The book, first published in the late s, is an absolutely heartbreaking, wonderfully written novel about the permanent damage done to those who fight in wars. Few anti-war novels written since have matched Erich Maria Remarque's unsettling book, and I doubt any have surpassed it.
Behind German front lines between Langemark and Bixschoote inonly eighty of the original one hundred fifty soldiers of the Second Company remain fit for duty. Paul and his comrades have acquired a bit of battle experience, including the loss of Joseph Behm, the first of their group to die.
Franz Kemmerich, his leg amputated, faces imminent death. A letter from Kantorek calling them "Iron Youth" stirs Kropp's anger.
The soldiers, recalling Platoon 9's brutal basic training in Klosterberg, abandon their idealism as a result of the sadistic tutelage of Corporal Himmelstoss. In its place, they evolve a strong comradeship, which bolsters and protects them far better than the now useless information they learned in school.
Franz Kemmerich, Paul's friend, dies after the amputation of his leg. Kat, the shrewd, self-reliant scrounger, manages to supply his friends with beans and beef. Paul and the others, excited by news of Himmelstoss' arrival at the front, recall the night before they left the training camp, when they trapped their drill instructor in a bedspread and beat him.
Paul's unit, which includes some inexperienced recruits, lays wire at the front. As they wait for return transportation, a bombardment and poisonous gas barrage pin them in a cemetery, churning up corpses from old graves.
At dawn, a truck returns the men to their billets. Himmelstoss arrives and tries to ingratiate himself with his former drill students. The men ignore and abuse him.
Himmelstoss succeeds in having Tjaden and Kropp punished for insubordination. Kat and Paul thwart a guard dog and steal a goose, which they roast and share with the others. Second Company spends the summer near the front, fighting savagely with grenades, bayonets, and sharpened shovels. The thirty-two men who survive return to the rear in the fall to rest.
The company moves farther behind the lines than usual, where they eat, sleep, and spend time with willing French girls, whom they shower with gifts of food.
Paul returns home for a seventeen-day leave. Alienated by battle trauma, he lacks ambition and is unable to enjoy the pleasures of his youth. He despairs at his mother's weakness but enjoys the humor of Mittelstaedt tormenting Kantorek, now a member of the home guard and a poor specimen of a soldier.
Paul receives additional training at a camp on the moors, where he observes the sufferings of Russian prisoners of war, who must barter and scavenge garbage in order to stave off hunger.
He thinks of them as pathetic human beings rather than adversaries and wishes that he could know them better.In , Remarque lost his German citizenship, eventually moving to Switzerland.
Remarque went on to have a long and lauded literary career, but he never again published a book as wildly successful (or as controversial) as All Quiet on the Western Front. Im Westen nichts Neues = A l'ouest rien de novreau = All Quiet on The Western Front = In the West Nothing New, Erich Maria Remarque ( - ) All Quiet on the Western Front (German: Im Westen nichts Neues, lit.
'In the West Nothing New') is a novel by /5(K). All Quiet on the Western Front by: Erich Maria Remarque All Quiet on the Western Front is a novel by Erich Maria Remarque that was first published in Complete summary of Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front.
eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of All Quiet on the Western Front. Erich Maria Remarque became known internationally after the publication of All Quiet on the Western Front in /9.
Exiled from Nazi Germany he lived in America and Switzerland.
He died in His first novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, was published in Germany in A brilliant success, selling more than a million copies, it was the first of many literary triumphs. When the Nazis came to power, Remarque left Germany for Switzerland.4/5(28).