All quiet in the western front essay

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However, rather than show us how Paul grows as an individual, developing his own ideas and value system, the novel instead shows how Paul—along with his fellow soldiers—survives the war by doing precisely the opposite. The horrors of battle force the soldiers to develop animalistic instincts and a pack-like bond. There is no place for individuals in war, and therefore no place for a traditional coming-of-age tale.

The opening pages of All Quiet on the Western Front emphasize how war dissolves individual men into a single, collective identity. Most fictional autobiographies are narrated in the first-person singular, as the protagonist recounts his or her development from a child into an adult subject.

What unite the soldiers, the reader discovers, are not the head and the heart, but the stomach and the intestines—full bellies and general latrines. In war, that which makes a person human can cost a soldier his sanity, if not his life. Another example of Lost Generation is its most known and literal meaning, a generation of lost soldiers.

A great example of this is when Paul has just witnessed his fellow comrade Franz Kemmerich die.

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Let him not die! Franz Kemmerich becomes one of the Lost Generation when he awoke from his surgery, before his death.


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He lost all hope of ever recovering and he became depressed to some extent. The men also felt lost in other ways. The feel that the higher they are from the ground, the less protected they are. To them Earth is their protector.

All Quiet on the Western Front essays

This is the reason why they have trenches underground to help them feel comfortable. Kemmerich is dead, Haie Westhus is dying… there are about a hundred and twenty wounded men lying somewhere or another.

1. All Quiet on the Western Front Essay

It shows how they know that there are men out there on the battlefield wounded and dying. But they have no way to help or save them. Another great example of this theme is the realization of death.

Paul failed to realize the extent of Kats injuries. Kat was more than a comrade to him he was everything to Paul. There are many themes throughout this novel. The meaning of lost generation is the generation of men and women who were disillusioned with the world.