Paul Bäumer’s Struggles And Vows In Remarque's "All Quiet On The Western Front"

667 words - 3 pages

“All Quiet on the Western Front” was written to tell the story of a young German soldier named Paul Bäumer’s experiences in the fight against France in World War I. I believe that a statement by the author, Erich M. Remarque, sums up the main struggle for Paul; “Through years of vivid horror, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principle of hate that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against each other…” (Back Cover) This hate is not always present. When the French were attacking the base where Paul was stationed, he saw their faces and thought about how they looked like normal young men and not like horrible enemies.

I enjoyed this book very much. This is partially because I enjoy war books, but I have never experienced any story like this. Erich Remarque goes into such detail throughout this story, that it becomes so easy to imagine the scenes and what was happening. For example, the battle where they were pinned down by mortars in the graveyard. Remarque went into such great detail to describe the trip to the battlefield, and the battlefield itself. The sound of the injured horses and the yelling almost seems to appear as you are reading. The image of the exploding French mortars and the soldiers running to try to take cover from them was almost real. When the caskets were being blown into the air by the mortars and Paul took cover in one of the craters, I was surprised. Then, when the gas rolled in, I could see the gray-white gas rolling across the field and sinking into the craters. I felt like I could see through Paul’s fogged gas mask, and I saw his fellow soldiers pinned under heavy caskets, bleeding from shrapnel wounds, and fleeing from the mortars. The author sometimes took up an entire page to describe just one second of the battle.
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