The books are a personified example of how war can take away one’s love for life. Another use of a literary device is when Paul is in the hospital, “recovering,” from battle. Paul likens the hospital and its surgeons to torture chambers, using metaphors to make plain his disgust and fear. Then there is the overall paradox of all the characters in the war; they long for home while on the front but long for the front while at home. Remarque clearly employs his mastery over literary devices to accurately display the effects of war.
    Several themes are also tackled throughout the story, the main one being the overall horrific consequences of war. Not a single character presented in the gory tale comes out of the war the same. Everyone is somehow deeply moved or shaken into something else. When Paul is forced to kill another man, the aftershock opens Paul’s eyes, and he realizes that the enemy is a person as well, with families and dreams like every soldier. Conversely, there are positive themes present, too, an example being the friendship Paul forms with his fellow soldiers. A sort of informal brotherhood is created and shows how in desperate times people will band together in order to survive.
    Being a veteran of World War I himself, Remarque also sought to explain through his haunting tale of bloodshed how war destroys all it comes into contact with. He intended to depict the casualties of war in a not so casual way, death being a daily event for the soldiers. For example, when Kemmerich, a comrade to Paul and his group of soldiers, slowly begins to die, his “friends,” are more concerned with the future ownership of Kemmerich’s boots, rather than his well being. Another example is when Paul’s friend and ally, Albert Kropp, who stood by Paul through many trials and tribulations, has to have his leg amputated. He becomes a solemn and broken man. Both Kropp and his allies are devastated by the ongoing war, because Kropp lost hope in a brighter future and his friends put more value in a pair of boots than in someone else’s life.
    Finally, Remarque’s main point he tries to get across is simple. War is bad. Every allusion, metaphor, theme, and character used in All Quiet on the Western Front specifies that no good ever comes out of war, in any form. The author’s intent was to demonstrate how real people are affected by forced violence, be it a tormenting hospital surgeon or having to end another person’s life. Remarque illustrates in a cut-and-dry manner the decimation and disaster that is war, therefore solidifying his novel’s place in history as one of the most prominent and important tales of war ever written.

  7. Ashley Campos, Abby Manning, Rhiannon Rush, and Nataysha Carson Says:

    During the course of life, many kinds of changes occur. In All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque, a German soldier named Paul changes greatly due to fighting in World War I. Since there are many casualties and losses on both sides in a war, the main character changes by maturing, losing his sense of belonging, and showing the German’s perspective on WWI.
    In the book, Remarque shows the readers how the German soldiers had to change everything in their lives and how they had difficulties doing so. These Germans were pressured to go into war through their society. Their teachers, friends, and family all wanted them to go to war and be a hero as it is shown through Paul. He was just a young man who walked into the war and never came out. After WWI, the Germans were driven to poverty, since they had lost and had to pay for the repairs in other countries. Other countries didn’t care if they suffered, even though not all the Germans were a part of WWI. They had no idea how it felt to be poor stricken and filled with revenge like the Germans were, which eventually sparked WWII.
    Paul starts to feel homesick in between the battles. He dreams of going on leave so that things can go back to how they used to be, if only for a short while. After Paul gets out of the hospital, he goes home for a few days. While there, he realizes that what he has experienced in the war still haunts him, and it will prevent him from feeling at home. He is conflicted because he has no place to call his own, not in the barracks and not in the house he grew up in. It is a negative change that Paul has had to go through because of WWI.
    While in a trench, Paul sits with another dying man from the opposing side in the war. Paul became so annoyed with the dying man’s groans that he shoots him. Paul recognizes that the man he killed was a real person with a family, wife, and a life of his own. The way Paul put himself in another man’s shoes shaped him more in ways of maturity. He no longer feels like an innocent school boy, but more like a mature soldier.
    Whether it was good or bad, changes were made to Paul. By maturing and seeing war for what it really is, he has lost his innocence. Since Paul has gotten used to the war setting, home doesn’t feel like it used to. Also, the readers gained knowledge of WWI from the German’s perspective. Therefore, Paul’s experiences in the war changed not only his character, but the readers as well.

