A Young Soldiers Loss of Innocence.docx - Caldwell 1 Heather Caldwell Professor Higgins English 112 A Young Soldiers Loss of Innocence Many novels

A Young Soldiers Loss of Innocence.docx - Caldwell 1...

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Caldwell 1 Heather Caldwell Professor Higgins English 112 January 28, 2019 A Young Soldiers Loss of Innocence Many novels throughout literary history that have discussed wartime experiences with the prominence on ideals such as patriotism and the glory of war, All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque does not engage this discussion at all and it offers a realistic description of war and the loss of innocence, humanity, and emotions that go with it. This novel simply does not glorify war, it actively seeks to engage in a conversation about the empty ideals that have fueled wars and warriors and how these notions are lacking truth and unfilled of any substance. All the teachings by Kantorek, their teacher, that inspired Paul and his friends are proven to be hollow ideas when the boys are faced with the horrors of war and as one political symbol after another are shown to be different to the information that led the young men into combat in the first place. “…at that time even, one’s parents were ready with the word ‘coward’; no one had the vaguest idea what we were in for. The wisest were just poor and simple people. They knew the war to be a misfortune, whereas those who were better off, and should have been able to see more clearly what the consequences would be, were beside themselves with joy" (11). Paul discovers that the only truth in war is that all parties, enemies and allies alike, are human beings, not faceless creatures. In short, the notion of war and honor are recognized to be false, along with the concept of an enemy itself. Innocence is almost an enemy ; a soldier must get rid of it right away if he wants to survive. Our narrator learns to lose his innocence , by observing that loss in others around him, but also through his own experiences.” (Shmoop Editorial Team)
Caldwell 2 Paul Baumer a 19-year-old German student and several of his school friends voluntarily join the army. The story follows him and his fellow school friends throughout their struggles in the war. The book is viewed through his eyes. It reveals the events that take place in the war as he and his comrades fight the war. The men are presented with so many deaths before they have even really begun to live their own young lives. They just seemed like regular young men who were thrown into being soldiers; they did not really have a choice about their involvement in the war. They felt no real glory for being soldiers and their only desire was to stay alive. Paul loses

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