All Quiet On The Western Front Critical Analysis

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All Quiet On the Western Front is a book about more than war, Paul's experience in WWI is one of violence, death and tragedy, but his is also a story of loneliness and camaraderie, of love and sacrifice. A war novel not unlike others, about a soldiers relationships in the trenches, sharing directly many sentiments from Farewell to Arms. Whether the soldier gets companionship from women, a stranger and enemy, or eachother, this contact with someone just as fragile, but also concrete, as himself gives a soldier a reason to keep fighting. Solitude can drive the strongest person insane, and in war more than anywhere you are alone. Soldiers build friendships but for all the camaraderie between soldiers, they still long for something more carnal…show more content…
This emotional distance from each other made war easier, removing any guilt or hesitation at violence. Paul momentary experiences war without the veil of ignorance when he kills the french man in no-man's-land. What started as a calculated attack became something personal and “...for the first time, I see you are a man like me…. now I see your wife and your face and our fellowship. Forgive me, comrade. We always see it too late.” as Paul stays with the french man and watches him “have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony” he gets to know him as well as he could, learning his name is Gerald Duval and providing him hollow promises in a language Duval couldn't even understand. It is clear the man is helpless but Paul says, he talks to him, bandages him, and does his best to sooth the man. It is this odd need to keep the man he killed company that enhances Remarque’s subtle argument that in a time of such desperation, the company of someone, even someone you fight against, is vital. Paul’s use of “comrade” when he talks to Duval demonstrates Pauls feeling of equality with the man he killed. Paul’s time with the french man reminds the reader of how lonely war is and the solace soldiers find in the company of even an

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