Comparing All Quiet On The Western Front, The Wars, and A Farewell To Arms

All Quiet On The Western Front, The Wars, and A Farewell To Arms

Any and all events in one’s life may change a person profoundly, but the effect may not always be as expected. For instance, situations of despair may cause feelings of depression and uncertainty to develop in an individual, as would likely be expected. However, those same situations could ultimately lead to a sense of fulfilment or enlightenment. In the novels All Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Remarque, The Wars by Timothy Findley, and A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemmingway, the varying possibilities of the effects of war on an individual are clearly displayed. In All Quiet On The Western Front, Paul Baumer finds the war has changed not only the way he views himself in the present, but also the way he views his past and his future. In The Wars, Robert Ross finds himself on a path of uncertainty, questioning the apparent loss of humanity in the world around him. Yet he ultimately uses the war as a medium through which the true essence of his character is able to shine. Finally, in the American classic A Farewell To Arms, Lieutenant Henry recognises that he is losing himself in the war and attempts to find an escape through love. As a result of the horrors and tragedies surrounding them, the characters in these three novels question their sense of self in light of their experiences in the war.

 In Remarque’s All Quiet On The Western Front, Paul Baumer encounters many inner struggles. Through examining the changes occurring within himself, he finds he can no longer relate to his own past. His present thoughts and feelings are quite reclusive in nature and as he looks ahead, he finds himself fearing how the repercussions of the war will affect him in th…

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…not only something as drastic as a war that may cause one to re-examine his outlook on himself and his life. There are many events in life that will prompt one to question his sense of self. The result may be a personal revelation, or the opposite. In any case, it is through these events that a man is shaped and discovered. These changes are evident not only through the world that created the man, but also through the man who experiences the world.

Works Cited and Consulted

Dos Passos, John. “The Best Written Book.” Critical Essays on Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. New York: G.K. Hall & Co., 1994. 89-90.

Findley, Timothy. The Wars. Penguin Books, Toronto: 1996.

Hemingway, Ernest. A Farewell To Arms. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1986.

Remarque, Erich Maria. All Quiet on the Western Front. New York: Ballantine, (1928)1958.

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