My reflection on such a chapter
Victourious warriors win first then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and seek to win— Sun Tzu
Over these past few days, I have experienced more disgust and horror than ever before.
Chapter Six of, All Quiet on the Western Front, took me against my will into the spinning and chaotic whirlwind of war. Like the young recruits of Germany, I was overwhelmed with the brutality of conflict and war. The details of liquidated lungs being coughed up, bodies being blown to pieces, heads being cut off and spewing blood from the top: even I (an experienced video game player) had no idea such violence existed. When reading this book, I felt as if this depiction of war wasn’t reality. I have heard of rats living in trenches before, yet not of them eating the dead corpses of ‘my comrades’. The mental piece of war may also be even worse than the physical aspect. In this chapter, I endured someone losing control of their mind and body and ended up running into the field completely exposed to fire, then being “blown to chunks of flesh.” Being thrown into the forefront of war is something that could/would scar any human and I’m certainly included in that statement. I feel if I was one of those recruits, I would be just as unhelpful and clueless throughout all of the combat, no matter how vicious it is. The description that the author manages to use in this book, without it getting boring, is stunning; and tends to leave an uneasy feeling in your stomach. Some parts of me admire this piece of writing, yet the more overwhelming part of me finds this spectacularly described chapter of writing as horrifying as hell itself. Erich Maria Remarque has captured the terror, depression, and brotherhood of heavy conflict. While reading it felt as if my emotions were a rag doll, being jerked and tossed around without a care in the world of how I landed; furthermore, through the chapters before this, it was as if I were being forced to trudge through an endless siege of mud; however, these forty-two pages became something different. In the end this was a run worth the effort.