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Instinct Literary Essay

Written by:

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.

Douglas MacAurthur

       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.