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Explain the attitude of this novel towards World War I and all wars. Do you agree or...

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sdawson0017 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 25, 2010 at 6:54 PM via web

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Explain the attitude of this novel towards World War I and all wars. Do you agree or disagree with the author? Why or why not? The novel is All quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 25, 2010 at 8:00 PM (Answer #1)

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Though of course it is just my opinion, but Remarque was commenting on the futility and the utterly back-breaking sadness of a war and its ability to destroy an entire generation of youth from, in this case, Europe.  Her attitude is likely that the entire operation is pointless, driven by people so far outside of the actual combat that they can make decisions with millions of young men's lives without considering them as real or in any way as affecting them.

One of the reasons why I tend to agree with Remarque's attitude is that the author was excoriated by the pro-Nazi movement in Germany and all copies of the book were burned.  It was seen as a danger to the powers that felt that war could be held up as a glorious enterprise and one that was worth undertaking for whatever gains political or economic and damn the casualties.

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