All quiet on the western front

Remarque’s novel supports, in many ways, William Tecumseh Sherman’s famous quote that “war is hell.”  In what ways does the novel manage to reflect this view?  How is the new technology of war – machine guns, gas, tanks, heavy shells – contributing to this hellish experience?  In what ways does war strip the soldiers of their humanity?  How, despite this, do they still manage to see the humanity in their supposed enemies?  There are many scenes to consider in respect to this, but one scene that could potentially serve as a compelling contrast is Paul’s scene in the trench with the dead French soldier.  Another scene worth considering is Kantorek’s letter and the soldiers’ reaction to it.

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