Describe a key moment that shocked or surprised you in the written text.
Explain how this moment was important to the text as a whole.
Erich Maria Remarque’s anti war book, ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’, set in WW1, follows the story of a young German soldier Paul Baumer. Throughout the novel Paul experiences some traumatising things that change the way Paul views the world. Remarque does this because he wants to show the reader what war was really like.
One key moment in the Novel is when Paul went home on leave. Paul feels isolated at home. His old room, books, drawings and clothes seem to belong to someone else. Paul has changed because of the war.Paul is now unable to communicate his feelings and his experiences to his family because has had to use his animal instincts for so long that he no longer feels emotions. Paul is now a part of the lost generation, He has no life experience apart from school and killing and can no longer see what his life will be like after the war has ended.Remarque does this because he wants to show the effect the war had on the soldiers.
Another key moment in the text is when Paul kills Gerrard Duval. This is the first person that Paul has killed face to face. Paul feels instant regret because he realises that Gerard Duval is just an ordinary man with a family and job, the only difference they have is the uniforms they wear. Remarque does this because he wants to highlight how horrific and pointless the great war was.
The last important moment in the text is when Paul dies. 1 month before the war ended Paul was shot in the head with a sniper while drawing a picture of a bird. Paul’s death was very anticlimactic and to emphasize that the war has already killed him. Paul dies alone in the trenches because all his friends had already died by the war. Paul died peacefully and was almost relieved that the war had come to an end for him. This links back to the theme of the horror of war.
Erich Maria Remarque’s novel all Quiet on the Western Front tells the story of an 18 year old German soldier who has no life experience apart from school and killing. Remarque does this to highlight the main theme of the novel, the horror of war.