  8. Basel Alghanem, Zachary Bach, and Erika Booms Says:

    Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front uses many different elements of literature to get his main point across. The four main elements that are used are portrayed intent, reoccurring themes, literary devices, and a degree of literary significance. Each element plays an important part in making the novel a true piece of literature.
    All Quiet is a novel about war or perhaps the inhumanity thereof. Though the book may have been written about men fighting a man’s war, what is war but lead bullets and paper documents? Accordingly, the novel portrays how war destroys humanity. Paul and his friends lost their lives due to the war, either through their loss of identity or loss of their life itself.
    There are many themes in Remarque’s classic novel, including: War sucks, an animalistic desire to survive, and a loss of innocence. The author wrote that Paul and his buddies represent “a generation of men who… were destroyed by the war.” This destruction of life is a loss of humanity, which, to say it simply, sucks. The inhumanity of those men is shown best by their animalistic desire to survive. Paul’s instinctual killing of the French soldier, hiding from enemy machinegun fire, best shows how inhuman the soldiers had become. A third theme was a loss of innocence. Unaware of the war’s true nature, young men of 19 and 20 were compelled to join the army or be at risk for humiliation. The inaccurate view of the war as a glorious thing was quickly shattered by the Hell of the Font Line.
    Remarque uses many different literary devices throughout the novel in order to enhance the overall story. The devices used the most are similes and imagery. The similes in the novel are at times used to add humor into this overall depressing tale. One example would be when Paul explains how Tjaden is the biggest eater of his company: “He sits down to eat as thin as a grasshopper and gets up as big as a bug in the family way.” Imagery is used in All Quiet to show the rough conditions the characters are constantly being put through. An example of this is Paul’s grueling experience in the hospital and all of the pain and harsh conditions all of the patients are forced to endure.
    All Quiet on the Western Front was written to give a true, gritty, and accurate description of the lives that were destroyed during World War I. This implies the novel’s literary significance because it is one of the few war novels that do not glorify the wars throughout our world’s history. Even one of the more famous war novels such as Black Hawk Down is guilty to glorifying the war. All Quiet is not afraid to describe all of the brutal occurrences its main character views and endures.
    If not for significant emphasis on the elements in the novel, All Quiet on the Western Front would not be the great classic it is considered to be.

  9. Hannah Joseph, Allison Armfield, Shelby Mitchinson, Gabby Lossia Says:

    After getting into a group of four, we started to discuss the book and what the themes might be. We discussed different conflicts such as man vs. society … then we realized that our essay was supposed to be about All Quiet on the Western Front. Phew, that was a close one! Surprisingly, we did manage to get on topic and this is what we came up with. In the novel All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque uses four main literary elements. All four reoccurred throughout the novel. These elements are as follows: literary devices, themes employed, author’s intent, and literary significance. Remarque used these devices to help excite the reader and create a very well written book.
    In the novel Remarque uses literary devices such as similes, metaphors, motifs, irony, and foreshadowing. He does this to help describe the settings and “pull the reader into his story”. An example of this is when he uses the metaphor “To me, the front is a mysterious whirlpool… I feel the whirl of the vortex sucking me slowly, irresistibly, inescapably into itself” (55). It helps to describe how Paul is feeling in a more dramatic way.
    Of the many themes in the novel there is one that is most prominent: the loss of innocence. Paul, the protagonist, goes to war when he is just a teenager. Paul does not understand what he is doing or how to react to what is happening to him. His innocence is taken from him by what he and his comrades experience on the front. Through this theme the author tries to portray that war is an unnecessary part of our society and does no good. Never does Remarque say something positive about war.
    In writing this novel, Remarque’s intent is for everyone to use his literature as an “eye opener”. He wanted people to see what he felt war was really like for someone who didn’t experience it firsthand. Remarque showed that war was not something that should be a part of anyone’s life, by describing horribly, vivid war scenes. He also wrote about the ordinary life of a soldier during times when not in combat. This eye opening affect is also part of the novels literary significance. Along with the fact the book can be used as an informational text about the war and all its aspects from a soldier’s point of view.
    The cover of All Quiet on the Western Front states that it is “The GREATEST WAR NOVEL of ALL TIME” and after reading the book it seems to be true. Erich Maria Remarque was able to use many literary devices to covey a clear theme of anti-war while giving the reader a history “lesson” of the war. He was able to create a novel of great significance and keep the reader entertained. All in all, a job well done.

