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Conflict All Quiet on the Western Front and the Movie Glory

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     In the Civil War movie “Glory” and the World War I book, “All Quiet on the Western Front”, soldiers experience great hardship from man made conflict.  One conflict is different interpretations of what is actually happening on the battlefield.     The battles were extremely violent and gruesome leaving many physically and mentally dead.   Another conflict were the soldiers not being treated equally either due to their skin color or age.    

    In “Glory” which focuses on the 54th Regiment of the Massachussett Volunteer Infantry, the all black unit was led by white officers.   They were reluctantly trained by the whites and were not considered to be an effective unit because their white superiors felt they were inferior human beings and soldiers.   Many of the black soldiers were escaped slaves or Northern freemen and were determined to prove their worth as soldiers.  In the main battle of the film the 54th Regiment fought a Confederate fort in Charleston South Carolina.  It didn’t go well with the regiment experiencing a true bloodbath.  It was a horrid and disorienting battle.   Those that survived however were looked at differently by the white officers.  They were now treated with respect.  If they were willing to die for their country and bleed red blood like the white soldiers and officers how could they not be treated with respect?   The battle serves as proof that the blacks were worthy soldiers.  So much so that the North started to heavily recruit them. The black soldiers were paid less than their white counterparts.  Later in the film however after much bloodshed and deaths of black soldiers, the white officers realized this is wrong.  They joined together in refusing their paychecks to cause a change to be made.

   In “All Quiet on the Western Front”  the young soldiers experience the horror of war.  The main character, Paul joins the army because he is persuaded by a much older teacher that  the war shows his love of Germany.  This older teacher’s perspective of war is one of glory and praise.   By the end of the book almost every major character is dead.  These young soldiers felt they were forced to fight in the war by the older generations and the men in charge. Those that survived are completely ruined on the inside.  They have seen too much devastation and gore.  They have no reason to live because they didn’t have much life experience before the war due to their age.   The conflict of different perspectives is solved by the fact that Paul realizes that war is not worth it.  When he kills the Frenchman he is consumed with guilt and realizes only uniforms separated them – they could have been brothers.  Ultimately he realizes there is no point to war other than dying.  His dying solves his conflict with the people ‘in charge’ that he feels are the only people who want war.

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