Himmelstoss forces his men to stand outside with no gloves on during a hard frost, risking frostbite that could lead to the amputation of a finger or the loss of a hand.
This motif of animal instinct contributes to the larger theme that war destroys the humanity of the soldier, stripping away his ability to feel and, in this case, making him act like a beast rather than a man. The Effect of War on the Soldier Because All Quiet on the Western Front is set among soldiers fighting on the front, one of its main focuses is the ruinous effect that war has on the soldiers who fight it.
Set in the final years of the war, the novel All Quiet on the Western Front is famous… Survival Many of the young soldiers, including Paul, joined the army because they were motivated by romantic ideals like patriotism and honor. Paul frequently considers the past and the future from the perspective of his entire generation, noting that, when the war ends, he and his friends will not know what to do, as they have learned to be adults only while fighting the war.
Among the living soldiers, however, Remarque portrays intense bonds of loyalty and friendship that spring up as a result of the shared experience of war.
Comradeship For Paul, the one positive aspect of the war experience is that it forges extraordinarily strong bonds between soldiers. The only way for soldiers to survive is to disconnect themselves from their feelings, suppressing their emotions and accepting the conditions of their lives.
They frequently go without food and sleep, adequate clothing, or sufficient medical care. The ethic of nationalism was not new, but it had reached new heights of intensity in the nineteenth century, and this fervor generally carried over into the start of World War I.
The only way for soldiers to survive is to disconnect themselves from their feelings, suppressing their emotions and accepting the conditions of their lives.
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. As a result, the compassionate young man becomes unable to mourn his dead comrades, unable to feel at home among his family, unable to express his feelings about the war or even talk about his experiences, unable to remember the past fully, and unable to conceive of a future without war.
These soldiers were volunteers in theory only, Paul says. LitChart as a printable PDF. The inclusion of a seemingly anachronistic literary type—the scheming or dangerous diminutive man—may seem out of place in a modern novel.
This intense physical threat also serves as an unceasing attack on the nerves, forcing soldiers to cope with primal, instinctive fear during every waking moment. The experience of battle is quite animalistic in this way, as the soldiers trust their senses over their thoughts and sniff out safety wherever they can find it.
They have seen unspeakable horrors and endured unimaginable suffering together, experiences they will never be able to share with those who did not fight. As Kantorek and his speeches are recalled throughout the novel, Paul and his friends become increasingly disgusted by them; their experience of war has made them increasingly cynical about patriotism and nationalism.
A good pair of boots is more valuable—and more durable—than a human life. Animal Instinct Remarque indicates throughout the novel that the only way for a soldier to survive battle is to turn off his mind and operate solely on instinct, becoming less like a human being and more like an animal.
But a man gets used to that sort of thing in the army.
In this way, the boots represent the cheapness of human life in the war. Yet this quality of Kantorek arguably reflects the espousal of dated ideas by an older generation of leaders who betray their followers with manipulations, ignorance, and lies.
The longer that Paul survives the war and the more that he hates it, the less certain he is that life will be better for him after it ends. As Kantorek and his speeches are recalled throughout the novel, Paul and his friends become increasingly disgusted by them; their experience of war has made them increasingly cynical about patriotism and nationalism.
Amid this horrific violence and numbness, the overblown phrases of nationalistic rhetoric quickly lose their persuasive power and take on a loathsome quality of hypocrisy and ignorance.
The boots also symbolize the necessary pragmatism that a soldier must have. Himmelstoss is extremely cruel to his recruits, forcing them to obey ridiculous and dangerous orders simply because he enjoys bullying them. Every battle scene roughly every other chapter features brutal violence and bloody descriptions of death and injury.
That Kantorek is eventually drafted and makes a terrible soldier reflects the uselessness of the ideals that he touts. This motif of animal instinct contributes to the larger theme that war destroys the humanity of the soldier, stripping away his ability to feel and, in this case, making him act like a beast rather than a man.
Symbols Symbols are objects, characters, figures, and colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts. Hospital scenes portray men with grisly wounds that go untreated because of insufficient medical supplies.
They are forced, moreover, to deal with the frequent, sudden deaths of their close friends and comrades, often in close proximity and in extremely violent fashion.All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.
Home / Literature / All Quiet on the Western Front / Analysis / Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory ; want to hate on our rodent buddies—Remy of Ratatouille fame is both adorable and talented—but rats are bad news in All Quiet on the Western Front.
Just when you think it can't get more. Analysis of Major Characters - ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT By Erich Maria Remarque | EduRev. Analysis of Major Characters - ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT By Erich Maria Remarque | EduRev EduRev. Courses One of the themes of All Quiet on the Western Front is that war brings out a savagery and hunger for power that lie latent in many.
A summary of Motifs in Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of All Quiet on the Western Front and what it means.
Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. More main ideas from All Quiet on the Western Front. Themes; Symbols. LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in All Quiet on the Western Front, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
The Horror of Modern War World War I is considered the first modern war, as it was the first conflict in which weapons like poison gas, armored tanks, and shell bombardments were used widely by both sides. There are many symbols that appear throughout Erich Maria Remarque's ''All Quiet on the Western Front'' and they bring to light many of the themes present in the book, too.
A summary of Themes in Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of All Quiet on the Western Front and what it means.
Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.Download