All Quiet On The Western Front Final Metacognition

   

Give A Damn And Figure It Out

 

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What a cruel thing war is... to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors.” 

Robert E. Lee

 

     From the very beginning, I really enjoyed reading the book, All Quiet on the Western Front. While some early parts of the book seemed slow, with time the book began to click with me, and I developed a genuine liking for it. With the shift in my feelings about the book, I  continued to read and became a more engaged student overall. This clearly helped my understanding of the novel and my work ethic in doing the countless writing assignments. As we slowly read the chapters, I developed reading habits for the book which helped me in many ways. One of them was reading the professor’s chapter summary beforehand, highlighting the complex themes and the obscure vocabulary, and marking great passages of writing which kept me engaged throughout the process. Sometimes during the reading I would listen to music to help me concentrate; however, I found it would distract me more than my peers (who I was trying to tune out so I could get focused). As I continued throughout the book, my self-esteem grew in my writing about the literature, and this pushed me to do more. I saw my work and was genuinely proud of what was being unveiled before my eyes.  The book  was tremendously well written, and I believe it is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Chapter after chapter, I was excited with the constant divine writing, and the immense detail that captured the scene of the western front. Lines like “A man cannot realize that above such shattered bodies there are still human faces in which life goes its  round” all contributed to my love for the book.. 

     As I began to surround myself with the writing and dig more deeply and thoughtfully, I noticed a shift in my thoughts towards and about certain aspects of the book. After Chapter 6 and beyond, I noticed a shift in my thoughts of the war. In the early chapters I knew about the horrible aspects of war and all that was lost with it, but in the later chapters I really enhanced my learning as I dug deeper, had discussions with peers. After finishing a chapter, I took a moment to reflect on what happened — something my prior self would never do (I would carelessly move onto the next assignment). This process helped my thoughts evolve for the better; Now I understand know the horrors and sacrifice in war and how, sadly, it was worth nothing. 

     The book was spectacular and I would definitely recommend, while I may have been complaining to Fitz in the beginning of the book, I will now encourage others to spend the time, give a damn, and figure it out. I am grateful to Fitz for having me read this classic piece of literature.


Summer A Time Of Freedom

Menemsha Harbor 

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Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.“ - Henry James 

     My summer hours often revolve around Menemsha harbor on Martha’s Vineyard. The harbor provides countless offers of good ice cream and the accompaniment of the retiring sea and a gentle evening breeze. Those are the reasons why I plan for all my summers to be there. A summer isn’t fulfilled for me until I take a lick of that lipstick cherry coating  on the vanilla soft serve ice cream  from Menemsha harbor’s very own Galley restaurant. After a long day of tubing and surfing with my uncle, we normally head there.  My grandfather jokes that we all retire to the harbor, that it’s fun to retire our days with a good Menemsha ice cream tradition. No matter the occasion, rain or shine, if I had just been surfing with my cousins, fishing with my beloved grandpa or jumping of jaws bridge, we always stop at Menemsha. Sometimes it’s to grab a bite of the Vineyard’s best hot dogs, or to talk to the year round locals, or to pick up fish for dinner, we Inevitably make our way to Menemsha.  The significance of the Menemsha harbor is profound in my heart because countless memories have been made in this quaint corner of the island. Not all have been good in the moment -- like when I was a little and somehow managed to get a fishing hook attached to my lip--but now my family and I can look back and laugh at my hysterics in that moment (well, maybe not my mother). Summer is a time of freedom, a time where you aren’t trapped  needing to write essays or explain what’ the value of x is. Summer is my favorite time of year and I chose to come back to Menemsha because it’s the place I love, where I make the most memories, and I can laugh freely after a good day’s fun and be content to retire for the day.  


All Quiet On The Western Front, Chapter 6 Literary Reflection Essay

The Horrors Of War 

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The trench was a horrible sight. The dead were stretched out on one side, one on top of each other six feet high. I thought at the time I should never get the peculiar disgusting smell of the vapour of warm human blood heated by the sun out of my nostrils. I would rather have smelt gas a hundred times. I can never describe that faint sickening, horrible smell which several times nearly knocked me up      altogether.” - British Captain Leeham

 

     Fear is fleeting, horror is internal. As I turned the pages of Chapter Six, I was fearful of what would happen next, but I would never expect the horror that came. Every page of Chapter Six of All Quite on the Western Front, brought me a new awareness of the horrors of war, and vivid, often frightening passages that showed those horrors in gruesome detail. When I began to read Chapter Six, I began to experience the most descriptive, although horrendous, writing. The writing flowed throughout my head, setting off my emotions. Reading the book in class with audio was a helpful exercise which I liked and plan to use again in the future to further my learning. Having the audio play while I read was unnatural at first, but after the first pages I was able to get into the flow; it was different but also beneficial. This process led to a productive reading and annotation of themes while still exploring new ones. This process furthered my understanding of all themes and also allowed me to uncover horror and its undeniable role in the chapter. I researched themes while reading, and no theme has been more obvious than “Horror” in Chapter Six. The theme of horror was woven throughout the writing and shaped my experience reading. Horror in the chapter influenced the emotions I felt as a reader, The horrors of their injuries and the young troops in melancholy, having forgotten all of their training in the excitement, disgusted me. Horror affected my emotions, my empathy was immense towards the soldiers, especially the young ones who quickly learned the front isn’t a parade ground, that it’s what some consider h*ll and the only thing they will march to is a horrible death. The front is a beastly horror. I quickly learned this and the lesson that in your worst times you may uncover the best of you or the worst. Fear is sometimes a dying man’s last thoughts on the Western front, or the horror of the face in the trenches. It dies with all of them all in memories haunting their crippled bodies.

