All Quiet on the Western Front

This study guide will help you analyze the novel All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. You can also find a summary of the events, detailed characterizations, as well as inspiration for interpreting the novel and putting it into perspective.

Title: All Quiet on the Western Front (1928)

Author: Erich Maria Remarque

Genre: Novel

Erich Maria Remarque (1898-1970) was a German novelist. He briefly served in the First World War before being wounded and sent home. Remarque has written several novels criticizing war and the consequences it brings, such as Station at the Horizon or Arch of Triumph. He was forced to flee to America during the Nazi regime, as his most famous novel, All Quiet on the Western Front was considered unacceptable due to its anti-war sentiments.

The novel All Quiet on the Western Front tells the story of a young soldier's experiences in the First World War. The readers witness how the soldier and his friends become more and more disillusioned with the fighting and start considering the war pointless. The novel tackles important themes such as the brutality of war, fear and disillusionment, and friendship.


Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide:

We can refer to some stages of Bäumer's life as high and low points of the novel. For example, we can consider the death of his comrade Kemmerich (Chapter 2, 50%-100%) as the first low point for the main character and his comrades. They slowly realize what it really means to have gone to war. Paul's trip home is supposed to be a climax in the plot. However, the visit to his family and the leap back to his childhood soon become negative. Kat's death is also one of the low points (Chapter 11, 94%). This again makes Paul aware of how short life is. From now on, he is on his own. 

The ending presents Paul’s death without giving too many details, highlighting that it is only one death among many. The last lines of the novel which repeat the title, All Quiet on the Western Front, become ironic if we see them in the context of Paul’s death. It is strange to report a situation as “quiet” when people are fighting and dying. The irony is even...

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All Quiet on the Western Front

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