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.