Brainerd Final All Quiet Analysis

 

 


The Comradeship of Soldiers 

 

By: Evren Khan and Caleb Fehm

Comrades are one connected entity, and in All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, the soldiers are comrades that feel no differences between each other. Paul and the other soldiers feel a “communion” between themselves, and an “Intimacy” they share that even best friends don’t have. The Front is not a place where soldiers can think only about themselves. Paul and other soldiers go on a scouting mission on The Front during the dead of night, but are spotted and shot at. Paul ducks down and loses his sense of direction in the pandemonium. Luckily, he hears the voices of his friends, and finds his way back to the trench. 

I am no longer a shuddering speck of existence, alone in the darkness;—I belong to them and they to me; we all share the same fear and the same life, we are nearer than lovers, in a simpler, a harder way; I could bury my face in them, in these voices, these words that have saved me and will stand by me. [Chapter Nine]

Paul is able to get through his suffering by embracing the presence of his comrades. He says, “I listen to them and feel comforted, reassured by their presence.” The horror the soldiers experience is distributed equally on the shoulders of each other. They have a “Fellowship” that only death can destroy. They use their connectedness to cope with all that happens around them. The front is a cooking pot of trauma that cannot be addressed. The soldiers are each other’s psychologists. A soldier's journey is not just survival, but keeping other soldiers alive. Comradeship is formed when you least expect it, not when you wish it to be.

 

 

 

The Sacrifices of Soldiers

 

By: Evren Khan, Caleb Fehm, and Eston Brainerd

Sacrifice is an honor that soldiers never get to receive. In All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, Paul sacrificed his past life for his country, his friends, and his family. Every human makes sacrifices for what they love, but the sacrifices of soldiers are the greatest. Soldiers give up what they once had to fight; they give up their later sanity; they give up their limbs; and they give up their lives. As Paul rests for a short time after fighting and watching his comrades sacrifice their lives, he thinks of all that he and all other soldiers have given to the war:

While they (the pontificating teachers and politicos) continued to write and talk, we saw the wounded and dying. While they taught that duty to one's country is the greatest thing, we already knew that death-throes are stronger

Paul and the other soldiers of the “Iron Youth” shoulder the burden of the war for their country. They sacrifice their mind and matter for what they believe in. For some, their sacrifices were in vain, for others, they gave up their own lives to save others. Paul speaks of the war as “the onslaught of nothingness," yet he fights on and sacrifices along with the other soldiers. The only escape the soldiers get from their misery is death, and they know this, yet they keep fighting. Wars are won by people who will give up everything for what they believe in.


Letter From Paul

Dear Eston Brainerd

I am writing from the trenches on the front of the war. It has been a long war, with no near end in sight. I have been through terrors, tragedies and disasters. At least I have my friends with me, though not all of them have survived, and probably not all will see the end of the war alive, it is still good to have them. I am fighting this war to protect my homeland, but sometimes, I still wonder what it is all for. Is it worth it for all this killing and suffering? I never wanted to kill anyone, but I was told it was natural for a war. 

          In the war, it is kill or be killed, and I chose to kill. In a blind panic, I stabbed an enemy soldier. The worst part about it was that I was trapped in a dugout with him. The image of him dying in the trench still haunts me. I tried to keep him alive. I did my best but he ended up dying at my own hands. It was my first time killing. All my comrades have killed before, but they don’t seem as shooken as me. When forced into these split second, life or death situations, your body chooses survival, no matter what it is. It is a terrible thing, but it keeps you alive.

Living on the western front has changed me as a person. I have learned so much, and lost so much. My old life at home seems sugar coated compared to the one now. I have seen the horrors of war. I have seen the prisoners of war being treated inhumanely. I have seen enemy’s and comrades alike, be killed in the midst of it. I have truly matured over the past year or two. When I look back on my old self, I just see a child. My traumatic experiences have made me who I am today. Some days, I wish it had all never happened. Sometimes I wish I had never been drafted to the war. I wish my mother had never got sick, and I could just live with my family. I would have no worries about whether I would survive to the next day. I would be happy, but then again, I would never have met my friends, and I don’t know what I would do without them.

         As I mentioned previously, my family is not doing the best at home. My mother is ill and when I was back home for my leave, I could barely face the reality of the situation. During the whole trip, all I could focus on was my memories from the war. I could not fully enjoy myself because of the dread of returning. I spent most of my time at the soldiers’ home next to the prison. I saw the harshness of how they were treated. They are just like you and me. They have families and they are fighting for their country just like me. I am not sure what I am going to do after the war if I return. 



Sincerely,

 

Your friend, Paul





Chapter:8 The Humanity of all People

The Dehumanization of War

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“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the

ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”


~Mahatma Gandhi

 

 

With all of our differences, people forget that we are all humans, and living on the same planet. In Chapter 8 of the book, All Quiet on the Western Front, the enemies are seen as evil, and in the heat of battle, it is easy to forget the humanity of all people. Paul meets the Russian prisoners by the soldiers home. Even though they are the enemy, Paul looks at them kindly, and he sees that they have honest pleasant faces. Paul is on his leave, and he hangs out in the soldiers home. He is on guard over the Russians, and he watches them and looks at them in a different way. He sees how terrible their living conditions are, and he feels slightly sympathetic towards them.

