Book Review: All Quiet on the Western Front Essay

All Quiet on the Western Front not only brings you into the war scene and provides you with a vivid description of the war, but provides you with an opportunity to analyze and take in Just how hard the war was on the soldiers who fought for their countries. This book brings you into the war scene and often times has you thinking about Just how powerful a war can be on its soldiers. Not only does it depict the war but it brings its audience into a first person’s account of the war and their thoughts going through the war every step of the way.

In the depiction on page 376 in our Human Record books it shows men playing and having fun with the guys. There are many things wrong with this description compared with the book. One of which is there is very little down time to do any leisurely activities in the war and often times you are stuck in your bunker engaged in combat. Another thing that this picture fails to show is that even if you do develop a comrade in the war one or both of you may be killed within a week or two in the war because it is such a dangerous place to be.

The real warfare is a dangerous place and a horrible place to be. As described in the book “The graveyard is a mass of wreckage. Coffins and corpses lie strewn about. They have been killed once again; but each of them that was flung up saved one of us” (All Quiet, Peg 70-71). This is a passage from the book that describes a scene when the troops are taking protection in a graveyard in which they are under fire. This describes how the coffins and dead bodies are used for cover and actually save the lives of the soldiers.

Many of the young recruits did not make it through the first few days of battle however the ones who survived were often times delusional and went insane. He won’t listen to anything and hits out, his mouth us wet and pours out words, half choked, meaningless words. It is a case of claustrophobia, he feel as though he is suffocating here and wants to get out at any price. If we let him go he would run about everywhere regardless of cover. He is not the first” (All Quiet, 109-110). This describes a scene where a recruit tries to get out of their cover and run about.

If they would have let him go he would have been killed within the hour. This is Just one example the book gives of the fear and mental instability of the new recruits because f the war. The war has a crippling effect on all of the young soldiers in the war whether a new recruit or someone who has been in the line of field longer. Paul often thinks about what his life would be like if he were not in the war but cannot even imagine it because he is so distraught. He often wonders if his life will ever be the same when he gets out of the war and even when he is on break does not enjoy himself.

When Paul is at home he keeps to himself in his room and often wonders about his comrades who are still in the line of fire. He is worried about them and cannot think straight. This is the way many of the young soldiers feel and how war has taken over thoughts to themselves on the battlefield. While in the war Paul, Kate, Mueller and the others developed a very close bond in which was closer than even their families bond with them could provide. They realized that being at war with each other meant they developed a strong bond.

They were together every second of the day and often shared very deep and telling conversations about all aspects of each other’s lives. They felt very comfortable with one another and often shared thoughts about life would be like after the war. None could decide what they were going to do after the war and many of them did not believe that they were going to make it through the war. However this did not stop them from discussing their future plans and trying to think of things that could happen if and when they survived this horrible war.

The soldiers did not respect their authority figures in the war anymore because they were the ones on the front line putting their lives on the line every day. It was no longer a matter of when they got their but a matter of if they were going to survive it. This is why they did not respect Homeless who was their drill instructor and tried o boss them around. Homeostasis was exposed later on as a coward when on the front line and afraid to move forward when he was eventually placed alongside his “inferior officers”.

Another example is when Paul was on break and he was confronted by an army official of a higher rank then he was. He was told to salute his higher officer and ordered to commands that infuriated him. The only reason he followed these commands was to stay out of trouble once he came back to the front but was thinking how irritated it had made him that even was he was home he could be ordered around like a dog. L turn round and find myself confronted by a major. “Can’t you salute? ” he blusters. “Sorry, Major,” I say in embarrassment, “l didn’t notice you. “Don’t you know how to speak properly? ” he roars. I would like to hit him in the face, but control myself, for my leave depends on it. ” (All Quiet, peg 162) This is the example in which Paul is confronted while home on break and is obviously irritated by the commands. “Nothing stirs; listless and wretched, like a condemned man, I sit there and the past withdraws itself. And at the same time I fear to importune it too much, because I do not know what might happen then. I am a soldier, I must cling to that. (All Quiet, peg 172-173) This shows how he feels while he is home and how he feels about the future. He feels as if he will never be the same after the war. He feels as though he will never enjoy his life as he once did and he sits in silence in his room. Unfortunately he has no Joy while on break and often finds himself thinking about the front and thinking about his comrades. He finds himself deep in thought and does not enjoy his break one bit. He is glad to see his mother, however his father Just wants him to tell war stories and hear about the war.

He does not however want to talk about the war but still thinks about it every second he is away. This book gives vivid description of the war and is a great book to illustrate what goes through a soldiers mind in the times of war. It is an eye opening book because it not only makes you think about how the war effects a soldier but that soldiers are humans too and not all soldiers want to kill and feel no remorse. Just as in this book soldiers. He does not want to be a killer and does not want to be a soldier who is blood thirsty, instead he is Just doing what he must to stay alive.