All Quiet on the Western FrontBook - 1996
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. . . .
This is the testament of Paul Bäumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German army during World War I. They become soldiers with youthful enthusiasm. But the world of duty, culture, and progress they had been taught breaks in pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches.
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 one another . . . if only he can come out of the war alive.
"The world has a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first rank, a man who can bend language to his will. Whether he writes of men or of inanimate nature, his touch is sensitive, firm, and sure."-- The New York Times Book Review
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All Quiet on the Western Front is about a young man named Paul who fights on the German Front. He struggles to survive not because of skill, but because of a lack of hope. He begins to realize that the people he is fighting against aren't really his enemies, but rather people just like him. Paul soon realizes that his friends are the only ones that can help him get through war. As Paul's friends begin to slowly leave him, Paul finds that his only way of survival is finding his identity. Remarque not only highlights the struggle in finding a man's identity, but also the journey Paul has to take in order to discover it.
All Quiet on the Western Front is a brutally honest account of the First World War. The book follows the story of Paul Baumer, a 19-year-old German soldier who enlists at the urging of his school teacher. All Quiet on the Western Front provides insight into the horrific nature of trench warfare and shows how the "lost generation" was lost on the muddy battlefields of World War One.
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All at once everything seems to me confused and hopeless.
Kropp feels it too. "It will go pretty hard with us all. But nobody at home seems to worry much about it. Two years of shells and bombs—a man won't peel that off as easy as a sock."
We agree that it's the same for everyone; not only for us here, but everywhere, for everyone who is of our age; to some more, and to others less. It is the common fate of our generation.
Albert expresses it: "The war has ruined us for everything."
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