What is the intent of the novel, All Quiet On The Western Front?What is the intent of the novel, All Quiet On The Western Front?

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thewritingteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Erich Maria Remarque, the author of All Quiet on the Western Front, claimed that his purpose of writing the book was only to chronicle the generation of World War One:

This book is to be neither an accusation not a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will simply try to tell of a generation of men who, even thought they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by war.

The book, however, serves to show war in all its brutality better than any other anti-war book, fiction or non-fiction. The graphic descriptions of the ugly details come from Remarque's own service, and his detestation of war comes from the way the war changed his life forever. In the biography, the reader will notice that Remarque's original ambition was to be a concert pianist. War ended that dream and left him adrift for a time. He was not alone in having to reshape his future after combat, and so he chose this book as a way to explain the multitudes of deaths soldiers must face: death of comrades, death of dreams, death of innocence, and death of will.

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All Quiet on the Western Front

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