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An examination of the novel all quiet on the western front by erich maria remarque

Instead of depicting glorious battles and valiance, Remarque concentrates on the day-to-day routine, which includes rest, meals, search for a place to sleep, relations among soldiers and their commanders, death and that unique friendship that can develop in war conditions only.

The book title has become a colloquial impression, meaning stagnation and lack of development in any aspect. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war.

They were at the front line for two weeks; at the beginning, there were one hundred and fifty men and everything was relatively quiet, but at the last day they were reduced to eighty. The cook, Ginger, is not aware of these losses, so he prepares a meal for one hundred and fifty. Remaining soldiers immediately take this advantage, receiving double portions of beans, sausage and smokes.

Paul describes his comrades. Along with them he describes Tjaden, a locksmith with an incredible appetite, thin as a rake, nineteen; Haie Westhus, a peat digger with huge hands, nineteen, and Detering, a peasant, whose thoughts are always dedicated to his wife and his farm.

Paul makes a whole philosophy on this basis, drawing the line between recruits and veterans in their attitude to natural functions of human organisms, because veterans have already left their excessive shyness behind. Kropp mentions one of their comrades, Franc Kemmerich, who landed in the aid station. This makes his comrades laugh. Kantoreck was their schoolmaster and he was the main reason of their present occupation.

He literally pushed them into volunteering, making patriotic speeches on war glory and hinting on cowardice and dishonor. His efforts led to the whole school class volunteering, except for the fat and kind Joseph Behm. He succumbed at last and died one of the first, blinded and maddened by pain. Three friends go to visit Kemmerich.

At the first sight, they understand that Kemmerich is dying, even while he is still not aware of his condition. He even does not realize that his foot was amputated. They are chattering, trying to calm him down and not to reveal the truth.

  • They arrive to the artillery positions;
  • Emotions are rarely shown in his family but Paul feels their quiet joy at his arrival and is weakened by his own feelings;
  • Only the next morning he finds the strength to tell them what happened;
  • Then in the arena the ministers and generals of the two countries, dressed in bathing-drawers and armed with clubs, can have it out among themselves;
  • Biography of Erich Maria Remarque Erich Maria Remarque 1898 — 1970 was a German novelist who created a number of novels dedicated to war and its consequences for those who participate in it.

Paul steps on his foot, tipping on unfitness of such remarks. They promise Kemmerich to visit him tomorrow and bribe an attendant with cigarettes, so he would give Kemmerich some morphine. Kropp drops into a short hysterical fit. That leads to a bitter laugher — they are old folks now.

At the beginning of Chapter 2 Paul ponders on his attempts in poetry before the war. All this seems distant and strange now, for they have no roots, no ties or affections. Their lives are completely uncertain. Paul recalls their training, especially the sadistic drill instructor, Himmelstoss, a former postman, who used to torture them with senseless and exhausting tasks.

Himmelstoss was furious but helpless, so he subsided a little. Anyway, his harsh drills turned the former schoolboys into much tougher and durable people. It was a time when they had developed the only good thing that war ever gave them — a brotherhood. Paul visits Kemmerich again and finds him in worsened condition.

Kemmerich dies and Paul leaves to barracks. He runs on his way, taking deep breaths, enjoying each motion of his body, savoring being alive. In Chapter 3 replacement troops arrive.

Kat invites them to a feast on beans traded from Ginger for three pieces of parachute silk. At rest our heroes fall into philosophical discussion, cursing drilling and foot-stomping. This naturally leads to the mentioning of Himmelstoss. This collective trip down the memory lane is accompanied by a sky battle that causes no emotional reaction.

Paul muses about the ways of humble men like Corporal Himmelstoss turning into such horrendous bullies. Kat makes a speech on influence of power over man. At this Tjaden arrives with a wonderful news: Himmelstoss is sent to the frontline, where they stay.

This leads to an even sweeter memory. Four friends had developed a plan of revenge and carried it out brilliantly: While they are passing by a house near the road, Paul overhears geese and hints Kat about a candidate for frying. They arrive to the artillery positions. Shots are thundering; recruits are scared and Kat, hiding his own unease, lectures them about sounds of different missiles. The company goes on with their task, while the bombardment continues.

