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War: The Cause Of A Lost Generation Essay, Research Paper

War: The Cause of the Lost Generation

Upon scrutiny of All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque

shows the cause of the lost coevals through characters who demonstrate the loss of

artlessness, the deficiency of hope, and trouble with society. The effects of war are

terrible, and World War I resulted in the decease of many guiltless people, and the decease of a

coevals. The subsisters were left for good damaged because of the shell daze that

everlastingly haunted them.

In the beginning of the novel, Paul Baulmer, the chief character and storyteller, is an

inexperienced person and modest immature school male child. He is so transformed by war experiences into

an? Fe young person, ? like the remainder of the male childs ( Remarque 18 ) . They go through many phases,

and every twenty-four hours lose more and more of their interior kid. The decease of a close friend,

Kemmerich, symbolizes the decease of the whole group. He is the first to decease, and this is the

foremost important loss of artlessness found in the book. Death is among these male childs, and it

takes Kemerich? s decease for them to recognize this. Paul becomes a victim of war: ? I become

swoon, all at one time I can non make any longer. I won? T revile any longer, it is mindless, I could drop

down and ne’er lift up once more & # 8230 ; He is dead. His face is still wet from the tears. ? ( Remarque

32 ) . They excessively could be pale and death, and this tragic scene took away the indomitability of

young person that they one time felt. Kemmerich cries because his possible and his hereafter are lost,

and his close friend Paul feels his hurting. Paul provinces, ? This is the most distressing and

hardest separating I have of all time seen & # 8230 ; ? ( Remarque 31 ) . The informants of Kemmerich? s last

proceedingss was worth a life-time of experience. These male childs were exposed to things no adult male

should of all time hold to see in a life-time. Not merely did they lose their childhood, but it was

torn from them heartlessly. Remarque captures the exact minute this transmutation

took topographic point:

I am cognizant of the darkness and the air current as a rescue & # 8230 ; ideas of misss, of

flowery hayfields, of white clouds all of a sudden come into my caput. My pess begin to travel

frontward in my boots, I go faster, I run. Soldiers pass by me, I hear their voices without

apprehension. The Earth is streaming with forces which pour into me through the colloidal suspensions of

my pess. The dark cracklings electrically, the front booms like a concert of membranophones.

( Remarque 33 ) .

The air current so much as carries off Paul? s artlessness. Life manifested as air current takes off

his happy child-like ideas, and job free mentality. Alternatively of easy turning and

maturing, he is thrust into a universe of panic he is non ready for. As he runs, the most

critical clip in his life is put in fast gesture, and he skips right over it without

apprehension, retrieving, or cognizing what happened. It is as though Paul? s childhood

is preternaturally taken off, and this twenty-four hours is marked by God. It is when the young person of our

universe lost their psyche. Paul knows precisely what happened. There is nil him, nor

anyone else can make. ? We are none of us more than twenty old ages old. But immature? Young?

That is long ago. We are old folk. ? ( Remarque 18 ) . Paul and his friends are cognizant of

their experiences, and the consequence it has on their immature lives. Their childhood is put in an

unapproachable topographic point. At 19 Paul knows more about life than many of his seniors. Like

an senior his childhood is far off and everlastingly forgotten. Paul tells us that his childhood is

non retrievable: ? & # 8230 ; and even if the scenes of young person were given back to us, we would

barely cognize what to do..I believe we are lost. ? Remarque 122-23 ) . These male childs are non

kids, and non grownups. They are in an awkward and hard topographic point that will destruct them

everlastingly. Paul can non retrieve how to move like a kid, and the memories can merely be

seen, but ne’er touched. They become less and less modest every twenty-four hours. When the male childs

foremost entered the barracks, they were embarrassed to utilize the bathroom out in the unfastened.

They so got accustomed to this, and easy things like that became silly. Paul says, ? Since

so we have learned better than to be diffident about such piddling immodesty? s. In clip things

far worse come easy to us. ? ( Remarque 8 ) . He says he doesn? t understand why he shied

off from these things. This is an illustration of lost artlessness, and non retrieving what

it feels like to be guiltless. When new recruits came to the barracks, Paul and his friends

would express joy, and experience superior to these regretful fledglings. They shortly saw so many deceases

that even decease became merely apart of mundane life. When Paul went on leave, he had to

Tell Kemmerich? s ma that her boy had died. His ma asked if Kemmerich was in hurting,

and Paul replied? No? without any vacillation. Paul said that he died right off. This was

a prevarication, because Kemmerich was in great hurting for several yearss before he died. Paul so

thought? When a adult male has seen so many dead he can non understand any longer why there

should be so much torment over a individual individual. ? ( Remarque 181 ) . Paul swears by

