Behind The Front
Video Essay by Evan Lanzendorf
Behind The Front
Video Essay by Evan Lanzendorf
All quiet metacognition
I’m not going to lie to anyone reading this and say that I have even an inkling of an idea of the pain, suffering, and dedication soldiers devote to their country and their comrades in war, but if the events in All quiet on the Western Front are even close to what real people have experienced, then I firmly believe that everyone on earth should read this book.
Reading this was hard. It was a gruesome detailed book, but it’s details of said pain at necessary. After reading this, one doesn’t often just stop thinking about the events depicted, or
at least I didn’t. When people use the cliched yet everlasting “if we do not learn from history, we
are doomed to repeat it” All Quiet On the Western Front exemplifies such history. So we must learn from books like these, so that things stay quiet on the Western Front.
The marks of Insanity
Tests tests everywhere
Tests tests they’re in my hair
6 in a week
Yeah sure that’s fine
Why don’t you get to sleep on time
Sink your self esteem
You won’t get an e
stay up late
its not that hard
you shan’t worry
will say the bard
Themes in chapter Eight
In chapter eight of All quiet on the Wester Front, I feel that there is a constant overwhelming theme of resignation. After coming back from the front, beaten and scarred, Paul should be overjoyed in the previous chapter when he gets home but all he can feel is disgust knowing that everyone thinks highly of the war and that soldiers are heroes. In a strange way he’s almost relieved when he boards the train to get away from leave, but when he gets to the camp, he finds even worse situations. Not only is he stationed with demoralized, traumatized, shell-shocked soldiers, he’s also made to guard Russian POW’s. He doesn’t know what to do and starts questioning whether anyone should be in this brutal mess of a war. All he wants is to go back home, forget the war, and protect and provide for his family, it even when he does see his family, the give him the food that they need most. It’s a sad, slow chapter, but ultimately, a necessary one.
Good Times with Friends
Sometimes a bit of dumb fun can bring people closer together. It was behind the door to my friends room where me and Owen Omally learned this. Me and Owen had always been good friends but had never really gone through much together. Unfortunately as the tides of a small war located entirely witting one house changed, we were about to go through some major shit. In this war there were two sides, Jerry’s and Bodes. We were on Bode’s side and had been winning until Elliot staged a coup. Now as we sat across from each other in the dark, listening to the footsteps slowly approaching from down the hall we nodded at each other. On the count of three it all came apart. Nerf guns blasting we threw open the doors. It was four against two and we were immediately outgunned and taken to the basement for trial. It was a short one, and we were both found guilty of crimes against the new republic but they were dropped pretty soon after pizza arrived. All in all it was a pretty silly experience but that didn’t really matter to me. We were having fun In stupid ways and that’s all that really mattered to me; having fun with friends. It’s experiences like these that have cemented memories of dumb fun with friends into my head.
The Despair In War
Through the muck and glory of war always shines the bright red glare of despair. “All Quiet on the Western Front”, has helped to strip away the blinding glory of war from my eyes and show the horror and despair that has been faced in the past. Reading Chapter Six not only repulsed me to the point of feeling physically sick, it forced me to be critical and pay attention, even when in the heat of the moment (something that I often have trouble with). I had to visualize each gruesome second, feel every bullet and know each soldiers pain, in and out of battle, after all “Bombardment, barrage, curtain-fire, mines, gas, tanks, machine-guns, hand-grenades—words, words, but they hold the horror of the world”. Chapter six starts with the company under fire from the enemy. The bombardment lasts days and when the final day of the bombardment comes, all are relieved. Their relieve only lasts for a minuet though, as soon as they hear the cries of a charge despair sets in. They are quickly overrun and they are forced back to another line where they regroup and launch a counter attack. Fatigued and injured they somehow chase the French back to their own lines and steal some provisions before heading back and hunkering down again. While reading this book I could resonate with the main characters despair. During the book he’s constantly conflicted over his situation. Driving up to the front line, getting bombed to hell, seeing fresh recruits get slaughtered like pigs, driving off the front to rest and repeating the process. Even though I have never been in a situation like he has been through I could feel his pain and even though I’m not even halfway through this book I would recommend it to anyone who hasn’t already read it.