They finish putting the wire long before their lorries return, so Paul even manages to get some sleep, but soon awakes with a jolt. Cries of wounded soldiers are heard from a an examination of the novel all quiet on the western front by erich maria remarque site, which had several direct hits. Soon the nightmarish cries of horses join them. Detering is furious and shouts to somebody to shoot them and stop their suffering, but attendants have to care for people first.

Detering even tries to shoot one horse but Kat stops him, for he can shoot a soldier instead. At last all wounded horses are shot. A new attack begins. Soldiers run for shelter to a cemetery. Paul hides under a splintered coffin. Kat joins him soon, shouting about the gas. Now there are four men together, Paul, Kat, Albert and someone else. They are in their gas-masks and think about crawling outside.

All Quiet on the Western Front

Explosion brings a coffin flying at them, falling on the hand of the fourth man. They try to free him and prevent him from taking his mask off. When the attack ends, the cemetery is a complete mess of soil, coffins and corpses.

The fourth soldier, the same newcomer whom Paul protected not long ago, is badly wounded and would be dead in several excruciating days. Kat even suggests that they should shoot him. Five killed and eight wounded; soldiers return to their barracks under the morning rain. Chapter 5 starts with lice-killing in quiet setting. At this moment Himmelstoss arrives and desperately tries to start a conversation with his former recruits but fails.

Tjaden, steaming with fury, says all he thinks about Corporal and even moons him. Himmelstoss is quick to inform on anyone, so, when he threatens them with tribunal, friends recommend Tjaden to hide somewhere. The confrontation with Himmelstoss ends in the evening, when Lt. That night Kat and Paul implement their plan for goose frying.

After a rather comical scene of goose abduction, involving fighting with two gees at once, confrontation with a dog and miraculous escape, the scene of cooking the prey follows. The goose is large, so they bring generous portions to Kropp and the ever hungry Tjaden.

In Chapter 6 there are rumors about a possible offensive.

All Quiet on the Western Front: Setting

The British had strengthened their artillery. Everyone is in morose mood, for in two hours after their descend in trenches, several German missiles hit them, due to wear of gun barrels.

Paul recalls his narrow escape of death between two foxholes several months ago. Trenches are infested with rats. After several unsuccessful attempts to save their bread, Detering proposes an ambush with shovels.

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (Book Analysis)

This works and rats retreat somewhere. Next day makes everyone even more anxious, for a good portion of cheese was supplied. When rum follows, this means trouble. Several days pass before barrage starts. Men gradually become deaf. Barrage prevents cooks from food delivery. Two attempts to bring some food fail, even Kat is incapable of anything.

Now there is nothing but to wait and hope to survive. In the morning rats flood the trench, so everyone tries to kill them.

  • After the inspection ends, new tunics are returned wherever they belong to;
  • We don't want to take the world by storm;
  • He succumbed at last and died one of the first, blinded and maddened by pain;
  • They are transferred into a Catholic hospital;
  • Symbolism in the Book Nature is a symbol of calmness, beauty and promise of future peace.

Later an officer crawls in, carrying a loaf of bread — somebody was successful in raid for food. One of recruits panics and runs from the trench in spite of all efforts of older soldiers to keep him in place.

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A short attack follows. Germans capture some French positions, take a short rest and consume food supplies. At night Paul is on his sentry duty, recalling beloved places of his childhood. Melancholy overcomes him, but when his shift ends, all his thoughts are about a hot meal. Day by day attacks and counter-attacks follow each other.

  1. In addition, the massive loss of life and negligible gains from the fighting are constantly emphasized.
  2. He is also fond of horses and is angered when he sees them used in combat. It was released in book form the following year to smashing success, selling one and a half million copies that same year.
  3. Although publishers had worried that interest in World War I had waned more than 10 years after the armistice , Remarque's realistic depiction of trench warfare from the perspective of young soldiers struck a chord with the war's survivors—soldiers and civilians alike—and provoked strong reactions, both positive and negative, around the world.
  4. Joseph Behm[ edit ] A student in Paul's class who is described as youthful and overweight. He watches the man die, in pain for hours.
  5. The same explosion also fatally wounds Leer. Paul later finds the watch and hands it over to Kemmerich's mother, only to lie and say Franz died instantly and painlessly when questioned.

Dead are left without burial, they are just too many. At nights, when everything is quiet, souvenir hunters go to collect copper bands from missiles and small pieces of parachute silk.

Paul mentions butterflies and larks who continue their tiny lives in spite of war.