All Quiet On The Western Front

Prior to the movie "All Quiet On The Western Front", in U.S. History we studied about World War I. This takes place in the early 1900s. We learned about how the United States of America became the most powerful country in the world after World War I. This was mainly because of Americaís ability to produce products in no time flat. The Americans helped out greatly in the effort for World War I. They worked long hours and had low wages to help out the United States. Almost all citizens also participated in a voluntary method to save food and gas. They did not eat pork on certain days of the week. They also did not drive on Sundays to save gas for the war. We also learned how the U.S. stayed neutral for so long until they could not stand it any longer. After many German subs destroying U.S. merchant ships time and time again, and then the U.S. found out that they asked Mexico to ally with them and take out the United States. The United States would take no more from Germany and marched in to war and put over 2 million American soldiers in Europe in under 6 months.
I learned not much at all about the Americans, but all about the Germans because that was the side the movie was focused on. Paul was a young man, early 20ís maybe. He was being sent off to war at such a young age. But later in the movie, they showed kids around 15 years old which is ridiculous to send such young boys out to war. They showed the dumb mistakes they can make because of lack of experience like when a soldier dropped his helmet into the gas pit. He went to get it without his gas mask on and he instantly suffered horrible coughing and chest pain. This was one of the many mistakes done by young soldiers. Another thing I learned was the hardships the soldiers faced. They were cramped in small 3 feet wide trenches covered in mud and filled with rats. They also had horrible food such as bread nearly impossible to chew on that they just gave it to the rats instead of eating it. They had poor living conditions like living underground on small cots or very poorly built beds. Also I did not know how close to home the attacks came. In one scene, the Germans were being bombed in a major city with civilians all over and military personnel at every turn. Many died in this attack and more were injured including Paul. He was then sent to a nearby hospital where he was treated for a few weeks so he could walk again. Then he was sent home, but he felt alone and wanted to go back to war to help his country.
In school, they dressed up, wore nice outfits, talked politely. Then while in the army they were mean and dirty men. They had experienced the ultimate thrill of war and had survived. They acted up to a higher class because they did not care no longer about what would happen. The men also ate whatever they could, even geese that are roaming around as shown in one part of the movie. They were almost like savages on a hunt. They did not care for anyone really except their close friends. But one part in the movie, Paul shows affection for a killed Frenchmen that came into his little hole where he was hiding and Paul stabbed him. He then realized this was bad and wrong and wondered if the war would ever end. The only thing that didnít really change about Paul was that he still did not smoke cigarettes.
The atmosphere created an eerie effect and made the movie seem almost real. It was very realistic and scary to see what really did happen in World War I. I felt that this was one of the best and worst periods of Earthís life. It was good because the United States became a force to be reckoned with and they gained great economic strength with this. On the bad side, millions of men, women,