Adulteration Of Warfare In All Quiet On The Western Front By Erich Maria Remarque

Sharing an intricate relationship between men and women, ethics and politics are complex notions that may mandate how someone lives their life. Throughout history, political members in international relations have negotiated strategies that can be considered to go against a comprehensive understanding of fairness. As the discussion about the ethics and politics is transitional and open-ended to the present, it is an established notion that remains enigmatic depending on someone’s perspective. In the novel, “All Quiet On The Western Front”, the author, Erich Maria Remarque, writes an unrestricted narrative about the adulteration of warfare through the protagonist, Paul Bäumer, who is a solemn victim of World War I. Throughout the beginning of the narration, in moments of un-ambiguity, Bӓumer articulates his restlessness invoked by knowing the idealism of war is implemented into the minds of people without resistance. As he argues, “The idea of authority, which they represented, was associated in our minds with a greater insight and a more humane wisdom … However while they continued to write and talk, we saw the wounded and dying”. Acknowledging that the jurisdiction who issued the declaration of war, are propositioning a distorted perception of nobility about warfare to the public, exhibits to Bӓumer the ignorance shrouding the complexity of the situation from the public. An atmosphere of discontentment lingers throughout the narration, psychologically altering the entire generation of men, the “Iron Youth”, into “dead ashen hollows”, further distorting perceptions.

As the narration continues, so does the war. After establishing the notable perspectives of Paul and his comrades - Katczinsky, Kropp, Müller, Tjaden, Detering, and Leer - regarding their principles concerning the war, it becomes definite that intersecting their principles and ethics with the formalness of war are promoting a form of monotonous post-traumatic stress within one another. Keeping with Paul’s perspective, the reader will note that he intuitively takes action then proceeds to reflect about his existence as someone who has been ruined through exposure to the war, at length. His course of thinking demonstrates a single purpose, preservation of existence, in which he reflects, “A man cannot realize that above such shattered bodies there are still human faces in which life goes its daily round … since our knowledge of life is limited to death". Through the implicit language and arguments used, these remarks could be construed as the effect of apathy initiated through dehumanization. A requisite of war is the suspension of the standard of human customs, the arbitrariness tone becomes unsanctioned. Bӓumer’s philosophies lie enshrined in the soil beside those who perished with theirs.

As the narrative concludes, the striking contrast correlating the present and past to the human destruction of war is dismantled to exhibit the unknowns that influence the final pages. Remarque accentuates the contemporary horror of war and implies that the past is subordinate to the current, however, the modern truths lie in the past. Bӓumer and his comrades experience in the war does not exist independently of their former existences but as part of a continuum.

15 July 2020
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