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Word Count: 955
Summary of War Reading My initial foray into the reading of war-related literature was to read Journeys End Despite the fact that the piece a play played out upon the backdrop of war was undoubtedly shorter than many of the other texts that I have looked at I found it to be a advantageous point from which to begin my reading The first war-based text that I read independently was All Quiet on the Western Front Penned by Erich Remarque the plot takes place amidst World War One In my reading of the title I noted several consequences of war that I felt to be particularly poignant At the beginning of the book the reader is met by the epitaph of Remarque who reinforces the fact that the major theme of his novel is the brutality of war and that even those who survive physically are likely to be destroyed mentally The piece concentrates exhaustively on the destructive properties of war Remarque rejects any romantic preconceptions the reader may have about combat in his descriptions of rat-infestation starvation nerve attacks shell-shock and inclement weather The consequences of war are similarly starkly dealt with The character of Paul is forced to witness the dismemberment of many of his comrades At various intervals he movingly realises the number of friends that he has lost Death is perhaps the most devastating outcome of war and it is one that is certainly not shied away from by Remarque Nationalism is one of the chief factors in the actual inception of war The said mindset swept through Europe in the early twentieth century Kantorek the boys former schoolteacher epitomizes nationalism Paul describes how Kantorek rallied his pupils with patriotic speeches and bullied them into volunteering for the war ridiculing them for cowardice if they stayed at home However Kantorek and his generation are not the ones dying in the war It is the Iron Youth as
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