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Discuss the effect World War1 had on masculinity, as represented in All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque Essay Example

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Discuss the effect World War1 had on masculinity, as represented in All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

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When soldiers tried to reintegrate back into the society, they faced challenges due to the trauma caused by war. At one point, we see Paul carry his friend to a medical tent but he dies a few moments before their arrival. The book explains an atmosphere of futile death lacking in cause and effect.Theirs is a struggle to exist despite their anguish and not a showcase of heroism. In the trenches of the war, there is loss of personhood as the recruits live through the slaughter of a war.2 Destroyed by the facades of war, Paul’s generation dies and rots in the battlefield.The young men have to suffer through seeing their friends blown to pieces in front of their eyes. "Just as we turn into animals when we go up to the line . so we turn into wags and loafers when we are resting. We want to live at any price; so we cannot burden ourselves with feelings which, though they may be ornamental enough in peacetime, would be out of place here. Kemmerich is dead, Haie Westhus is dying . Martens has no legs anymore, Meyer is dead, Max is dead, Beyer is dead, Hammerling is dead . it is a damnable business, but what has it to do with us now—we live."3 Paul previously wrote poems and was very passionate about his family. He finds it a challenge to connect with his family, mourn his dead, or even reintegrate back to civilian life and cannot fathom a future devoid of war. In the battlefield, Paul and his fellow soldiers are inclined to adopt an animalistic instinct to kill and survive in warfare. The soldiers eventually end up in a piteous state where they find solitude in their deaths as expressed in the death of Paul “his face had an expression of calm, as though almost glad the end had come.”4 Integrating back to the society was more traumatizing than dying in battle.The book All Quiet on the Western Front depicted new technologies such as poison gas, rapid-firing artillery, and the tank during the World War 1. The book also represents the victory of humanity’s artificial world over the natural world. Soldiers encounter constant battle on the war front that dehumanizes them. However, rather shrewdly, dehumanization isinescapable for a soldier’s survival.5 World War 1 saw the largest cohort of soldiers injured and mutilated that the world has ever seen. The outcome led to significant advantages in the mechanics of prosthetic limbs. Machines treat the soldiers only as

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References

1. Bergen, L. (2009). Before my helpless sight: Suffering, Dying and military medicine on the Western Front, 1914-1918. Farnham, Surrey, England: Ash Gate Pub.

2. Fussell, P., & Winter, J. M. (2013). The Great War and modern memory.

3. Hill, T. H. E. (2008). Voices under Berlin: A Novel of the Berlin spy tunnel. United States: The Author.

4. Hinde, R. (2008). Ending War: A recipe. Nottingham: Spokesman Pr.

5. Krimmer, E. (2010). The Representation of War in German Literature from 1800 to the Present. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

6. Mansfield, H. C. (2007). Manliness. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press.

7. Page, J. S. (2008). Peace education: Exploring ethical and philosophical foundations. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Pub.

8. Pinker, S. (2011). The better angels of our nature: Why violence has declined. London: Penguin Books.

9. Remarque, E. M.(1996). All Quiet on the Western Front. London: Vintage.

10. Spielvogel, J. J. (2011). Western civilization: A brief history. Boston: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.

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