All Quiet On the Western Front……
There is a irony that states that Death will protect the soldiers (sheltering under the coffin during the shelling.) It talks that the earth is their only hope of survival. The description herein says that it is only the soldier to whom the earth means a lot. It is during the shelling that the soldier tries to betray the Death by burying itself in the in the Earth and biting it with his lips in agony.
When the young soilders approach the front, they see that death is prepared for them. There is a room full of new unpolished coffins awaiting the dead. They know that it is for them and Muller remarks that it was indeed a good preparation.
Kimmerich dies a painful, agonizing death in the bed of a hospital and standing beside his is the narrator of the book, Paul. The death slowly captures him and Paul can only plead to the doctors to help him. When Paul goes home on leave it is agonizing to tell Kemmirich’s mother about his death, so he makes up a story and says that he died instantly without pain and he swears to all his sacred things. What is sacred afterall?
When Paul takes a leave from war for home he finds it much more difficult. He doesn’t want to talk about war but everyone else wants him to. His father urges him to wear the uniform as he holds the pride. But Paul is indifferent to this. His mother suffers from cancer and is in hospital. Every morning is an agony for her. It is afterall a day gone.
There is a struggle to survive, struggle to find food, struggle to keep the rats off their food, and struggle to find love. The war has left behind the pain, the fear. What is this life all about if it has to end? It has destroyed a generation. The war has taught them about the true love, pain, death and importantly comradeship.
I think a MUST READ 🙂
Dated: 9/07/2006 on Critical Views