 

 “They rarely speak and then only a few words. They are more human and more brotherly towards one another, it seems to me, than we are. But perhaps that is merely because they feel themselves to be more unfortunate than us. Anyway the war is over so far as they are concerned. But to wait for dysentery is not much of a life either.”

 

The Russians are barely getting enough food to live, and even then, Russian prisoners are dying every day. They are so desperate for food, so they have to scavenge for it. This thin, miserable, dirty garbage is the objective of the prisoners. They pick it out of the stinking tins greedily and go off with it under their blouses.The Russian prisoners were being treated sub-humanly, and Paul notices that they are people just like him. They are soldiers just like him. They have been through the war just like him. Most of the Russian prisoners sit quietly, but some beg for food or cigarettes. As Paul watches them, he begins to ponder that maybe if he had known these people, their names, lives and family, then maybe he would feel kindness towards them. A word of command has made these silent figures our enemies; a word of command might transform them into our friends. Paul sees that he and prisoners share their humanity but they are commanded that they are the enemy. Even though we are all the same species, we dehumanize the enemy to justify war. Paul could have been friends with these Russians, but because of an order, that is no longer possible. Man’s inhumanization of others was their downfall.






Chapter 6 and 7: The Pain and Trauma of War

The Effects of the War

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“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”
 -Dwight D. Eisenhower


N
ot everybody thinks about what happens on the front lines of war. The soldiers on the front lines are faced with countless traumatic experiences every day. In the book
All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul and his comrades’ lives were changed from the minute they were drafted into the war. Aside from the traumatic, near death experiences, their day to day lives outside of the war in that it is very hard to return back to a normal life. He will always be haunted by the images and memories of war. The company is forced to face the attacking French and the French are surprised at the ferocity of them. They kill several French soldiers and chase the retreating back to the enemy line. They catch up to them and hastily kill the French soldiers on the enemy line while suffering few casualties.

We do not fight, we defend ourselves against annihilation. It is not against men that we fling our bombs, what do we know of men in this moment when Death is hunting us down--now, for the first time in three days we can see his face, now for the first time in three days we can oppose him; we feel a mad anger. No longer do we lie helpless, waiting on the scaffold, we can destroy and kill, to save ourselves, to save ourselves and to be revenged.

Paul will forever be haunted by the horrors of war; nevertheless, Paul’s life at home will never be the same. Paul is visiting his family back in his hometown. He meets his sister and is overcome with emotions.

I cannot speak a word, my sister's call has made me powerless, I can do nothing, I struggle to make myself laugh, to speak, but no word comes, and so I stand on the steps, miserable, helpless, paralysed, and against my will the tears run down my cheeks.

On the front lines even the most innocent people are forced to kill, and that changes them into new people. The first quote demonstrates this in how deadly Paul’s life is, nevertheless, that is not all that is changed in Paul’s life. As demonstrated in the second quote, he is basically paralyzed when faced with his life at home. Bothe quotes show how much the war has taken away from Paul. He might not survive the war, and even if he does, he doesn’t have much of a life to return to. The horrors of war and the challenges of his life back at home changes Paul’s life forever.


Topical Essay

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Should People Have Pets?


M
any people debate on whether you should have pets. According to surveys done by the Insurance Information Institute, over 90 million families in the U.S. own pets, which is about 67% of families. Pets can be a great member of the family, and provide a lot of comfort and companionship. They can also be a lot of work to take care of, and are expensive. This age-old debate will be decided in this essay.

          Pets should be strongly considered in most households. They make great companions, and are great if you have a stressful life. Sometimes it feels as if your pet is the only one that will listen to you. They are nonjudgmental and will relieve you of stress that you would have from a long day of work. A study from hopkinsmedicine.com says thats,

Research has shown that simply petting a dog lowers the stress hormone cortisol ,while the social interaction between people and their dogs actually increases levels of the feel-good hormone oxytocin. In fact, an astonishing 84 percent of post-traumatic stress disorder patients paired with a service dog reported a significant reduction in symptoms, and 40 percent were able to decrease their medications, reported a recent survey.

Reducing stress which will improve your life in all aspects. They can dig you out of a pit of depression and they can mentally heal you. Having a pet is also a great source of exercise. They make you go on a walk, even though you don’t feel like it. It keeps you active, and prevents you from just sitting in front of a screen all day long.

          According to pets.webmd.com, “There are hundreds of types of animals kept as pets”, and it is very important to get a pet that fits your lifestyle. With all of these breeds and species, there is definitely a pet out there that is just for you, and with enough research, you can find the pet just for you, and if you are adopting from a shelter, think about your decision for a while. Animals can be expensive to adopt and take care of. It is important to find a pet that you can afford to take care of. When adopting from a shelter, you are saving that animal from a life of living in the shelter and no home. 