  10. Kacey Whalen, Vivian Anderson, Peter Geisler, Nick Sovis Says:

    Every author uses literary devices to have their work convey a message that goes beyond the words of the text. Each new device shows a different way one can use to understand the text. Such meanings can often be used to symbolize traits of man and many more. This holds true in the case of the “death boots” in All Quiet on the Western Front. In the novel, a pair of boots are passed down from solider to solider as the previous owner dies; these boots are used to symbolize how one clings to the need of childish desires in adult situations.
    First, the passage of the so called “death boots” is set into motion when long time friend of Paul’s, Franz Kemmerich, dies of infection in his amputated leg. Before his death, Müller had expressed a deep interest in inheriting Kemmerich’s boots, more so then he did of sympathy for his dying comrade. This simple desire can be seen as almost childish amidst the turmoil at war and when faced with a dying friend. What makes this desire even more unusual is the given events that were surrounding the gain of these boots. The need to possess these boots shows the youth of these young men who resort back to their most childish desires when faced with trying times.
    Also, the boots offer a distraction from the death and destruction going on all around the soldiers. They become something to fixate on and become something almost like idol worship to the men. It’s like something that they can admire and use for a few hours, just to try and get their minds off of the horrible situations surrounding them. Like all things the boots come with a steep price, one that happens to be the death of a loved comrade and friend. It is almost like the boots’ job to make the person who gains them forget about what happened so they can obtain them. It’s mainly the single win in an all around losing situation. The soldiers seem to use this as a purposeful distraction, both consciously and unconsciously. They know that the boots are lessening the tragedy of losing a friend and they seem to let it. On the other hand they do not seem to understand how much of a significance the boots have on their relationship with others before they die. This sense of denial seems almost childish in the way that they do not own up to their own problems.
    Furthermore, the boots passed down from character to character present themselves in different situations as having the ability to offer both distraction and desire for the soldiers who seem to truly need it. The boots symbolize both hope and desire to the main characters and the fact that nothing comes without a price.

  11. Note by Maestro: I don’t think that the phrase “create a blog post” about All Quiet on the Western Front was very helpful.. it might have been better if it was “add a reply with your thoughts” or “register and submit a post”.. just my thoughts. Anyways..

    Just, Jazzical, Brilliant, and Maestro started the conversation out by looking at Brilliant and saying with a perfectly straight face: ‘My name is Intigo Montoya. You killed my father: prepare to die.’ after which Maestro promptly completed, “Stop saying that!” Soon after that episode, we kicked Brilliant out of the group, and Just (Jared) started writing our ideas on a piece of paper with obnoxiously bright highlighters. We started out with the central theme: the monstrosities of war. All Quiet on the Western Front stresses the front aspect of a war, indicating the place where all the action happens. As soon as soldiers reach the front, they are constantly in danger of the enemy, be it bombs, bullets, or poison gas. This unrelenting danger places a heavy stress on the soldier’s nerves, and as a result, may perform actions that they would not normally do. For example, the actions that Paul Baümer took as he hid in the hole. When the Frenchman jumps in, he does what any threatened human would do- survive. He kills the Frenchman, and later regrets doing this. This scene tells of another important theme: the loss of innocence. This is not the only thing young soldiers lose, however. The loss of innocence that Paul experiences is only a small part of the identity that he loses throughout the course of the story. By killing the Frenchman, Paul loses most of his sanity, taking the last part of himself away that he had left. After witnessing the death of many of his friends, as well as a loss of interest in his family, the loss of innocence resulted in a loss of, fundamentally, himself.

