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All Quiet on the Western Front

Describe at least one important technique used in the text. Explain how the technique created an emotional response in you

“All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque includes the use of important symbols to educate the reader about the horrors of war. The most important of which is a pair of boots. Remarque uses these symbols throughout the book because they help to teach the reader about the horrors of WW1. These symbols also help the reader connect to the text on a more emotional and personal level and understand the theme of the novel.

“All Quiet on the Western Front” is a book about a group of young school boys who are persuaded to join the army by their schoolmaster Kantorek. AQWF is about their experiences throughout WW1 through the eyes of the main character Paul Baumer.

The most important symbol during the normal is Franz Kemmerich’s boots ( Kemmerich is the main character Paul Baumer’s best friend). We are initially introduced to the boots during Chapter One with Kemmerich himself on his deathbed. His friend Muller (a friend of Paul and Kemmerich) sees his boots and asks if he can have them.
Muller seems to be more concerned with Kemmerich’s boots rather than the life of his friend. This is because Muller has been desensitized by the horrors of war, Kemmerich’s death will probably be very insignificant to him. The boots are symbolic of the horrors of and wastefulness of war. This helps the reader connect with the characters’ thoughts more deeply.

Throughout the novel Kemmerich’s boots are used by multiple characters. As one dies, his friend takes the boots. An example of this is when Muller is shot, he gives the boots onto the next person. This is because Kemmerich’s boots are made of a softer leather than the other boots so they are highly sought after.
Throughout the novel the boots make their way through many characters as their previous owners die and pass them on. As if whoever wears the boots is killed shortly after. Remarque uses this to symbolise death and how it catches up with everyone eventually. The way that the boots move throughout the list of characters helps the reader understand how important to the story that the boots really are.

Along with the symbol of Kemmerich’s boots, Remarque also uses another important symbol in the novel. This is a poster of a girl that Paul (The story’s main character, told in his perspective) and his comrades are admiring. The poster is of a beautiful woman standing by a long sandy beach. This poster is used to symbolize normal life and peace (life before the war). This is because when the soldiers see the poster they think back to before the war, with its normality and peace, only now war has become their normal life. Remarque uses this as a way to show the characters thoughts and feelings and to help the reader understand what is going through the characters heads.

Erich Maria Remarque makes use of important objects throughout the novel by making them symbolic. Some are symbolic of death, horror, and the cheapness of human life. Others are symbolic of peace, normality, and life before the war. All of which are important to “All Quiet on the Western Front’’ because they help the reader to understand the novel’s main theme, the horrors of war.

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Some good understanding of these symbols here. A few small tweaks will help you really improve this essay.

You need to be a lot more explicit about the explain part of the question, which was “how it created an emotional response in you” - the trick with these kind of questions, is that you need to actually be quite specific with what the emotional response is. “This helps the reader connect with the characters’ thoughts more deeply” or “this helps the reader understand what is going through the characters heads” is not really an emotional response - but you could talk, for example about how it creates (in YOU, not in the character) empathy, sympathy, sadness, shock, surprise, sadness, joy, etc. This should be woven into every paragraph. The author likely wants us to feel a certain emotion, to better get across an important idea/help achieve their purpose.

Additionally - this would be benefited by a lot more specific evidence - you explain the symbols well but a marker will want to see some quotes that reference these symbols - SPECIFIC evidence is really important which for a written text, really means including quotes.

Lastly you might think a little more about WHAT the wider ideas are here - for example where you say about the wastefulness of war - EG what about it? Are we being warned? why? Try to dig into this a little more.