The End of the Road
The rifles are caked, the uniforms caked, everything is fluid and dissolved, the earth one dripping, soaked, oily mass in which lie yellow pools with red spiral streams of blood and into which the dead, wounded, and survivors slowly sink down.
It's truly sad, really. The more time I think the more and more empathetic I feel towards Paul. He was just starting to live his life, but then he was lost, the lost generation. This book really is something else, and it’s such a sad and depressing book. Chapters eleven and twelve may have been short, but they still packed so much emotion. It made me so sad how Paul tried so desperately to save his last comrade, but he was unable. This book didn’t have a happy ending, it had a realistic ending, death. Death is the end. At the beginning of chapter eleven Paul described the war as type of disease, and that’s so true. It is something that takes, and almost never gives. I thought Detering’s escapa was going to be successful, and he could live a life in peace that every person deserves. He was caught, and to me that was heartbreaking. There probably been so many examples in history where someone was fighting a meaningless war that they not part in, and all they wanted to come back home. What Paul said, “Anyone might have known that his flight was only homesickness and a momentary aberration. But what does a court-martial a hundred miles behind the front-line know about it? We have heard nothing more of Detering.”
After these chapters I gotten a new sense of thankfulness. I’m glad that I most likely won’t have to go to war and throw my life away. I’m glad that I can live my life like all should be. I’m thankful that everyday I can return to my family, and that I don’t have to worry about fighting a war. Out of all the chapters, Chapter elven amazingly showed the pain that these soliders were going through. The times when they were glad they were dying was so confusing yet eye opening. Why would they want death—the thing they’ve been avoiding their whole left—take them, for they are lost. Unretrivavle. They will never be themselves again, for this war has forever changed them.
Let Yourself Drift, but Not Too Far
The True Sign of Intelligance is not knowledge but Imagination
The poem, “I wandered lonely as a cloud” is a very deep and meaningful poem. It talks about how when alone your mind travels to places that are beautiful and heartwarming, and I really do relate to this poem. I too imagine going to these beautiful places that are breathtaking; however, this poem leaves out something that is so very important. It’s after. Being alone and having the time to think can be amazing. It can inspire you to do great things. However, for me my imagination sometimes lead me to become depressed. I don’t really hang out with many people, so I have a lot of time to myself. In times when I lay in my bed in vacant or pensive mood (That’s a nod to the poem) my mind tends to drift. Once, I imagined myself on the beach, and alongside me was a beautiful girl. I felt so happy since I was was her as the sun set on the beach. It was a paradise, the closest thing to heaven for me. I woke up hoping to have that beautiful girl at my side, but nothing was there. I was alone. Alone in a world filled with millions and billions of people. It wasn’t sunny. A sheet of snow covered everything. It was bleak and depressing. You see imagination is kinda like a drug. You’ll be happy in the moment, but later you’ll realize reality, and you’ll be scared of it. After you wake up from your imagination, and you realize that what you were just imaging is all fake, intangible. However, imagination can also lead to great things. It could lead to ideas that could shape or world, so that we all could live in peace and harmony. Loneliness really sometimes is great, but a life surrounded by friends is always better alongside it. Find your balance between the two, and then and only then do I think you can truly appreciate this journey called life. As one of my favorite rappers—kid cudi—once said:
I know it's easy to imagine,
But it's easier to just do,
See, if you can't do what you imagine,
Then what is imagination to you?
Just a waste of space in your brain,
To take the place of hate,
Or things all the same.
So find that place find your balance, and right now I’m still trying to figure it out. One thing in life is guaranteed, and that's death. We can try to run from it, but one day the cold hand of death will take us. So, the rest is up to you, so carve your own path. Be the captain of your ship. Navigate through the complexities of life, and find your treasure. The balance between imagination and reality, so that hopefully your imagination becomes your reality. I guess I’m just ranting, and right now I’m at the point where I can put down on words what I’m thinking of.
By: Edoardo Takacs, Elliot Johnson and Ben Lisa
Empathy Brings People Together
Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another
– Alfred Adler
Only with Empathy will we be able to understand each other, and it was in the book, All Quiet On The Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque, where Paul began to feel a sense of empathy towards the soldiers of an opposing country. Paul has been fighting on the front for months now, but he has never met an opposing POW face to face. He has never looked at their face to try and feel his opponent. He realizes he’s not fighting animals, but real human beings.
