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All's Not Quiet on the Western Front

AQWF Dialectical Journal
Character to Character letter
AQWF Dialectical Journal
Rats Poem
Kat's Open Mind
Venn Diagram
Movie Poster



Quotation/ Theme






 “Strange to say, Behm was one of the first to fall.  He got hit in the eye during an attack, and we left him lying for dead. We couldn’t bring him with us because we had to come back helter-skelter.  In the afternoon suddenly we heard him call, and saw him crawling about in No Man’s Land.  He had only been knocked unconscious.  Because he could not see, and was mad with pain, he failed to keep under cover, and so was shot down before anyone could go and fetch him in.” -Brutality of War






 "Take a simple case; we are marching back from the parade-ground dog-tired.  Then comes the order to sing. We sing spiritlessly for its all we can do to trudge along with our riffles.  At once the company is turned about and has to do another hour’s drill as punishment.  On the march back the order to sing is given again.”- Brutality of war

















“Tjaden unbuttoned Himmelstoss’s braces and pulled down his trousers, holding the whip meantime in his teeth. Then he stood up and set to work it was a wonderful picture: Himmelsstoss on the ground; Haie bending over him with a fiendish grin and his mouth open with bloodlust, Himmelstoss’s head on his knees; then the convulsed strip drawers, the knock knees, executing at every blow most original moments in the lowered breeches, and towering over them like a wood cutter the indefatigable Tjaden.  In the end we had to drag him away to get our turn.”    












“There was indeed one of us who hesitated and did not want to fall in line…But he did allow himself to be persuaded, otherwise he would have been ostracized. And perhaps more of us thought as he did, but no one could very well stand out, because at that time even one’s parents were ready with the word ‘’coward’…The wisest were the just the poor and simple people.  They knew the war to be a misfortune ,whereas those who were better off should have been able to see more clearly what the consequences would be, were beside themselves with joy”-Nationalism












“We march up, moody or good-tempered soldiers-we reach the zone where the front begins and become on the instant human animals.”  -Animalism






































“I breathe deeply and over to myself:--‘You are at home, you are at home.’ But a sense of strangeness will not leave me, I cannot feel at home amongst these things.  There is my mother, there is my sister, there my case of butterflies, and there the mahogany piano—but I am not myself there. There is a distance, a veil between us.” –The young soldiers alienation  






























 “We sit opposite one another, Kat and I, two soldiers in shabby coats…We don’t talk much, but I believe we have a more complete communion with one another than even lovers have.” –Unity among soldiers
























“Wearily I stand up and look out the window. Then I take one of the books, intending to read it, and turn over the leaves. But I put it away and take out another.  Already they are piled up beside me…I stand there dumb. As before a judge.  Dejected.  Words, Words, Words—they do not reach me.  Slowly I place the books back in the shelves.  Nevermore.  Quietly, I go out of the room.”—Words, Words, Words







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Pg. 173

Why is this quotation interesting or important to understanding theme?



This quotation shows just how hard life in the trenches or just simply at war was. It kind of places you at the scene and how it was to live in the battle field. What this quote does is demonstrate the reality of war and how it has affected the boys. Meaning that before the war if either one of them saw that their friend was in need then they would have gone to his rescue no questions asked however now that they have hardened and no longer have any feelings they are cruel and shameless of leaving a comrade behind. This quote also makes one emotionally aware of the gravity of it all and how saddening it is to know that a friends life was lost and he could have been saved if only someone still had a conscience.


This quote is the perfect example of brutality of war and shows how the soldiers are treated by their own commanding officer’s. Also it shows how unnecessary many of the tiring chores or orders they had to follow. Besides showing officer’s brutal actions toward the soldiers it also gives one a little glimpse of the living style of soldiers, meaning it gives the reader a better understanding of why most soldiers broke down even before they entered the battle field.  With this quote one can see how even becoming a soldier was brutal enough.  In conclusion brutality of war was not only present on the battle field but in other places as well like their own home land.




This is a different perspective on the brutality of war.  This time the brutality of war is affecting not the soldier’s, but the commanders. Although it was not so likely, brutality did pertain to everyone. In this quote it shows just that. It shows how war changes a person, from a decent human being to an almost savage brute.  As the quote shows these men had no remorse for what they were doing to another human being, and although he may seem to have disserved it, if they were how they were before the war then they might not have been so brutal.  However, they would also not be prompted to do so if they didn’t have to go through the brutal training and maybe Himmelstoss would not have to be such a rough commander, and would not be commanding these men.





This is an example of nationalism because it shows how everyone not just the government glorified the war and did not really see how the war was a horrible thing, killing many. Here it shows that the parents are the ones who persuaded the children into joining the war, by teaching them that they should fight for the cause at any cause and they instilled it in their children the glory the war brought to one. This quote also shows the reader how the younger generation understands war now that they have experienced it and how the older folks who are out gallivanting are the ones who force the younger generation to go fight for a cause the younger ones no longer feel strongly for.  They were basically pushed into it with the fear of being hated







This quote does not give an example of animalism however it does sate that they did in fact run into animals once they were out in the field. This quote shows that the men would at first be normal, or as close to it as possible, in their time of rest, however once they reached the front they would go back to the primitive way of surviving. Which means they turn into humans that rely on instincts, like animals, rather than ones head or conscience, like any human would. This quote also  expresses how they transformed from being human to instant human animal.  It does so, when it states that at first before they reach the front they are feeling human emotions i.e. good-tempers and moody, which is what separates humans from animals.  However in the next line it states that once they near the front they don’t just become experienced veteran soldiers whom are intelligent and know the way of the war grounds, but have become in an instant human animals, where emotions are no longer an obstacle.   





This is the ideal quote for the theme of the young soldier’s alienation because it has the exact words that show how alienated Paul is. This is when he explains how he feels distant or separated from his own family. I also like this quote do to the fact that it does not only show that Paul feels distant but is also trying to feel comfortable in his own home but it is virtually impossible because he feels they don’t know how it truly is to be at the Front. Paul also gives a great analogy as well, this is when he states that there seems to be a veil between them, almost as if he were looking at them as if he were watching some play but that he was no longer part of. This quote shows how hard it was for the soldiers all around, that is not only in the field but even after the whole ordeal. Also how no matter what happens whether they win or not they will always be different than the rest and nothing will ever really be the same as before.  




  This is an exact example of the unity these soldiers have with one another because it is being described by one of the soldiers themselves and is being shown truthfully. It is not overly dramatized or just some verse in a book where there is no heart. In this quote what is shown is the deep relationship Kat and Paul have; one that is irreversible and unreachable by any outsiders.  What they have is complete and utter devotion to one another, something that is very hard to find anywhere.  This quote also shows how through having to live a life that has no meaning but death, one could still find it in their heart to care for someone and feel close to at person or persons.







This is a great example of words, words, words because they even have the exact words. Also they explain how Paul is feeling in the world he once called home but how now it is not the same and even seems to be some unknown world that he does not belong in.  what he states when he says words don’t reach him means that he can’t find words to describe what it is that is happening; that the feeling he is experiencing is not something that can be put in words.  In fact he can’t even think of the words himself; it’s that foreign to him.  However he does know that what he cannot put into words is something that he can feel; a feeling of ‘the end’.

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