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All Quiet on the Western Front

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"All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque, is a novel about World War II from the German soldier prospective. Narrated by Paul Baumer, the story depicts the culture of the lower ranking soldiers if the time. The Author depicts the culture through the setting and his own personal experiences.

The novel's setting was one that could be imagined as a ghost town. The soldiers go from a desolate, dismal place, to a heavy shelled war zone, then to a welcoming town. At one point in the story, they crawled through a cemetery, but a second later they were being heavily shelled and the setting changed from a quiet place to a war ravaged area. There were bodies scattered about, with coffins, blood, and gore. This greatly represents the widespread setting of the times in Germany. The culture wasn't one of happiness, but one of despair. The setting around the soldiers brought their spirits and morale down. At a time in the story they were headed off to battle when they saw fresh wooded coffins laying up against a shelter. They soon determined that these coffins were for them. This mind set is struck through the surrounding death. This mind set would be hard to bear while keeping yourself in high spirits before battle. When you have seen what could happen, it almost assure the same vile treatment to yourself.

As you can imagine, the author's personal experiences impacted the novel. Remarque himself was a soldier who fought in World War II. He had experienced some of these terrors and joys of the Army. Paul Baumer serves as the mouthpiece for Remarque's meditations about war.His memories of the time before the war show that he was once a very different man from the soldier who narrates the novel. Throughout the novel, Paul's inner personality is contrasted with the way the war forces him to act and feel. This greatly is affected by Remarque's personal battle with "shell shock"; battle fatigue or post-traumatic stress disorder.

The novel was greatly affected by the culture. Remarque also displayed the times through the setting and through Paul Baumer, the main character. His experiences with the war greatly impacted the events of this novel.

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