HIST 102_Review_All Quiet On The Western Front.docx - Long...

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Long Review: All Quiet on the Western FrontAnthony BiancofioriDr. SuszkoHIST 10219 June 2019Remarque, Erich M. All Quiet on the Western Front. Translated by A.W. Wheen, Fawcett Crest,1929.
Biancofiori 2Prior to 1914, tensions amongst the countries of Europe were mounting: Arms races strained the relationship between Britain and Germany; territorial disputes over the Balkans between the Austria and Russia escalated both countries discontent for the other; and the formation of the Triple Alliance—which consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy—andthe Tripe Entente—which consisted of Britain, France, and Russia—created stark divisions between the countries of Europe. With the pressure on both sides escalating, all that was needed was an incentive for the fighting to begin. Then, on June 28, 1914, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, sparked a chain reaction that led to thefirst World War. The combat began on the Western front in August of 1914, when the German army staged an offensive attack through the neutral state of Belgium and into France. Meanwhile, the Russian army mounted an assault on East Prussia, but the Germans quickly repelled the invading Russian forces. Then, on April 6, 1917, the United States issued a declaration of war on Germany, and entered an alliance with the Entente. With the United States now on their side, the tides shifted in favor in the Entente, and, in the fall of 1918, the forces constituting the Triple Alliance surrendered through the proclamation of an armistice. World WarI officially concluded with the implementation of the Treaty of Versailles in the summer of 1919. The war lasted longer than either side had envisioned, and severely impacted Europe’s economy;however, the effects World War I were not strictly limited to the economic impacts. Perhaps the war had the most pronounced effect on the soldiers that fought for their respective countries.Though the years prior to World War I were filled with optimism, the years of fighting quickly changed the public perception of war; furthermore, the literary works of veterans becameinstrumental in illustrating the effects the war had on soldiers. For instance, in 1929, Eric Remarque (1898-1970), a German novelist and veteran of World War I, published his
Biancofiori 3groundbreaking novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, in which he illuminates the various impacts of World War I on soldiers. The novel, although a work of fiction, serves as a reflection of Remarque’s days as a young soldier fighting for the Germany Imperial Army, as well has his life outside of the heat of war. Throughout All Quiet on the Western Front, Remarque maintains an anti-war rhetoric that emphasizes the deceitfulness of nationalistic propaganda, as well as the hypocrisy that leads the older generations to betray their young. Furthermore, he argues that a strong disconnect exists between civilians and their understanding of modern warfare, while also illuminating the harmful effects young soldiers experience as a result of the war.

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