 

 


Chapter 8 Partner Literary Analysis

     Sympathy, And It’s Role In War

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“The soldier above all other prays for peace, for it is the solider who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.” - Douglas MacArthur

 

     Sympathy is taking the extra mile to use what you have to help someone else. In Chapter 8, the book, All Quiet On The Western Front, by Erich Maria and Arthur Weasley, Paul shows sympathy to the Russian prisoners at the training camp. Paul is sent to training camp, and feels for the Russian prisoners of war. They get what’s left of the already unsanitary food the Germans are eating. Paul provides them with tobacco and some food that his sick mother made for him. Paul feels for the young Russians who are dying a slowly and painfully death. Paul realizes how hard War was for him, and for many other people. When he was at training camp, he saw the pain that the Russian soldiers faced. He noticed that they would get all the disgusting leftovers, and how more and more would die each day. Paul gave some of them cigarettes not because he needed to, but because he wanted to. Martin Luther King wants said that, “True sympathy is the personal concern which demand the giving of one’s soul.” When his Dad and his eldest sister gave him his potato cakes, he gave most of them to the Russian soldiers. His sick mother made them for him, but he still used his tools to help out the Russian soldiers. Paul realizes that the Russian soldiers are more similar to him than some of his fellow soldiers, so he feels the sympathy in his heart to help these soldiers in need.

I know nothing of them except that they are prisoners; and that is exactly what troubles me. Their life is obscure and guiltless;—if I could know more of them, what their names are, how they live, what they are waiting for, what their burdens are, then my emotion would have an object and might become sympathy. But as it is I perceive behind them only the suffering of the creature, the awful melancholy of life and the pitilessness of men.” - Chapter 8, of All Quiet on the Western Front.

It didn’t matter that they were there enemies, or that within a command the soldiers would willingly fire upon each other. Sympathy in war is essential; otherwise, the horrors of war will haunt there life. “A word of command has made these silent figures our enemies; a word of command might transform them into our friends.” The soldiers have more in common then they don’t; however, paul will attempt to shut his feelings away towards the end of the war. Pauls sympathetic feelings are keeping him alive, while he must hide them from himself  ;otherwise, he would lose himself in war, and his life. Sympathy in Paul is a Singh of him surviving and his mind surviving or trying to in the Western front. Throughout All Quiet on the Western Front Sympathy is scarce, it is hidden behind the trenches, the gas masks, and orders commanding the war. Sympathy is hidden, yet kept between each soldier's heart if they lose that sense of connection they lose their mind, and there life swiftly following.


The Power of Laughter in a Freindship

 

Laughter The Best Distraction From Boredom

 

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“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”
Charles Dickens,
 

     The greatest gift of friendship is laughter. It’s my friends who can always keep me laughing and free from boredom. When boredom enters my eighth grade mind, when I’m in need of a much needed laugh, or even someone to talk to or hang with, I turn to my friends. When we come together, we always seem to find ways to distract each other from boredom. Every Friday night, my friends and I found a regular distraction from boredom as we came together to laugh and play soccer. We were the Fenn Flames, a Teamworks soccer team, and I think we laughed much more than we played soccer. We weren’t the best in the league, but that didn’t matter. Unlike most teams, we came with the hope of winning games, but more importantly to have fun while doing it. One game against Sudbury I remember the most. It was the usual team, yearning to win and and sweating while doing it. The Flames, on the other hand, had come for the fun. As a group of friends somewhat skilled at playing soccer, it was more of a chance for us to hang together. Even though they were beating us, we found fun within the game by making jokes and having celebrations each either team scored. We had each other’s backs when we missed a penalty, and celebrated our success when we scored. The laughter during the Sudbury game was immense — never before had we laughed as much as a team, and their team with us. We both exploited the power of boredom on those Friday nights to come together as friends, as one team, and have fun playing soccer. It didn’t matter that we lost that game or that I missed a shot, or that we had an injury. What mattered was our team of friends, our laughter, and the multiple relationships we strengthened over two seasons.. In my opinion, we were more of a team than many others I have been on because even though we were never the best, we went out and made each other laugh and had fun. The key ingredient to a great friendship is laughter;  laughter is what brought our team to together.  Those friendships I formed were the greatest gift of all.


Ideas For Disscusion

Chapter Seven Socratic Topic Ideas

  1. How does the theme of the lost generation impact when Paul and Kropp come across poster of a female and male and when they eventually rip the male out?
  2. The theme of the lost generation is recourring in this chapter why?
  3. What is the significance of Paul feeling detached from his family?
  4. Has and if so has Paul changed during his leave?
  5. how does the last sentence of the chapter (“I was a soldier, and now I am nothing but an agony for myself, for my mother, for everything that is so comfortless and without end.I ought never to have come on leave.”) possibly affect Paul in the future?
  6. When Paul had his romantic encounter and his later realization that he cannot easily escape the traumas of war how does that affect him as a character.