    Literary devices play a great role in All Quiet on the Western Front. The title of the novel its self is a great example of irony: the front is never a place of peace, let alone silence. The author also uses symbols, notably Kemmerich’s boots. They symbolize the lack of value for human life: as people die, the topic turns quickly from the person who passes to their boots. The boots are similar to the Hope Diamond, which has been inherited by many people over many years, with all of the inheritors dying untimely and unusual deaths after receiving the diamond. The author also uses a great amount of imagery to convey the gory and unforgiving battlefield setting, describing the bodies of the dying in detail, making war seem all the more repulsive. In order to get through the war, soldiers must be highly disciplined, and able to make quick life or death decisions. This leads us to the motif of animal instincts. Kat knows from instinct, as well as prior knowledge, that there will be bombings on some nights. They shut their brain off to morality and sympathy, trusting their strength and senses over their wits and intelligence. This demonstrates yet another loss of identity; the conversion of an intelligent human being to a murderous and systematic beast.

    By destroying the soldier’s identities in such an excruciating manner, the author clearly wanted to inform readers of the atrocities of war and the personal effects it had on every young man that fought in the war. He shines it in a new light, rendering the adventures and glory into a small footnote, imposing the carnage and gore, destruction and death, and loss of respect for human life into the central effect of war.

  12. Virginia Choe, Adam Novajovsky, Kelsey Carson, Ali Angle Says:

    After getting in a group of four and talking about homecoming, (not Adam) we decided that we should start discussing the All Quiet on the Western Front. After discussing and accomplishing nothing, we decided it be best that we try to start our blog on the big, slow computer in the back of the room next to the muscular fish. This is what we got:

    Major themes in the novel were pretty obvious. The horrors of war and the psychological effect it had on people. In every event of the novel, Erich Maria Remarque made it very clear to us that he was very “anti-war”. Remarque used the main character, Paul Baumer, to show that the effects of war were devastating. Not only were there physical changes like being hungry, weak, or diseased, but more considerable changes were those that were mental and psychological. At the beginning of the novel, Paul’s teacher stresses to Paul and his fellow classmates the importance of patriotism, and they all start off with a positive outlook about the war. Little did they know the extremities of war would drive them either to their death or to their insanity. Remarque makes it annoyingly crystal clear that the effects of war were horrific.

    Remarque did use many literary elements to enhance his novel. Predominantly, we recognized the boots to be very significant literary element that Remarque utilized in the novel. They connected the story together as a whole and were not only a literary element, but also a tool for portraying a theme in the novel. The boots expressed to readers of how unimportant and unvalued life was in the war. The way that the boots were passed down from soldier to soldier portrayed that the boots were longer –lasting and more valued than human life in the war. Whenever a soldier died, there was always someone new to fill in his shoes. Literally!

    The author’s intent fit along with the themes of the novel. Remarque wanted readers to know, in detail, what it was like to live in and through the war. He not only wrote about combat, which is commonly misconceived to have occupied most of a soldier’s time, but writes about ordinary life in the war; their struggles for food, and comfort, and life after the war; the effect on their family life and outlook on everyday life. This is important to truly understanding the soldier’s perspective, which made Remarque successful in depicting a soldier’s life through World War I. Though some may debate on whether there should be war or peace, this novel really just focuses on the negative aspects of war.

    Overall, the author’s use of symbolism, and assertiveness in representing the theme of the novel was successful in teaching readers the horrors of war and the negative psychological effects it had people back in the day.

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