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Word Count: 1,011
In the novel All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque an overall devastating picture of war is created in the eyes of the reader through the use of a highly evocative and descriptive style Being an anti war book All Quiet on the Western Front includes many themes that emphasize the horrors of war Amongst those themes are comradeship deception and propaganda and alienation from society but the strongest theme of them all seems to be the theme of youth This theme stands out and occurs constantly throughout the novel and relates to all the other themes This theme of youth can be broken down into the themes of lost innocence ageing and lost generation Through Remarques use of young men from different backgrounds brought together in a war situation and slowly molded into the same type of despairing soldier the reader can see the terrible effect of the war on all of their young lives This method combined with horrifying imagery evokes feelings of sympathy in the reader Early in the novel Baumer- the novels narrator and main character notes how his elders had been facile with words prior to his enlistment Specifically teachers and parents had used words passionately at times 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 always carry their feelings ready in their waistcoat pockets and trot them out by the hour But we didnt think of that then p 15 This emphasizes the theme of lost innocence as Baumer and his friends now know that they were fooled by this rhetorical trickery Parents too were not averse to using words to shame their sons into enlisting as At that time even ones parents were ready with the word coward p 15 Remembering those days Baumer asserts that as a result of his war
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