All quite on the western front

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All quite on the western front

All quiet on the western front

All Quiet on the Western Front gives us a different perspective on World War I than our history books might allow. Through this novel we get to hear the thoughts of a German soldier in WWI, an enemy of the United States and its allied forces. We cannot help but sympathize with the different charachteres and we cannot help but ask ourselves what exactly an enemy is. Paul Bäumer, the narrator of this story, helps us to question reasons why countries go to war. Today, wars are fought in very different ways, but we can easily imagine a young man or woman like Paul exploring similar issues of identity, patriotism, mortality, and dreams.

It tells the story of six German soldiers who volunteered to fight in World War I, and it chronicles their demise intellectually, spiritually, and physically. The novel is told from the perspective of one incredibly observant young soldier, Paul Bäumer, who exposes details of life on the Western Front – from gas attacks, to fatal illnesses, to rat infestations. Best known for its portrayal of the horrors of trench warfare, All Quiet on the Western Front explores the necessity and purpose of war. In America, this book remains one of the most popular novels addressing WWI, in spite of the fact that the story is told from the perspective of America's WWI enemy's – a German soldier.

It's the kind of book that you'd never think you'd like...until you start reading it ...

“This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

“I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

“But now, for the first time, I see you are a man like me. I thought of your hand-grenades, of your bayonet, of your rifle; now I see your wife and your face and our fellowship. Forgive me, comrade. We always see it too late. Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony--Forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy?” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

“At school nobody ever taught us how to light a cigarette in a storm of rain, nor how a fire could be made with wet wood-nor that it is best to stick a bayonet in the belly because there it doesn't get jammed, as it does in the ribs.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front


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