Sunday, November 4, 2018

All Quiet on the Western Front

I feel that it's very fitting that this book is often lauded as the greatest war novel of all time. To me it also read as the greatest anti-war novel (besides Slaughterhouse Five) because after reading this dark, chilling, DEPRESSING account of what it's like going to war, why on earth would you ever want to enlist?? One very interesting thing I noticed while reading this, is that patriotism or fighting for your country never came up. At all. They weren't protecting the fatherland, they joined because it was expected of them, they didn't have any deep desire to show off their patriotism. All Quiet on the Western Front showcases several young German men on the front lines during World War I. They're fighting in the trenches, enjoying the little things in life (food, companionship, and cigarettes) and wondering where on earth their youth went. Two years of seeing the unimaginable, suffering every malady, and losing friend after friend has them questioning everything from why they are there to what they plan on doing if they are lucky enough to survive the war. A fast paced read that everyone should read.

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