My Ideas for Socratic Discussion
In our Socratic seminar one of the topics I feel we should discuss is the necessity of war. In my mind, war is a worst case scenario. An idea when all other negotiations and talks of solving conflict have failed, but as time has gone on I feel that war has become more commonplace. A way of settling conflicts from the start. All Quiet on the Western Front reflects this use of war through the moral of troops and the primality of their battles. The other theme I feel that we should talk about is the theme of primality. When the author describes battles and bombings, the primal state of man is always apparent. You can clearly see how everyone involved turns into a beast, killing without thought.
Evan Lanzendorf, Connor Soukup and Jack Bretl
Chapter Four Literary Essay
An Analysis of the Themes of Instinct
The soldier above all prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the wounds and scars of war.
Instincts have been what has kept the human race alive from the dawn of time. If not for instincts in All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, almost everyone would be dead. In chapter four, during the assault from the British and French, the main characters use their instincts to save their lives, and the lives of others through the first couple chapters times.
For instance, when the bombs start dropping on them while they travel back to the lorries, their instincts tell them that the graveyard is their only cover, even though from a different perspective you might think the graveyard would be too dangerous. They also use their instincts while the bombing is happening, like when the main character rolls into a fresh crater from a shell, or when he climbs out of the hole when the gas comes around. These decisions made when under a lot of stress and pressure; their instincts keep them alive.
I feel that the authors use of instinct reflects quite a few things in this book. It shows how in war every second is a battle and if not for our very own instinct many more people in war would end up dead or worse. The other thing the authors use of instincts reflects how war turns men into their most primal state.
In its most basic state, this book provides an interesting a thought, provoking and stimulating chance to think about the instincts of man and if they ever change.
Metacognition: Working with this group was a mediocre experience. We got the work done and faced the usual challenges in the process. When the time came to work outside of the classroom I logged on to witness one partner leave and the other to have “already completed his job” of formatting a grueling 30 title, subtitle, and quote with the first image off google slapped on the side. Nevertheless, the work was done, and I’m proud of it and I’m sure my partners would say the same. I could go on to nit-pick some more details about the writing process, but my instinct is telling me that no one wants to read any more of this so I will leave it here.
What I would like to figure out
Sometimes, when you lose a battle, you figure out how to win a war
In All quiet on the western front I would like to figure out what the fighting is like. From what I’ve heard, being in the trenches entails a whole lot of nothing, but in a book centered around war, I feel a understandable urge to get down to the dirt and grime of the fighting. What’s it like to be on the receiving end of a charge from the enemy? What’s it like to charge the enemy? Has anyone survived to tell? Through the fighting and current rest on the front, another thing I wonder about is the boys families. Earlier in the reading they did state that most families would call their own children cowards if they didn’t enlist but I can’t help but believe that at least some of their families must have been hesitant to have their sons enlist. WWI May have been the war to end all wars, introducing many weapons and strategies that hadn’t been heard of yet, but death and sorrow still existed. Was there protest between any of the boys and their parents? How did they tell them that they had all decided to enlist, and how would they react if they heard of their sons death, with anger or a melancholy acceptance? Will they think of “the old lie” Dulce et decorum pro patrium morí with the same zeal as their old teacher. To die for ones country is to die an honorable death. I hope I don’t find out.
The Power of Choice
Life is filled with choices, but some choices can affect your life much more than others. I’ll admit, many of the choices I’ve made in my fourteen years haven’t affected me much. Coming to Fenn wasn’t a choice, it was the logical decision and besides that, whether I have ham or turkey for lunch doesn’t really affect me, but as my years at Fenn come to a close, the opportunity to make a choice could present itself very soon. As I draw closer to my next school, It becomes evermore apparent that in three days, I will know if I’ll follow in my sisters footsteps and get the education that my parents want for me or go to public school. That begs the question though, do I want to go to these schools (assuming that they be so kind as to accept me) and risk deciding, after paying tuition that the school isn’t right for me. Has the months of waiting, anxiously pouring over essays, details papers on my experience with beekeeping and how my dad is an amazing role model for me, been worth the possibility to get into a school that could possibly be the worse thing I’ve ever done for my career. Will I leave the people that I love and that have supported me and find others, or will I be alone during a vulnerable period of my life. Through the months, the sleepless nights and through these final days, I will continue working hard; moreover, I will keep a positive attitude; finally, when the time comes to make my decision I will make it with confidence. For me, decisions can often be daunting, but in times like these it helped me to remember, it’s not the decision that matters, it’s what you make of it.