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Word Count: 848
Characterized as the first anti-war novel of its time All Quiet on the Western Front is a novel dealing with the tragedy of war and the extermination of an entire generation of men for those that may have escaped its shells were destroyed by the war The book is peppered with examples of the Lost Generation as well as images of mans inhumanity to man Remarque states simply that this is not a book that exemplifies war by encompassing a love story nor by turning it into an adventure for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it Through the character of Paul Baumer Remarque illustrates these recurring themes and the effects of the war on the Lost Generation In times of war average citizens are taught to kill anything that does not carry the same flag as they do Soldiers will kill men exactly like them for no other reason than they are from a different country Paul displays this characteristic in the Gerald Duval incident I do not think at all I make no decision--I strike madly at home and feel only how the body suddenly convulses then becomes limp and collapses 263 Paul does not understand what he is doing it is just his primordial instinct to KILL KILL KILL However this is not how Paul used to be and so Paul points a finger at Kantorek and all like him He says For us lads of eighteen they ought to have been mediators and guides to the world of maturity the world of work of duty of culture of progress--to the futurein our hearts we trusted them The idea of authority which they represented was associated in our minds with a greater insight and a more humane wisdom But the first death we saw shattered this belief We had to recognize that our generation was more to be trusted than theirsThe first bombardment showed us
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