As World War I comes into mind, millions of young men are pictured fighting for their country.Particularly, the countries of Britain, America as well as the other allies are thought of as triumphs.On the other hand, Germany was the evil enemy of the war.However, the novel All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque depicts the horror and hopelessness of Germany's Iron Youth as well as the realities of war.The novel portrays the tragic account of a young man named Paul Baumer and his friends who enlist in the German army.They begin the war as teenagers enthusiastically with a cause and the glory for war, but when they are confronted with trench warfare, the horrors of war and the annihilation of the human spirit come into effect.
Under the veryfirst bombardment in the trenches, the romantic illusions about combat disintegrate.When Paul and his friends went to the District Commandment and volunteered, they were headed by their respectful schoolmaster Kantorek whose lectures taught them that the duty to one's country is the greatest thing."The idea of authority, which they represented, was associated in our minds with a greater insight and a more humane wisdom.But thefirst death we saw shattered this belief. … Thefirst bombardment showed us our mistake, and under it the world as they had taught it to us broke in pieces (12-13)."Paul and his friends must experience the truth about war through their own eyes regardless of the stories and lectures they hear from society and Kantorek.The realities of war are immediately demonstrated from this point on. For instance, Paul describes the frightening truth about war."We see men living with their skulls blown open; we see soldiers run with their two feet cut off…we see men without mouths, jaws, without faces…(134)." Paul does not acknowledge the glories of war.