           Many people say that pets are much too hard to take care of, or too expensive, but it is still worth it. In some situations, it may not be right. If you have an allergy or don’t have the time, it might not be right for you. It can be a lot of work and it does take a lot of your time. Also sometimes it just won't work in a family. Some people say that having plants is better than a pet but easier to take care of, and it may be easier to take care of, but you will not get that partnership and companionship that you would get with a pet. For some people, another mouth to feed can just be overwhelming, and it can add stress to an already stressful life, but if you can spare a little extra time, and a little extra money, it will definitely be worth it.

    I have had many pets in my life, and they are very important to me. I have had two dogs, two rabbits, two fish and over thirty five chickens. They have all helped me in my life with depression, stress, anxiety or just a bad day. Whenever I need them, they are always there for me. They don't know what I am going through at one time, but they know when I am feeling down. We have had my older dog Gus for almost ten whole years now, and he has been there ever since I could remember. He has been a very big part of my life and I am lucky to have him. I am so thankful for my pets, and I am very glad that we got them. 

    Dogs are man's best friend.

 

 

        Eston Brainerd




WW Fenn

The Road Not Taken

By: Robert Frost

 

 

 





The Choices We Make


The choices we make in a day, shapes our whole lives. One choice leads to another, and that one leads to another until eventually you have a whole lifetime. When we choose our choices in life, there will always be the path that we didn’t take. It may look more interesting, or you may regret the choice you did make, but the road not taken, will always be a reminder to the path that was not chosen.  
          In the poem, the road not taken, the author is sorry he couldn’t take both paths, for he cannot see the end of ether tunnel. In life, it is impossible to predict what will happen after you make choices. The author of The Road not Taken is forced to choose a path in life. He wants to choose both but he can’t.

“Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim Because it was grassy and wanted wear, Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same”,

The author chooses the path that is rarely chosen, and he does not know weather he regrets it or not, but it made all the difference in his life. 

“I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.”

The author's life is created by the choices he makes. The two roads represent a choice. The path he walks down, defines his life, and choosing the “path not taken” makes him different. This poem was to show the importance of choices. There is no way to go back on your choices, so you have to be careful whether you will go with the crowd, or go on your own path. 
          Choices are important. Don't always pick the easy way out.

 

 

 

Metacognition

The poem The Road not Taken by Robert Frost, was very insightful and interesting. I found myself pondering many of the words and phrases. I keep realizing new things every time I read it, and it is very intriguing. While writing this literary reflection, I faced some challenges. I didn't always understand parts of the poem until I read them multiple times. This made it hard to complete the reflection. Next time, I think I will try to analyze the poem before I dive into the reflection. 


The Road Not Taken Literary Reflection

The Road not Taken


T
he choices we make in a day, shapes our whole lives. One choice leads to another, and that one leads to another until eventually you have a whole lifetime. 
When we choose our choices in life, there will always be the path that we didn’t take. It may look more interesting, or you may regret the choice you did make, but the road not taken, will always be a reminder to the path that was not chosen.  
          In the poem, the road not taken, the author is sorry he couldn’t take both paths, for he cannot see the end of ether tunnel. In life, it is impossible to predict what will happen after you make choices. The author of The Road not Taken is forced to choose a path in life. He wants to choose both but he can’t.

“Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim Because it was grassy and wanted wear, Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same”,

The author chooses the path that is rarely chosen, and he does not know weather he regrets it or not, but it made all the difference in his life. 

“I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.”

The author's life is created by the choices he makes. The two roads represent a choice. The path he walks down, defines his life, and choosing the “path not taken” makes him different. This poem was to show the importance of choices. There is no way to go back on your choices, so you have to be careful whether you will go with the crowd, or go on your own path. 
          Choices are important. Don't always pick the easy way out.

 

 

Metacognition

The poem The Road not Taken by Robert Frost, was very insightful and interesting. I found myself pondering many of the words and phrases. I keep realizing new things every time I read it, and it is very intriguing. While writing this literary reflection, I faced some challenges. I didn't always understand parts of the poem until I read them multiple times. This made it hard to complete the reflection. Next time, I think I will try to analyze the poem before I dive into the reflection. 


The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day! 
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

 

~ Robert Frost


Power of Persistence

Power of Persistence                   

Eston Brainerd                 When Not Giving up is the Key to Victory

12/16/21

 

Persistence is a powerful thing, and with enough of it, almost anything can be accomplished. When I am persistent and determined to accomplish something, there is so much I can do, but it can be challenging to keep it up. It’s not about how much you fail, but how much you are willing to keep on going until you succeed. A lot of the time it seems easier to just give up. But no one would succeed in anything if everyone had that mindset of just giving up. But failure can make people stronger and when I fail at something, it just makes me more determined to succeed next time.

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