This novel recalls Stephen Crane's poem "War is Kind" and Ernest Hemingway's short story "Soldier's Home." In Crane's poem, as in Part I of All Quiet on the Western Front, the glories of war are exalted and the war propaganda abounds, but is satirized by both. Then, as in Hemingway's "Soldier's Home" in which the son returns home, Paul in Part II returns for a visit to his home and realizes that he is not the same person and he cannot relate. In Part IV, once the war is over, Paul reflects upon what it means to go home after seeing friends shot and killed:
Now is we go back we will be weary, broken, burnt out, rootless, without hope. We will not be able to find our way any more.
And men will not understand us....We will be superfluous even to ourselves, we will grow older, a few will adapt themselves, some others will merely submit, and most will be bewildered--the years will pass by, and we shall fall into ruin....
I am very quiet. Let the months and years come, they can take nothing from me, nothing more. I am so alone, so without hope that I can confront them without fear.
Erich Maria Remarque's novel is the desperate recordings of a human soul that has gone much farther into the depths of desperation that anyone should. Because of this, Remarque records the terrors and aloneness of the World War I soldier so that people will understand the horrors of war for a generation lost because of this experience.