All Quiet on the Western Front Themes
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All Quiet on the Western Front
One of the main themes in All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque is Futility of War. The novel takes place during the Great War and takes place in France. Paul Baumer is the main character in the book along with many of his friends. In the book the theme of futility of war appears in the beginning, middle and end of the novel and Baumer slowly becomes more aware of what war is really like.
In the beginning Baumer enters the war as a recruit and begins to see the reality of war. During training he has to remake the officer’s bed 14 times. The entire training course was marching, which does not help them at all fighting in the trenches. “I have remade his bed fourteen times in one morning. Each time he had some fault to find and pulled it to pieces” (26). Here Baumer describes how his commanding officer makes him do over a simple task over and over for absolutely no reason.
Throughout the middle of the book Baumer saw many actions that were pointless acts of war. His company was ordered to guard an abandoned village, which happened to have a few supplies but still a large waste of manpower. When Baumer was at the front the officers had the troops charge the enemies trenches, only to have the soldiers mowed down by machine gun fire. Baumer makes a trip home, but while he is there he feels lost and also feels like he doesn’t belong there
Towards the end of the book after more of his comrades were killed Baumer saw more of the futility of war. Even though it was clear to all the soldiers and Baumer that they were losing the war, they were still required to fight. More recruits were dumped into battles only to