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All Quiet on the Western Front notes

All Quiet on the Western Front notes - Essay Notes The end...

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Essay Notes The end of patriotism. What remains in Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front ? (Does any of the romanticized patriotism remain? How have people’s values changed? Literally, what remains of this generation? What countries, what spirit, what patriotism?) OR Compare the ideas of Chris Hedges on war with the portrait of war in Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front . (Chris Hedges believed that a general feeling is a problem. The enemy is perceived as people who want to destroy our values, democracy, and patriotism. During war, people feel like something great/meaningful is going to happen. “Strangers embrace one another” (p.25 of reader). In war, people feel important. This is what stimulates patriotism. This is because war is seen as a myth beyond reality. Patriotism and myth denies humanity to the other side (enemy) and creates false heroism. Morality is distorted. He holds the government and the media responsible.) Good examples from Remarque to talk about: Paul’s encounters while on leave. The redcross sister that he meets calls Paul, “Comrade” and Paul is insulted because she has no idea what his actual comrades are have gone through. Paul’s father continuously bombards him with questions about what it’s like on the front. How is Paul to explain that war is not as heroic as it seems, but actually composed of tragedy and horror. Paul’s encounter with Kemmerich’s mother. Paul’s encounter with German-master and headmaster. To the headmaster, war is like a board game. He lists off countries he believes Germany should invade and attain control over like a shopping list or ordering items off a menu. Paul’s time as a guard for the Russian prison camp. Paul’s emotional encounter with the French printer All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque “You only attend to officers properly,” says Kropp viciously.” (An orderly makes up an excuse as to why he couldn’t give Franz any “morphia”) (p.17) “Kantorek would say that we stood on the threshold of life. And so it would seem. We had as yet taken no root. The war swept us away. For the others, the old men, it was but an interruption. They are able to think beyond it. We, however, have been gripped by it and do not know what the end may be. We know only that in some strange and melancholy way we have become a waste land. All the same, we are not often sad.” (p.20) “We were still crammed full of vague ideas which gave to life, and to the war also an ideal and almost romantic character .” (p.21)
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“Yes, that’s the way they think, these hundred thousand Kantoreks! Iron Youth! Youth! We are none of us more than twenty years old. But young? Youth? That is long ago. We are old folk.” (p.18) “…a thousand pettifogging details. We had fancies our task would be different, only to find we were trained for heroism as though we were circus-ponies . But we soon accustomed ourselves to it. We learned in fact that some of these things were necessary,
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