Reading Review

Title of work-All Quiet on the Western Front
Literary Period-Modernism
Type of literature-novel
Author-Erich Maria Remarque

Authorial Information
Remarque was himself in combat during World War I, and was wounded five times, the
last very severely. Remarque moved to the United States in 1939, and remained for the
duration of World War II, but returned to Switzerland afterward. The reason Remarque
wrote All Quiet on the Western Front was so that he could accurately depict warlife.

Author's unique style
Remarque presents his message through vivid description and imagery. His descriptions
are very vivid because of what he himself had gone through, either showing the glare of
flares or the darkness beyond the trenches, to the corpse rats or itchy lice, and of course
the steady drumlike beat of bombardment or the piercing shrieks of shells and the men
they wounded. Using first-person point of view helps Remarque get across the vivid
imagery through Paul's thoughts which make clear to the reader how awful the front
actually is for the soldiers.

All Quiet on the Western Front occurs on Germany's western front is France during World
War I. The environment which surrounds the main character Paul and his company is one
of death and destruction. The social environment also said that war was supposed to be
glorious and patriotic, but yet the soldiers learn it was all lies. During this time between
1914 and 1918, many young, innocent soldiers are killed and many others go crazy from
the effects of the war.

All Quiet on the Western Front has two major themes. The first theme is that war
destroys men physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Remarque shows this numerously
throughout the novel by depicting pictures of gruesome deaths and of cynical attitudes.
Many of the men feel as if they cannot endure anymore after the war and think life is
pointless. The deaths are gruesome especially when soldiers legs are blown off and they
still try to walk to get to a safe bunker even though they cannot walk. The second one is
the bond which exists among all humans. Regardless of race, creed, or political affiliation,
all humans are essentially the same. Paul gradually comes to realize that the enemy is no
different from himself or from one of his friends. The Frenchman he kills in the trenches,
Duval, looks like the kind of man whose friendship he would have enjoyed.
Paul Baumer-is the 19-year-old narrator of the story. Paul has much compassion for
others, and he also has a keen awareness for the realities of war. Paul enjoyed writing and
reading before he entered the war. At the front, Paul's friends are his classmates Behm,
Kemmerich, Muller, Leer, and Kropp as well as KAT , a friend he meets his first day on
the front. Kemmerich's mother implored him to look after her son when they left home.
Paul is also courageous, but at times he panics even though he doesn't break under the
most terrible battle conditions. Cool as he is in battle, though, Paul has a hard time
making sense of it all. He is motivated at first to join by his teacher Kantorek and other
elders, but then he is motivated by his want to live and not die in the war. He is also
motivated by his friendship with KAT and Kropp. His elders were wrong- there is nothing
glorious about war- but he has no new values to replace the patriotic myths they taught
him. In the end he dies in October of 1918 when it was truly all quiet on the western
Albert Kropp- is a classmate, volunteer, and special friend of Paul's. Since he is regarded
as the best thinker in the class, he is the first to make lance-corporal. In group discussions
he is the one who offers profound solutions and comments. With Paul he is sent to a
Catholic hospital behind the lines because of wounds suffered during the evacuation of a
village. Scheduled to receive an artificial limb after a leg amputation, he withdraws into
long periods of sober silence. In the end he is sent home after receiving an artificial limb
and is the only one of the four classmates to survive.
Kantorek-is the schoolmaster who is a strong advocate of the war and insists that the boys
enlist. He sees Paul and his schoolmates not as growing boys but as Iron Youth whose
finest destiny lies in serving their country. He is the illustration of all those elders whose
values the young soldier comes to reject. His ideas change only when