What factors/events influenced Erich Maria Remarque's writing of All Quiet on the Western Front?

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ecofan74 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The most telling influence on Erich Maria Remarque's writing of All Quiet on the Western Front (1929) is Remarque's experiences in World War I.  Like many who lived through the horrors of the First World War, Remarque developed a sense of disillusionment concerning the stated purpose of conducing warfare.  Both the Allies and the Central Powers rationalized their involvement in the war, and the soldiers in the trenches, when confronted with the realities of the war, began to understand that not only did war not solve anything, but it also tended to create far more problems than it could hope to solve.

Being wounded several times in the course of his year on the front (between 1916 and 1917), Erich Maria Remarque attempted to return to his life after the war, but the war had profoundly changed him.  Everything he once considered important now seemed pointless.  This confrontation with his past life encouraged Remarque to recount his experience in the First World War and, in doing so, to speak out against the war, not only on his behalf, but also for the other soldiers who fought in the war.  The fact that Germany entered into a severe depression following the end of the war certainly contributed a great deal to Remarque's attitude toward the war and what little the war accomplished.

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All Quiet on the Western Front

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