The Instinct Of Survival

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Chapter Four

In a literary analysis

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Temper us in fire, and we grow stronger. When we suffer, we survive Cassandra Clare

 

     Only the lucky survive. In chapter four of All Quiet on the Western Front, the idea of survival is within every soldiers minds and hearts. During the bombardments on the Western Front, Paul Bäumer and others are tasked to survive, but it is not as easy as it seems; however, with a little luck and knowledge you may survive. In the book, the soldiers are tossed into the harsh reality of war. They felt danger surrounding them in ways that could only be described as a life-death situation. When faced in situations like this, Paul and the other German soldiers return to the mindset of prehistoric life; that mindset is to survive. This type of mind will take over the body and guide them toward safety and security; saving them from any impending danger that could be coming their way. Midway through chapter four we encounter this scene.

“At the sound of the first droning of the shells we rush back, in one part of our being, a thousand years. By the animal instinct that is awakened in us we are led and protected. It is not conscious; it is far quicker, much more sure, less fallible, than consciousness. One cannot explain it…It is this other, this second sight in us, that has…saved us, without our knowing how.“ - All Quite on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque 

The instinct of survival is a quality that has found all who’ve entered the Western front; however, not all have been so lucky to live. Finding this trait within themselves is what led to Paul surviving; and the lack of other doing this is what led to them dying. Without the instinct of survival we would have lost all the main characters in the first bombardment. The importance of survival in is beyond words because of the dangerous environment that the characters are placed in. On the Western front survival is prominent, in spite of a agony survival surrounds all who encounter the treachery of the Western Front. Survival is an instinct within all of us, one that burns in the heat of battle.

 

Metacognition 

duiqrng my experience writung this Literary Analysis with John I enjoyed it. After looking back at our piece I liked it, John and I worked effectively within a short time. I believe John and I have many similar writing styles which made it much easier to work with eachother. Due to our focus and brainstorming before we began to write we almost finished writing our piece, but we did later reconvene during hall to finish writing our head and heart of the piece. Sadly I wasn’t able to focus as much during that time compared to class, but we were still able to finish our piece, and know we created a good literary analysis. 


Socratic Disscusion Topics

The Socratic

 

 

     Over the course of the past week the class and I have begun to read All Quiet on the Western Front. While reading, I began to realize some questions I have and possible topics for a Socratic discussion. Fortunately, our class has an upcoming Socratic. Over the course of the Socratic, I would like to discuss the theme of survival in the book, which I believe is very important. We should discuss how it affects all of the characters in the book, and how they have utilized their tools to survive. I believe discussing this topic is important because it could encourage an interesting discussion among the class. Secondly, we could learn more about the characters. Lastly, we could discover the thoughts, ideas, and especially the “why” beneath the idea of death and how they continue to live under the circumstances of war. A second possible good discussion for the Socratic would be to ask how the characters have already developed and how we as class believe they will develop. The characters like Paul or Cat are vital to the plot so I believe we should have a discussion on those characters and a few others because it will be helpful for our understanding of the book. I personally believe that when a significant event happens or when they are put on the front, that is when they will change most. Another possible discussing topic is what feelings did the book evoke in you, and what the events in the book do you believe evoke in the characters. I believe this will be helpful for our understanding of the book, and to also force us to be more involved with the book and thinking while reading. I’m excited for the Socratic on Tuesday, and as we continue to read I believe this could be a great exercise to do every couple of weeks to reinforce our understanding of the book.


Power Of Choice

Quick Choices

 

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Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with.”
Brodi Ashton, Everneath

     Choices define the paths our lives take; however, not all of my choices, especially the quick ones, have been the best decisions. Everyone makes choices, but making choices doesn’t always come easy to me. Choices can bring great opportunities or great tragedies, or blend both. At no other time in my life did a choice seem more obvious than my decision to do a flip off the Jaws Bridge in Martha’s Vineyard. It was a quick decision based on instinct, like my dogs running to the smell of bacon. On this day, my choices surrounded and built upon each other. The decision to put on my swimsuit lead to choosing to open the red jeep’s door, which lead to plunging my feet onto the hot sand. Those decisions brought me to look over the bridge, and flip into the water. I was unsure, but after seeing others doing triple backflips, I knew I could do one.  I leaped into the air but before I knew it, I hit the water hard. I tried to ignore the pain in my neck but it was no use. The choice to jump the bridge was a bad, however, a good decision; subsequently, doing it had rewards; as a result, it hurt my neck. While this specific choice didn’t shape my path in life, some do. The daily decisions you make that show who you are and who you plan to become. The choice to flip off Jaws had its short-term benefit of pride, but it hurt my neck, which canceled those benefits. This choice taught me to not rush into things. I can pause to think through things more. Our choices can shape our days; while they may not always lead to good outcomes, we must learn from them for the future.