A Chapter Full of Sorrow
“The doctors hope she will recover, but we have never heard of cancer being cured”[Chapter 8 AQOTWF] Within the past two years I’ve known many people who have lost their lives to cancer, and two of those people were my dad and my grandfather. It’s funny because that exactly what my mother said to me a week before my father died, “The doctors said he’s getting better.” Deep down I knew he wasn’t. He was lost. He couldn’t be cured.
When Times Change, they Never Change
A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out
– Walter Winchell
No matter the circumstances a true friend remains, and it was my friend who never left my side when all went wrong. When I felt confused and lost in this vast world, I knew that my best friend would never leave my side and support me through the twists and turns of life, for he has been at my side, supporting me and comforting me since day one. At no other time in my life was I in need of his comfort and support than when I felt sad and confused after my father had died. Lost, confused and heartbroken, I sat down on a chair that was right next to my dad’s cold and deceased body. A flood of emotions and memories of my time with my father flooded my mind, and of course, tears came down my cheeks. No smile was more comforting and heartwarming than his; No arms were wider than his that stretched around to give me a hug as he pulled me into his arms I felt comforted and found. I had found my way. At least he had shown me a way. A way through the fallacies of life. A compass had been given to me to navigate through the storm I was currently in. It didn’t matter that I had just lost one of my best friends—my father. It didn’t matter that I felt lost and confused in this large and confusing world, and it didn’t matter that I felt weak and hopeless. It only mattered that my best friend—Liam.H—was there to lend me his strength, and it was a strength that brought light into my room that was dark and bleak. A true friend is one who lends you their strength when you have none, and I will do the same. That is the power of friendship. It never dies. Even after the last breath we take in our life.
Questions That Still Remain From CH7, and What I’d Like to Talk About During The Socratic
Chapter 7 had it similarities and differences from the previous chapter that were action packed. When Paul returned to his home town he seemed ostracized, but in a way no one was forcing it. Moreover, I believe it’s his experience in war that makes him feel apart from anywhere but the front. Apart from society. I would like to talk about how war has affected so many lives, but not just physically but also mentally. Like when he thought that some of the sounds of his town where bombs coming for him. I also want to talk about the, “Lost Generation.” I do believe this was a very prevalent theme, for that old man—the one he had a drink with—kept on thinking that he was right. Right that the war was right, and they were fighting for freedom. No. They were fighting for greed. For the greed of men that only care for themselves. That man actually made me feel so angry, and it was a feeling of indignation. That man also brought up a question to me. What the point. The point of war. There’s no point. All wars fought now are because of wars of the past, and countless lives are lost. No matter how you look at war it never solves the problem because one problem shows up because of it. Violence creates violence. I want to talk about how greed and hate have been the engines that have powered wars for thousands of years. I really want to know if other people share my ideals. The ideals that war never solves anything. It only creates more problems.
We All Have It, We All Are
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'
Fears never leave, they linger. Even after reading All Quiet on the Western Front, I’m still petrified to my soul, it still painted a petrifying picture of death, a death that horrifying like the monster that sat under your bed. My memory of the cold hand of death came like a bommerang—coming back at me at full speed. Reading All Quiet On The Western Front Chapter 6 frightened me to an extent that I had to put the book down and take a break; scenes like, “Beside me a lance-corporal has his head torn off .” painted a gruesome picture in my head, and even after I swiped out of IBooks, the thoughts of all those deaths in chapter six still lingered in my mind. I started reading Chapter six as any other chapter, little did I know that this chapter was going to send me on an emotional roller coaster, full of twist and turns, all going at full speed. I had to look for themes, I had to highlight important passages and—every once in a while—highlight the words I don’t know the meaning of. The more that I read the more that I realized the gravity of the chapter because I learned that the French were about to attack. I started to say out loud how gross and disturbing some scenes were, “By morning they will be pale and green and their blood congelead and black.” I was scared for these young men who have barley experienced life must go through these horrible events—especially since they have no place in a meaningless battle in a meaningless war; however, through all of my struggles through all my emotions rushing out of me like the water of Niagara Falls. I kept reading. I accepted that I was reading a depressing book, and I knew I had to keep reading no matter how horrendous it was. At the end I thought I was away from these frightening thoughts; however, that was not the case at all. Like an old dog these horrifying memories came coming back.Every chapter I have to find important quotes and scenes that are woven throughout the book, and to my surprise I could relate to some of the young soldiers—who were petrified by their first battle due to all the death and destruction they had just witnessed,“On every yard there lies a dead man.” Several weeks ago when my father died, and When I touched his hand it was cold. Lifeless. Death felt scary, cold and lonely. After reading chapter six, the memory of death, of his death came back. Back to haunt me. This chapter found a way to remind me that I’m still scared, and that my fear of the cold hand of death will always linger till it finally take you away. Before reading chapter six I wasn’t aware of my frights, but after reading it I felt scared and frightened. Still now, I’m petrified and now I know that it will always linger somewhere in the back of my mind. This chapter taught me that we’re always a little paranoid, but that’s the human in us.
