Remarque, being a veteran German of the World War 1, could depict the physical and psychological duress, the government soldiers had to tolerate. He narrates the mental tug of war the soldiers had to bear on being detached from civic life comprising of family and friends. This mental war was allying with the field fight. Remarque in his book does not articulate heroism, but he gives a vivid description of the mental agitation the soldier goes through . having once sailed in the same ship, Remarque could feel the monotony and constant fight for life.
This story relates to the kind of trauma and loneliness, the foot soldiers went through. The war had snatched their peace of mind there by causing a situation of alert all the while around them. There was an air of struggle flowing throughout, struggle for piece, struggle for victory, struggle for food and struggle for existence. Remarque remarks, the life of soldiers are always at a jolt and yet they appear old and dead being thoroughly, emotionally drained. The soldiers are here merely escaping from their own self. At this jovial age, the world of love that they had once created is brutally shattered to pieces by their own hands.
The author depicts a poignant description by narrating the awe and feeling of being abandoned makes the mental state of the foot soldiers all the more morose. The protagonist of the story, Paul Baumer who was moved by his mentor, joined the German army and entangled himself into an unsigned bond of serving the country at the price of leaving behind the personal life which had just started showing the colors of youth brimming with high spirits. He had also left behind his ailing mother. But now avenues of repentance are lost. Many others like Paul had been a false prey to the futile war.
This amusing anecdote throws light on the life in the trenches of the German camp. The outcome of the war brought nothing but destruction, death and needless waste of mankind. The youth directly, though bravely, encountered brutality, soiled dead bodies and evident death which might be their awaiting future. The story highlights the psychological insight resulting out of the pathetic incidences in the trenches. Though being part of the war, the protagonist and his co-mates realized the futility of the war which had brought with it a needless waste of human life in form of mass death.
The trenches had a miserable and pitiable sight. The priceless human life turned valueless. Even a stone heart would surely melt at such a terrible death game. The very sight traumatizes people, but the soldiers were facing them boldly. Though trained to be tough, the soldiers break down at the loss and sufferings of the fellow beings. The cooks of the army cooks for hundred soldiers but ends up in serving eighty of them. They often show their frustration by declaring not to serve unless all hundred are present.
But they realize the fact that this figure would always be a diminishing trend and complains fatality to none other than fate. The author depicts the character of Tjadesa as a carefree, apathetic person grinning over the cook’s reaction. Though it seemed that there were no trace of repercussions on Tjadesa, but it was his unnatural behavior which depicted his concern and fear. He showed joyous expressions despite the losing his comates for ever, this were out of gratitude of still being alive. Though tjedas’s behavior seemed weird, but his discrete way of accepting the inevitable losses.
The ideas ejaculating out of the soldiers mind were often weird, like they felt the war should have been fought by the leaders within a ring rather than such merciless slaughtering and cruel blood shed. The futility of war has given rise to restraint traits of human like selfishness, jealousy, envy, violence and being opportunist. Eventually the brutal results of the war some how dries up the sense of morality, dignity, empathy and many such emotions in the soldiers and life becomes like an unfertile land yielding nothing grow more unfertile for days to come.
Similarly wars too yield nothing but destruction, emptiness and ruined humanity. The war may end in victory but the society is held back by the rudderless youth detached from social and moral life and lives with frustrations of shattered dreams. The rumbustious youth turns into old folk. The author relates the feelings of Paula’s, “Youth! We are none of us more than twenty years old. But young? Youth? That is long ago. We are old folk. ”
BIBLIOGRAPHY: – Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front. – Wikipedia- All Quiet on the Western Front. – www. docshare. com.