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An Analysis of Death in All Quiet on the Western Front, a Film Based on a Novel by Erich Maria Remarque
Word Count: 1,793
Death as a whole is generally seen as a bad thing The fearful transition from life to death has given mankind an apprehensive feeling since the beginning of time Therefore people usually think of death as a depressing traumatic and sorrowful time of grievance Of course there are always exceptions Dying in honor for instance suddenly transforms the dead into something more important A martyr willing to give his life for something greater than himself is assured to be remembered as a hero And in the early part of the twentieth century to be a hero was every young mans dream Conveniently the old men of the same time period had waged war on each other declaring that true heroism was achieved only by becoming a soldier and dying for your country Naturally this propaganda worked against the feeble minds of the boys who were thrown into battle with idealistic dreams of honor nobility and heroism Perhaps nothing expressed the feelings of wartime soldiers as well as the 1930 film All Quiet on the Western Front where the German troops of WWI discover the realities of war and the falsehoods of their glorified ambitions The war gave these boys their first glimpse of death as they watched their best friends die by the dozen at the hands of men theyd never met But the war took more than their bodies It caused a different kind of death a death of self which forced them to continue to see the world through bleak unforgiving eyes even after the battles ceased The film demonstrates how man is forever changed by war and the surrounding propaganda by focusing on the deaths of the men both physical and spiritual In the opening scenes of the film we see a classroom full of young boys receiving an emotionally persuasive lecture from their teacher He is asking them to kill themselves Of course he conceals his intentions by becoming a master
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