Free Essay. Historical Relevance of All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque

Published: 2023-05-23
Free Essay. Historical Relevance of All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  World War 1 Books World literature
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 903 words
8 min read

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque gives a historical account of soldiers fighting on the front. Notably, Remarque uses multiple ideas, perceptions, and feeling about Europe following the first world war. He focuses on the concept of reunion, which had multiple consequences for the soldier who fought the war. There was a need for reconstruction after the war since Europe was totally in economic despair. Remarque mentions that the overall effects of the war caused a crippled overload of panic in Europe (Remarque, 2004). The need for the reunion was perceived by Remarque as significant and was to act as the first course of action. Ideally, one of the most historical relevance that Remarque tried to point in his novel is about individuals in power who accelerated the war not anticipating the effects it would have on soldiers and the economic status of Europe.

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Therefore, it is important for political leaders in power to consider the consequences of their action on the lives of citizen and economy of their territories. Had the consequences been foreseen, then the war would have been mitigated through negotiations. Remarque points out that, political leaders do not indulge necessarily in politics, but rather political choices that my impact negatively on vast majority of their subjects (Remarque, 2004). Therefore, political deception and abuse of power should not hold in the contemporary political climate. Notably, All Quiet Is neither a confession nor an accusation but facts since death is not an adventure to the soldiers who faced it. Remarques realistic perception and notion of the manner in which the first world war took place, is based on his characterization of Paul who he perceives as an antithesis stereotype war hero (Remarque, 2004).

Although the author notes that, All Quiet does not take stance about the war, the novel has been perceived and heralded by many including the pacifist as an antiwar book. Moreover, the book has shed more insights on multiple physical and psychological trails that the soldiers were subjected to. The authors concepts are relevant since it helps the Europe to understand and draw attention on brutal treatments of the war veterans, majority who experienced difficulty in adjusting to their normal life after the traumatic experiences. At the beginning of the 20th century, many nations were longing for the first word war not considering its aftermath effects (Remarque, 2004). The period was characterized by high rate of insecurity while multiple technical revolutions took pace. In the novel Remarques uses Paul Baumer to act as a representative of the whole generation of men, who he terms as the 'lost generation'.

Many people were killed and injured during the great war. Remarque feel that, those who perished were betrayed by their teachers and their won government. He brings out the relevance betrayal perception, he points out that, the government should lead its citizens in a better way that promotes democracy, security and overall economic development of the country. Therefore, Europe ought to learn on the importance of good political governance to avoid subsequent political decision that may lead to adverse consequences to people. Moreover, the author creates a feeling of humanity and horror that many people were succumbed to and the only redeeming theme of the novel are his every repeating ideas of beauty in face of hopelessness and comradeship in face of death (Remarque, 2004).

Remarque notes that, the war created a perception of multiple alliances in Europe. While many institutionalist and structural realistic have continued to advocate for high nature of international politics, Europe leant a lesson and place various progressive initiatives thus making nations think in a more critical perspective including approach to a more secure continent. Remarque incorporates his sentiments through the intermarriage of such theories including balance of power and security dilemma theories. Many nations were exposed, and thus more attention was shift to security concerns as anticipation for another war was eminent. Through his novel, Remarque advocates for the combination of multiple structural variables including the number of the adversely affected nations and distribution according to their capabilities with security variables such as offensive efficacy and defensive doctrines accompanied by military weaponry and related trainings. Notably, All Quiet is persuasive and sounds as a warning and reminding creation of time to Europe to be wary of how many world superpower economies exist in the continent and their military comparison to one another. War does not define economic strength and thus the need for the formation of peaceful alliances and treaties in the continent.


In conclusion, it is evident from Remarque's All Quiet that, powerful leaders will mostly misinterpret the system, and as a result adoption of alliance policies would take its course which would neither guarantee the conventional balance of power nor security concerns. To be specific, when those in power perceive the frontline aspect in a hypothetical alliance to be more significant and powerful than its immediate foes, they tend to ignore the prewar alliance. Consequently, if those in power have a notion that the frontline hypothetical ally is weaker than the immediate foe, but the defense has a military opportunity, they will form a weak prewar alliance. If, however, they perceive the frontline potential ally as relatively weak and believe military offensives are feasible, they will form a tight prewar alliance. European events following WW1 support this argument.


Remarque, E. M. (2004). All Quiet on the western front (Vol. 68). Bloomsbury Publishing USA.

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