All Quiet on the Western Front vs The Wars (theme: war)
Uploaded by mgpilot on Dec 20, 2007
This is a comparison between Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front and Timothy Findley's The Wars on the theme of war/realities of war. GR 12 course essay. Hope this helps
Thesis: War dehumanizes us, where we become like animals in order to survive, which leads to our destruction.
The theme of war is a clear aspect in both The Wars and All Quiet on the Western Front. Significantly, these two novels are based on World War I, however each tells a story from different sides of the battlefield. On one hand, The Wars written by Timothy Findlay, focuses on the protagonist Robert Ross, a Canadian soldier who joins the war for the Allies after his sister’s death as a way of isolating himself, and on the other hand, we have All Quiet on the Western Front, written by Erich Maria Remarque, in which the story is told by Paul Bäumer, a German soldier who has been convinced by his misguided teacher to volunteers for war as a courageous act. War dehumanizes us, where we become like animals in order to survive, which leads to our destruction. What this means is that war takes all our feelings and moral values thus replacing it with just instincts like an animal to survive. But in the end life becomes difficult to cope with therefore leads to our destruction.
An aspect that touches both these novels is about a generation of “men who were destroyed by war” (Wagner 12) even though they escaped its shells. Findley and Remarque both imply that they do not want to tell us about the war experiences of young people, at least not solely, but rather the destructive impact it has on a soldier; such as the inability of young people to successfully cope with their life after war. Remarque uses his war experiences to justify his own lack of professional success after the war, his inability to choose a solid career, and particularly his initial lack of success as a writer immediately following the war years (Wagner 12). There is no doubt that an entire generation ruined by war and unable to function contribute to the book’s success. Many readers were readily able to identify with the novel’s heroes and found a readymade justification for their own inability...