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All Quiet on the Western Front (1 Viewer)

"All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque is an amazing story that is not only a great war book but it shows a side of human nature rarely shown in books (at least from my experience). As people who have read my stories and this book can see his influence in my writing. This book is amazing and should be read by everyone.
 
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baldrick

definetly. the way that the characters come to life is great reading, and the ending, well, it does bring out many conflicting emotions.
 
I remember when I read the ending for the first time my mouth dropped. I don't think any other book has come close to doing that to me.
 

Ralizah

Senior Member
I didn't like it. The book is so overbearingly humanitarian that I couldn't stand it. The book doesn't approach way from a political or even a social angle, where it might have had some merit.

To be honest, I outright hated it after reading the part that says: "I am young. I am 20. Yet all I know is fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow." Seriously, you can almost smell the propaganda radiating from it.

Any good anti-war book will examine it from all angles, and not just try to create a sob story about some snotty German soldiers.

Beyond that, the writing style is clunky in both the American and German editions. It frequently switches tenses during specific passages, and it's extremely stale in its use of language.

A story about people is fine. A story about people in a war is fine. But an anti-war story that tries to manipulate the emotions of a reader (and it doesn't even do that well) and adopts only a narrow focus on its subject material is not only manipulative, it's useless.

Besides, if I remember it correctly, Paul and the rest of the students willingly joined up by the persuasion of their teacher. I have no sympathy for volunteer soldiers.

The characters are so stale and monotone that you can't even tell who's talking in a coversation until you analyze the layout of the passages to figure it out.
 
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baldrick

well, you do have a right to your opinion, but i do dissagree strongly. i fail to see the propoganda in any anti war book, and the writer captures the images of the horror of war superbly. and what is so wrong with a humanitarian war book that does its best to tell the truth? and just because it happened to be about a group of german soldiers doesnt have an effect. would you say the soldiers of your country were snotty?
 

Drzava

Senior Member
The movie Stalingrad, however boring it is, does a good job depicting the misery of German soldiers.

"Heyyy, Werder Bremen won last night!"
"You still give a shit about that?"

No one was optimistic in the entire movie and they would keep re-affirming themselves they were not Nazis but merely doing their job.

I've never read All Quiet on the Western Front, so I don't know a whole lot about it, but what makes it any better than the slew of other anti war books out there. I liked Catch 22, is it anything like that? ;)

edit: Doh, I didn't know it was about WWI. :oops:
 

kerpoe

Senior Member
ONE OF MY ALL-TIME FAVES!

If you have enjoyed that book...read "On The Road" by Jack Kerouac, and "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad.

But I agree it is a spectavular literary accomplishment!
 
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CometCatcher

all quiet is required reading for all sophomores at my school

There is obvious propaganda from the novel and it's anti-war sentiment.

And Ralizah, I disagree with you on a few points:

The book is not useless, there are probably more works of literature glorifying than the opposite

And as for Paul and the others being volunteer soldiers, they did not kow better. They just assumed what their teacher was correct. Few kids were free-thinkers in the early 1900s, few kids are free-thinkers now

Also, the monotonous characters are to show a point: the lack of feeling they have to show to keep sane.
 

Raith

Member
this novel is hard to read, but ive managed to read the entire book. nativism took its toll, sanity took its toll, and paul baumer's life...... *no spoilers* :]
 

Ralizah

Senior Member
baldrick said:
well, you do have a right to your opinion, but i do dissagree strongly. i fail to see the propoganda in any anti war book, and the writer captures the images of the horror of war superbly. and what is so wrong with a humanitarian war book that does its best to tell the truth? and just because it happened to be about a group of german soldiers doesnt have an effect. would you say the soldiers of your country were snotty?

My point is that its propaganda through a purely humanitarian view. And it's not even well-written propaganda. War is horrible, but if you're out to prove a point, you have to show your work. And that means actually analyzing the aspects of war from all different angles and not just try to prove that war is horrible by showing how a few soldiers lose their minds and die.

Read my post next time. I never said they were snotty because they were German soldiers. I said they were snotty because they were snotty. And yes, if the book had been exactly the same except from the point-of-view of Americans, then I would say they were snotty. I don't like the people in this book at all. They're merely creations of anti-intellectualism and social pride.


CometCatcher said:
And Ralizah, I disagree with you on a few points:

The book is not useless, there are probably more works of literature glorifying than the opposite

And as for Paul and the others being volunteer soldiers, they did not kow better. They just assumed what their teacher was correct. Few kids were free-thinkers in the early 1900s, few kids are free-thinkers now

Also, the monotonous characters are to show a point: the lack of feeling they have to show to keep sane.

I'm not saying it's useless because its anti-war, I'm saying it's useless because there's only one very anrrow point of view explored in it.

I have no sympathy for children who blindly enlist in the army based upon the glorifying anyone does. I didn't say they had to be freethinkers, but anyone can use their brain. They're social parasites that reflect what's wrong with the world.

I don't mean them surpressing their emotions. I mean them being so cookie-cutter that you can't tell who is who until the damned narration reveals it. But I will give the book credit for clearly showing people who have lost their identity and their capacity to think logically.
 

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