God, and his life that Kemmerich died immediately. This means nil to him, because he

has no moral any longer. He has seen so many dead and agony, one individual means so

small, even if it was his friend. So much killing went on, that it became strictly replete. It

wasn? t a large trade to see dead people, or kill person. Paul remembers the first clip he

threw a grenade at a adult male. He so states, ? We have become wild animals. We do non

battle, we defend ourselves against obliteration & # 8230 ; If your ain male parent came over with them

you would non waver to fling a bomb at him. ? ( Remarque 113-14 ) . Such an of import

figure, a male parent, is used to show this point. Killing is going strictly instinctual to

them. They don? T see the enemy as people. Paul sees himself, and seeking to remain alive, no

affair what it takes. They are asleep and no longer experience emotions. In war they don? T think

about who they are killing, or why, merely that it is what they have to make. The male childs have

become victims of inherent aptitude, and have animal like physiological reactions. The immature recruits see the

universe in black and white, without feelings. This is how animate beings think, and they will make

what they can to last. Not merely have Paul and his friends lost their childhood, they

hold drowned all hope of of all time going inexperienced person once more. They besides make large determinations

that affect the lives of others within their ain lines. One of the new recruits is wounded.

He is immature, and has hurt his leg severely. Kat turns to Paul and says, ? Shouldn? T we merely

take a six-gun and put an terminal to it? ? ( Remarque 72 ) . Paul figures they should set him

out of his wretchedness. Without vacillation they kill the immature male child.

This is non anything like the male childs we knew in the beginning. Paul went through a series of

alterations that led to the loss of his artlessness, along with the remainder of the male childs.

The characters in the novel have lost hope for life, their hereafter, and the

older coevalss by the terminal of the war. When the male childs entered the war they had

dreams and hopes, and stood on the? threshold of life. ? ( Remarque 20 ) . Paul had

a future in front of him. Some of the male childs had occupations, like Tjaden the locksmith. They

merely knew school, and had the chance to make anything with their lives, but

decided to enlist in the war. After they lose their childhood, they lose hope in their

lives and hereafters. They don? t even know why they are even in the war. These

inquiries remain unreciprocated, and their dreams of felicity dice. The male childs wear? T

even trust the older coevals. Paul looks outside. ? Monotonously the lorries

sway, monotonously come the calls, monotonously falls the rain. ? ( Remarque 74 ) .

The same thing happens mundane. Peoples live and die, the rain falls, they eat and

wake up. Every twenty-four hours they fight for a concealed cause. It doesn? T seem to acquire them

anyplace, or accomplish anything. They do the same things for a hop

eless ground,

and this is a cause of their lost hope in the universe. They do speak about traveling place

in the beginning, but it all becomes a false dream. The boys think about adult females,

but this can ne’er be a world to them. They can ne’er be in love or have childs.

Womans must stay beautiful on postings, non in existent life, and non through their

eyes. It is particularly difficult for them to hold faith in the universe when they don? T

know for who or why they are contending. The male childs try to calculate this out:

? Then what precisely is the war for? ? asks Tjaden.

Kat shrugs his shoulders. ? There must be some people to whom the war is

utile. ?

? Well I? m non one of them?

? Not you nor anyone else here. ?

? Who are they so? ? persists Tjaden. ? It isn? t any usage to the Kaiser either.

He has everything he can desire already. ? ( Remarque 205 )

When America fought in the war, at least they had a cause. These young person Don? T know

who they are working for. Even worse, they figure, if God is on both sides, who is

right? These unreciprocated inquiries face them mundane. They even sleep with Gallic

adult females, and they are contending against the Gallic. They don? T attention any longer which side

is which. It is all meaningless to them, anyhow. After awhile, nil becomes

of import, because they have no replies and no hope. The male childs wear? t feel entirely, they

cognize that their full coevals feels the same manner.

We agree that it is the same for everyone ; non merely for us here, but everyplace,

for everyone who is our age ; to some more, and to others less. It is the common

destiny of our coevals & # 8230 ; the war has ruined us for everything & # 8230 ; we do non desire to

take the universe by storm. We are flying. We fly from ourselves. From our

lives. We were 18 and had merely begun to love life ; and we had to hit it

to pieces. We are cut off from activity, from endeavoring, from advancement. We believe

in such things no longer, we believe in the war. ( Remarque 87-88 )

The male childs know that the war effects all involved. Some take it better than others, but it

is traveling to kill an full coevals either manner. They do non hold any desires, thrusts

or motive. Dreams they one time had of turning old became dull long ago. In the

war they accomplish nil. They don? t even use the cognition they learned in

school. Everything is meaningless. This is besides because society treated them like

machines. ? Remarque accused a mechanistic civilisation of destructing humane values,

of contradicting charity, love, wit, beauty, and individuality. ? ( Eksteins 337 ) In war

everyone is treated the same ; they are fed the same sum, they dress the same, and

they must populate in a harsh, rigorous environment. The physicians used war victims as

experiments. They tested them like animate beings. No 1 individual adult male was of import, they

all fought wish automatons. This destroyed their moral. Then society brushed them aside.