A Proment Theme in Chapter IV
The path from dreams to success does exist. May you have the vision to find it, the courage to get on to it, and the perseverance to follow it.
By:Ben Lisa, Elliot Johnson and Edoardo Takacs
The best quality for a soldier is durability. In the book, All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque, all soldiers—no matter there age—must find it in themselves and within each other to endure the hardships and tragedies of WWI and terrible trench warfare. Paul and his comrades have gone through a lot of pain, both mental and physical. Many of Paul’s comrades may be young, inexperienced in warfare and even in life in general. However, they must dig deep down and find the will to keep pushing through all the agony and torment they experience—once again both mentally and physically. Paul and his comrades are tasked to go to the front to lay down barbed wire, and they do expect to lose some men. After hours of hard labor on the front, they begin to walk towards the lorries(trucks) when all of a sudden the British begin their artillery barrage. Paul and comrades begin to search frantically for protection from the blasts and shrapnel, when suddenly, Paul comes in quite close proximity of a blast:
The earth bursts before us. It rains clods. I feel a smack. My sleeve is torn away by a splinter. I shut my fist. No pain. Still that does not reassure me: wounds don’t hurt till afterwards. I feel the arm all over. It is grazed but sound. Now a crack on the skull, I begin to lose consciousness. Like lightning the thought comes to me: Don’t faint! I sink down in the black broth and immediately come up to the top again. [All Quiet on the Western Front-Chapter IV]
Paul is almost knocked out by the blast of a bomb, and for a second he himself thought it was all over. However, he finds it in himself to persist, so as to avoid certain death. He shows great determination, a quality which any soldier must strive to embody if he or she wants to just stay alive. He knows that he still wants to return home, not the barracks, but home, we know this because he reflected on the fact that the older soliders/officers have wives, children and jobs, and Paul would like to return to Germany and create a life for himself. We know that Paul and his comrades will suffer through many times; however, if they want to live, they must persevere through these terrible times. Their only way of making it through the unspeakable events of the terrible war alive will be to find more grit and resilience in themselves and each other.
At the beginning it was a bit difficult to find a theme to write about, but I went through my notes. I did find a quote and theme that we could write about it, and from there it was pretty easy. Even though it was three of us we were able to write with lots of fluidity. We were agreeing on how to write our sentences, so really it was pretty simple. At times, I was a bit stuck myslef, but Ben and Elliot had lots of great ideas that helped the paragraph go on. So really this assignment was pretty simple and easy.
Questions That Still Remain
Katczinsky is a helpful character, for he’s helped them in many different ways. However, he is a very mysterious character, and that is why I still have several questions that remain. We know that he’s been fighting in the war for some time, and I wonder where he learned these tricks. Did someone like Katczinsky teach Katczinsky during his time fighting in the war, or did he learn this during his childhood. Where did he live? What was his family like? Is it because where he grew up he learned to these tricks, or was he taught? Like how did he get those two fresh pieces of bread? Was it luck? Or does he have a special relation with someone that helps him. I do think Katczinsky will play a huge part in this book; on the other hand, I’m not quite sure if it’s gonna be a positive or negative affect. So far he’s helped a lot, but maybe he’s just tricking them. This is also the same with many of Paul’s comrades. They may not be as interesting as Katczinsky, but he still know very little about them. Even though they’re young they must have some story. I also feel like it’s the same with Paul we too know very little about him. My last question is really to everyone, and I think their answers will help me answer my question. Is it really true that what Katczinsky said about giving any man a bit of power true? Personally, I feel that some men would do good with power, and some would do quite the opposite. Like Himmelstoss. I do feel like in history there’s been some great people who’ve done good with power, but yes, there’s been many who’ve done wrong. I’ll ask this question to my classmates because I do think their answers will help me. Also how did a mail man like Himmelstoss come into power. Was it random or systematic?