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All Quiet on the Western Front Book Review Assignment (Book Review Sample)


All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front
Gertrude Stein referred to the young generation who went to the War as the lost generation and she was absolutely correct in describing the generation of people who was on the war. As a matter of fact, the lost generation refers not to only the dead people who were left at the front. There were still people who came back; however, they could not adapt to the normal life, peaceful life, as their mentality was shaped under the influence of war, violence, and the deaths of their friends or relatives. In other words, it was a very traumatic type of experience that radically changed the worldview of this young generation who became lost in the normal life. Gertrude Stein was right because she could feel and understand the changes in the society that were made by the presence of the lost generation who became absolutely lost in the normal correlation between the members of society and the peaceful life. The same terms could be applied to Paul and his friends. They are the lost generation; however, in the novel they are shaped into this lost generation and it is difficult for them to combine the mentality of peaceful home and the violent front (Battersby). They feel that something is wrong with them not only at a physical level but also at a mental level. They could not control the changes, they also do not notice these changes unless it is too late; however, they feel these changes. Hence, it is reasonable to say that there are a lot of the issues and a lot of tragedy in the idea of being a part of the lost generation.
Stein meant that the lost generation could not adapt to the normal life after the war because of their mental and physical challenges. For sure, for a person who has a trauma or a missing limb it is still difficult to adapt to a normal life. At that time, it was almost impossible, as the healthcare services were not at the modern level at all. Therefore, the functionality of people and their labor potential was heavily dependent on the body of the individuals. However, after the WWI, there were lots of people with disabilities, lots of young people with injuries and severe traumas who could not fit in the healthy society. For instance, a lot of the people could not find work that could be relevant to them and that could use them as the valuable human resource. Paul sees how many people die on the front and what medical treatment these people also receive. For example, the incident with Albert, when his leg is amputated. At that time, it was quite difficult for the person with missing leg to have a normal life, even though he is a war veteran (Battersby). In addition, it is reasonable to say that there were also issues of having prosthesis, recovery procedures, etc. When people were more or less stable they were sent back home. The healthcare system was not advanced and did not care about the aftermath of the procedures. At the same time, Stein also referred to the mental side of the war and how it damages the worldview and destroys because of the challenges other issues.
Several generations of people took part in the WWI, not only the youngest one who was 17-18 years at that time, but also adults. However, these adults were not considered to be the lost generation. Only young people. This was connected due to the influence of the war on the younger generations (Ward). As a matter of fact, Paul and his friends do not see anything in their lives apart from the war. For sure, in some cases war provides some good memories and opportunities to have a great experience. However, the majority of the issues and troubles provoked by the war are atrocious and dangerous for Paul and his friends. Paul and his friends have their own dreams before they are taken on the front. They want to receive education, they want to work, they want to be with their beloved ones, they have dreams. While being trained and recruited they do not understand how exactly the war could change them, it is something ephemeral for them, something distant. The camp trains them how to use weapons and how to avoid being killed; however, it does not prepare them for the psychological aspects of war. They do not understand the war until they are on the front and see the death for the first time in their lives (Ward). The lost generation does not have any life experience or any education that could help them to cope with the losses of their friends and relatives in order to overcome the atrocities of the war and come back at home. In fact, their mentality is lost on the war. Thus, it is almost impossible for them to adapt to peaceful life.
In fact, Paul and his friends do not know anything about the life. They were only at school and they do not know anything, they do not have any experience of doing anything. Therefore, there are a lot of new revelations on the front. For example, Paul had not been with a girl before the war. The characters are children in fact. Even though they are physically adults, still their worldview is limited and they see world as a bright place, where there is not anything evil or bad (Ward). The war changes their perspectives and there are severe consequences on the front. What is more important is the fact that they try to discover the world and they have natural curiosity; however, they are unprepared for the war and for the mental challenges it possesses for the characters (Dellert). In addition, the characters could not rest from the atrocities of war. Paul gradually becomes careless and he does not even consider the deaths of his friends anymore at all. This carelessness is a result of mental breakdown. The brain tries to protect itself from even more mental traumas. However, it is also possi...
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