They had no feelings ; the male childs were machines. Machines have no practical usage for

hope or emotions. This was the lone manner to acquire through the war. Paul doesn? T believe

in the older coevals. Before the war, the male childs looked up to these people, and

trusted them. They were wiser. ? The first decease we saw shattered this belief. We had

to acknowledge that our coevals was more to be trusted than theirs. ? ( Remarque

12-13 ) . If Paul? s coevals was in charge, there would be no cockamamie war, where the

incorrect people do the combat. The male childs agree that the people in charge should contend

themselves, in a ring, one on one. Alternatively they are against authorization, and people like

Himmelstos, who abuse their power. Paul has no hope in his hereafter, his seniors, nor

anything else any longer. He is lost. At the terminal Paul realizes, ? They can take nil

from me, nil more. ? ( Remarque 295 ) Paul dies without hope, and merely cognizing

the most awful things that the universe has to offer.

The lost coevals has great trouble covering with society. They no longer

retrieve what populating a normal life is like, so they can? t relate to their households or

friends off from the war any longer. These societal jobs foremost appear when Paul

goes on leave. ? I prefer to be entirely, so that no 1 troubles me & # 8230 ; They talk to much.

They have concerns, purposes desires, that I can non comprehend. ? ( Remarque 168 ) . He

gets place and is burdened by his households inquiries, and people he does non

understand. Paul does non retrieve this life they know, so sits alone in his room, and

awaits his return to the forepart. He so goes to his bookshelf. He looks at his books

and magazines. He can read them, but he can non understand them. ? I stand at that place

dumb. As before a justice. Directed. Wordss, words, words- they do non make me.

Slowly I place the books back on the shelves. Nevermore. Softly, I go out of the

room. ? ( Remarque 173 ) . Paul hates leave. He can non associate to anything, and he

can non happen any old involvements to go through the clip. He no longer knows what involvements are.

Leave made everything worse. He so says, ? I am nil but in torment for myself,

my female parent, for everything that is so comfortless and without terminal. I ought to ne’er

have come on leave. ? ( Remarque, 185 ) He regains some feeling while on leave. This

does nil but harm. After Paul returns, to salvage his ain life, he must kill a adult male

with his custodies. This makes him experience really guilty, and feels he must apologize his Acts of the Apostless

of force. He tells the adult male, ? I did non desire to kill you & # 8230 ; why do they { the generals }

ne’er tell us that you are hapless Satans like us, that your female parents are merely every bit dying as

ours, and that we have the same fright of decease & # 8230 ; forgive me, comrade ; how could you

be my enemy? ? ( Remarque, 223 ) Paul could non digest this feeling. He had non felt

emotion in so long, and it ruined people in the war. He had non felt it on leave because

on leave he merely felt like a soldier ; indifferent and hopeless. Paul? s warm household life

drove him into serious idea ; and he began to understand the harm war did to his

mind. ? Scenes, incidents, and images were chosen with a intent to exemplify how

the war had destroyed the ties, psychological, moral, and existent, between the forepart

coevals and society at home. ? ( Eksteins 336-37 ) Eksteins believes that Remarque

carefully take these scenes to stress the consequence of war on homelike. This had the

most annihilating effects on the coevals because even if they did populate, it would be

impossible to take a normal life. When they came place, if they survived, and the war

was over, Paul felt:

Work force will non understand us-for the coevals that grew up before us, though it

has passed these old ages with us already had a place and a naming ; now it will

return to its old businesss, and the war will be forgotten-and the coevals

that has grown up after us will be unusual to us and force us aside & # 8230 ; the old ages will

base on balls by and in the terminal we shall fall into ruin. ( Remarque 294 )

These war victims will ne’er hold a topographic point in society, and they will ever be looked

upon as castawaies. The war will be done and forgotten, and people will no longer

retrieve the work forces who saved them. The younger coevalss will lend to the

devastation of this coevals, even though it was fought for them and their childs. It

is better for the work forces who didn? t return because they won? Ts have to confront the problem

that is given to them by society? s force per unit area. They would hold died with award,

alternatively of lived on in wretchedness. The war destroyed an full coevals and left a

coevals unable to get by with life afterwards.

World War I was the cause of the lost coevals. Remarque shows this in

his book: ? & # 8230 ; It is meant merely to seek to describe on a coevals that was destroyed by

the war-even when it escaped the shells. ? ( Remarque epigraph ) The problem this

coevals faced was caused by the war and its effects. The war took their

artlessness, their hope, and turned society against them.

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