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Word Count: 2,300
Erich Maria Remarques All Quiet on the Western Front a novel set in World War I based around the changes formed by the war on one young German soldier During his time in the war the main character Paul Baumer changes from an innocent boy to a hardened veteran More importantly during the course of this change Baumer outcasts himself from those societal influences that has been the base of his life before the war This rejection comes as a result of Baumers realization that the pre-enlistment society does not understand the reality of the Great War His new society and fellow soldiers then becomes his foundation because that is a group which understands the truth as Baumer has experienced it Remarque demonstrates Baumers withdraw from his traditional life by stressing the language of Baumers past and present societies Baumer either can not or chooses not to communicate truthfully with those representatives of his innocent and former days Further he is shocked by the dull and meaningless language that is used by members of his past society As he becomes estranged from his former traditional society Baumer is able to communicate effectively only with his military partners Since the novel is told from the first person point of view the reader can see how the words Baumer speaks are disagreeing with his true feelings In his preface to the novel Remarque maintains that a generation of men were destroyed by the war Remarque All Quiet Preface Indeed in All Quiet on the Western Front the meaning of language itself is destroyed Early in the novel Baumer notes how his elders had been easy with words prior to his enlistment Specifically teachers and parents had used words to persuade him and other young men to enlist in the war effort After relating the tale of a teacher who exhorted his students to enlist Baumer states that teachers
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