AQOTWF essay feedback plssssss

Describe an important setting in the text. Explain how the setting helped you understand one or more key ideas.

“All quiet on the western front” is an astonishing novel written by Eric Maria Remarque. The novel follows a young boy called Paul Balmer as he navigates his life during the first world war. The novel discusses the horrors of war and the lost generation that followed these events. Paul is a member of this generation and throughout the book, we read as his life slowly becomes something dreadful. The use of setting helps with these key elements of the novel and creates a better understanding for those who read it. One most notable is Paul’s room once he returns home on leave from the front lines. This part of the book explains the true horror of war and what it creates for once young and innocent boys.

Remarque was a German soldier during the first world war and was able to witness the true nature of war firsthand. He decided to write about his own experiences through a fictional story. The book was first written in German and explained to those who read it that war is not what politicians say it is and is instead a horrendous place. This message caused outrage throughout Germany, especially during the Nazi reign in the 1940s. Remarque’s book was burnt for its message and Remarque soon fled the country in an attempt to save his life. Despite major efforts to demolish his message, Remarques’ book has become a classic that has told the story of real war that has continued to be read by many to this day.

In the scene in the book when Paul returns home and is greeted by his old room that is filled with possession that he once cherished he is filled with emotion. He comes into the room and discovers his old, innocent life through the items in his room like books, drawings, and other various memorabilia. This display brings Paul into a flood of emotions since he is faced with a life that he misses and he cannot return to. This is because the war has taken his innocence away and he can no longer see the world the same due to the horrific things he has faced and seen like death. This scene shows the readers the effects that the horror of war had on people and why this generation is called the “lost generation”. These key points are what gives this novel its interesting and educating themes because we as readers watch these events unfold and we know that it is due to the war.

As this part of the book unfolds, Paul goes through the five stages of grief. These stages are key to showing the true damage that has been done to Paul. He firstly denies his internal claim that he has become an emotionless and scared man, He soon becomes angry and mad at his choices and wonders why he even decided to join the army. Soon after he tries to read one of his books in an attempt to try and get that same once-heavy passion for reading back that he once cherished. Once he realises that he can no longer enjoy something simple like a book, he becomes upset and starts to cry. He then comes to accept the fact that he has changed. Watching these stages take place shows the reader the idea that Paul’s troubles are real and represent a big issue that many soldiers felt during the first world war. This creates a better understanding for readers and the message is portrayed better.

Once he has concluded that he is majorly different, Paul begins to understand that his new home is the war, he belongs in the trenches and his only true family is his fellow soldiers. This is because they share experiences and only understand each other’s thoughts and emotions. Paul also realises that he can no longer connect with his own family. He can’t tell them about the horrors of war and what he has seen on the front lines. This means that he keeps his thoughts inside of him and he can’t express his emotions to people whom he is supposed to tell. This gives us the impression that he can’t express himself and his feelings and this begins to eat him up. He doesn’t want his family to be given this burden of guilt that he would place in their heads if he were to tell them. This shows that war makes men see things that they cannot even share with people in the outside world, furthermore showing the theme of the horror of war.

In conclusion, Remarque uses the setting of Paul’s room and hometown to furthermore express the themes that this book heavily relies on to carry out the idea that war is a terrible place. The use of this set shows the horror of war and the effects on soldiers which also shows the reader the idea of the lost generation. These themes can be understood even to this day and age. Another similar event that also tells us about the troubles of war is a poem by Wilfred Owen called “war and the pity of war”. This war poem tells its readers a similar idea that Remarque was expressing by telling its audience about war through a soldier’s perspective. Even with books and poems that inform the world about the truth behind wars, there are still wars to this day. For instance, the war in Ukraine is still taking place and wreaking havoc on civilians’ lives. Yet now that a majority of the world has read stories and poems like “all quiet on the western front” they can understand the horror of war and what it truly entails.

Kia ora
I watched the new film version of this last night on Netflix - pretty gruesome.
The intro sets up the two parts of the question and establishes the overall purpose of the author.
You establish the setting well, relating it to the purpose - Try and be specific in the explanations. You say “This creates a better understanding for readers and the message is portrayed better.” How about trying to go a little deeper… He is clearly showing the evidence of PTSD and it is going to have a profound impact on his life from here on - he has lost the innocence of youth and is forced to acknowledge the way he was deluded when he joined up to fight. The reader is left with a graphic depiction of the hopelessness and overwhelming effect of the war on young men.
A sound essay.
Hope this helps.
JD :grinning: