All Quiet on the Western Front
All Quiet on the Western Front
Throughout the existence of mankind, arguments have always been fought for though wars. Every disagreement between two kingdoms, or countries, has almost always been resolved through a war. It seems almost human nature to fight for your leader. There have been movies and novels along with songs glorifying war. They give off a vibe of “Join the war, be a patriot, and make your parents proud”, while in reality it is not something to be glorified. Where the truth is most apparent is in Erich Maria Remarques famous anti-war novel, All Quiet on the Western Front. It is truly an anti-war novel because of the tragic deaths of the characters, the bloody battle scenes, and the lead characters musings about the war.

Throughout war, people do die. It is inevitable that it will happen. In the novel, five of the main characters die. They all quiet tragically at that. Even the main character, Paul Bäumer, dies. The first one to die is Franz Kemmerich, who dies of an infection related to his leg being amputated. What makes this situation worse it the fact that Müller, another one of Bäumers friends, takes Kemmerichs boots once he dies, because his boots are so bad he has to take new ones from his dead friend. Müller then dies of a bullet wound to the stomach, in which he is in severe pain for a half-an-hour. Bäumer then gets Kemmerichs old boots. But to Bäumer, probably the biggest blow was losing Katczinsky, the father figure of the group. Katczinsky had smashed his shin while bringing food up to the camp, and while Bäumer is tried to bring him to the medical tent, Katczinsky catches a splinter in the back of his head. All Bäumer can say is, “I know nothing more”. Katczinsky was the last of his friends and he lost him. This is the farthest thing from glorifying war. Bäumer dies in October the following autumn.

In All Quiet on the Western Front, there are many bloody battle scenes. The first battle scene is in chapter four, and while it starts out in a trench, it then moves the characters into a graveyard. There they have to defend themselves from shells and rockets in graves, while pushing dead bodies out of the way. This is absolutely not glorifying war, because no one wants to have to push a dead comrade out of the way to hide from deadly shells and rockets. Later in the chapter, a young recruit, who previously had cowered around Bäumer, was shot in the hip, having the joint be shattered. Bäumer and his friends stand around, wanting to put him out of his misery, but knowing they cant. So they leave the boy to die a week later while living in incredible pain, simply because they cant do anything about it. That is not glorifying war at all. In fact, it is showing that when you die in battle, you dont just die. You dont just get shot in the head and die. While that does happen, you are more likely to get shot some place, and then have to wait a half hour, or a week, of horrible pain, before

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Paul Bäumer And Bäumers Friends. (April 17, 2021). Retrieved from