Cost of Human Life in War

What is the chance you will remain the same after going through something drastic? In the novel, All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque, Remarque argues how war is actually colored in romantic colors. When in reality it not like that at all. soldiers discover and experience the hardway what it's actually like to be in army during war. In All Quiet on the Western Front Paul will never be the same after the brutallity of the war completely stripps away all of his humanity.

In additon he also learns about the progress of war. In the beginning, Before war Paul was inoccet and kind young man who loved writing poetry. Paul however would never remained the same after. In the future like many soldiers fighting in war Paul would be unable to mourn for his dead comarades, unable to express his emotions, unable to feel at home among his family, or even think about a future without war.

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In fact there was a time where Paul stated, “There lies a gulf between that time and today. At that time I still knew nothing about the war, we had been only in quiet sectors. But now I see that I have been crushed without knowing it. I find I do not belong here anymore, it is a foreign world” (Remarque 79). Inexperienced and clueless Paul and his former peers confronted war face to face with only the painted picture that other people gave them. Now that Paul has dicovered that he had been destroyed by war, he feels that he belongs no longer to his old life.

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He is a stanger to this place he once used to call home. From deep down in the abyss Paul has regreted going on leave and coming back to this Secondary, War opened Pauls eyes to a different point of view. For example, while in the army Paul speaks about and quotes, “While they continued to write and talk, we saw the wounded and dying. While they taught that duty to one's country is the greatest thing, we already knew that death-throes are stronger”(Remarque 7). This reveals the cruel truth about war and the thoousands of people who encourage that have no actually experience with it. Teachers and politics talk and atalk about how one should be proud and serve ones country, but truth be told all any soldier saw was death itself. Paul view of this was somewhat of a betrayal, of malipulation which is why he was let down so badly by the older adn supose to be wiser generation.

Futhermore, war brings out something savagly and famishing of blood and survival that can be uncontrolable. In war Paul experiences and explains many of this unhuman like actions. To illustrate this Paul states, “But we are swept forward again, powerless, madly savage and raging; we will kill, for they are still our mortal enemies; their rifles and bombs are aimed against us, and if we don't destroy them, they will destroy us”. (Remarque 55). Out in the battle field it is ethier kill or be killed. A solider will do anything to survive and will not hastiate to kill anyone and Paul himselfs knows things ecause deep down in his heart it is his natural out here in the wild (war) you must adapt or you will not survive. War has also lost Paul’s sense of human compassion for he has long gone seen to many things a young man should have never seen. When visiting kimmerich’s mother Paul is annoyed by the mothers grief, he states,“When a man has seen so many dead he cannot understand any longer why there should be so much anguish over a single individual”(Remarque 85).

This shows Pauls dullness of emotion. He had witness so much death and sorrow as a young man in war his tears have dried out. Paul had gotten use to the way of war and therefore questions as to why should one shed tears for one single person when so many are dying everyday. He does not understad why one should cry for someones death, he feels that one should not stress over such a thing because what is done is done. Kimmerich is dead and won’t come back. In addition, Paul becomes unhuman in order to keep on living. After all Paul himself says while in the battle field, “All other expressions lie in a winter sleep, life is simply one continual watch against the menace of death; – it has transformed us into unthinking animals in order to give us the weapon of instinct – it has reinforced us with dullness, so that we do not go to pieces before the horror, which would overwhelm us if we had clear, conscious thought”(Remarque 130).

Paul’s animal instict is one of that of survival. In order to persevrve his sanity and survive the horrors of war Paul’s humanity is kept closed and his unhuman survival instint is turned on. One of the many dramatic effects of war is the loss of consideration towards others. In fact Paul’s friend is one of the many victims. Paul states,“Though Müller would be delighted to have Kemmerich's boots, he is really quite as sympathetic as another who could not bear to think of such a thing for grief. He merely sees things clearly…We have lost all sense of other considerations, because they are artificial. Only the facts are real and important for us. And good boots are scarce” (Remarque 11).

This demonstrates the cheapness of human life in the war. A good pair of boots are much more valuable than a human life. In war human emotions are covered over with artificialness. Not only are emotions covered but thier are inferior to facts themselves. All ever someone knows about war is what other people tell them about it. But can you say they are credible? One should not underestimate war. For war itself can change anything or anyone. Unfortuntely Paul was unable to seen this sooner and was completly stripped any of his left over humanity. His arms and legs were torn out along with his heart, toss worthlessly by war, war he felt he could not think without, war he called home. war that would leave him of nothing but emptyness. The war that had swallowed and kill all Paul’s loved comrades. Its no wonder Paul had changed. War had ripped Paul to pieces way long before it had killed him.

Updated: Nov 01, 2022
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Cost of Human Life in War. (2021, Dec 02). Retrieved from

Cost of Human Life in War essay
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