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Erich Remarque

All Quiet On The Western Front

Novel Class

Both sides entered the First World War with a firm belief in an early and complete military victory. Nine million lives and four wasted empires later, the great conflict ended. The cost in human life and property was staggering: 22 million were wounded, 7 million of them permanently disabled; over 9 million civilians were killed. A total cost of 400 billion dollars financed this destruction. Could they have been reckoned, the hidden costs probably would have been greater. The damage to a generation of men on both sides was inestimable. In a sense, All Quiet on the Western Front, is a firsthand account of this hidden cost of the war.

The Author
Erich Maria Remarque was born in 1898 in Osnabruck, Germany. By the age of seventeen, Remarque had already attended teachers training college and had begun his studies at the University of Munster, hoping to become a composer. However, World War I and the German draft interrupted these plans and markedly influenced the rest of Remarques life. During World War I Remarque fought at the Western Front and was wounded five times. Relieved from duty after being seriously wounded, he briefly taught in a village school. He then traveled to larger cities, where he held various jobs as a bookkeeper, auto racer, traveling salesman, old clothes dealer, and even a gypsy circus clown. Finally he became a sports journalist. Still haunted by the horror of war memories, Remarque compiled his thoughts and observations into the semi-autobiographical novel, All Quiet on the Western Front (1929). Even though the book was an international success, the extremely timid Remarque refused to read any criticisms, shunned fame, and declined all interviews. The book generated a storm of controversy in Germany. Some people charged that the book was replete with effeminate pacifism. In 1931, Remarques antigovernment themes forced him to seek refuge in Switzerland. In fact, his anti-Nazi statements led to the censorship and public burning of his books in 1933. Ultimately, the German government revoked Remarques citizenship in 1938. Remarque moved to the United States in 1939 and became an American citizen in 1947. He died in 1970.

Upon its publication, All Quiet on the Western Front was an immediate success. Although it was translated into twenty-five languages, its publication and sale were banned by the Nazi government. For Remarque, this novel served as a means of coping with his World War I years. Like his main character, Paul, Remarque needed to sort through his feelings and experiences to fully understand the wars impact. But the book was more than a personal reminiscence. Remarque was also determined to fight against war in general, and the book served as his first shot in that battle. Remarque was not alone in that war on war. During the late 1920s in Germany, a category of antiwar fiction rapidly sprang from disillusioned war veterans who wanted to protest further wars and the strengthening of German military power.

All Quiet on the Western Front, also fits into the literary movement of Neo-realism. Literature in this category is characterized by a matter-of-fact, unpretentious style that is similar to newspaper or 1

magazine journalism. Facts are presented in realistic terms, without exaggeration and with little emotion. In Remarques case , the graphic description furthers his antiwar goal more than editorializing. Although the book is realistic, sentiment still permeates the text. Memories, sorrow, home, and comradeship are constant refrains of the novel. To the last page, the reader is drawn into the work intellectually - by recognizing the irrationality of war - and emotionally - by sympathizing with those affected by the battles. Perhaps the most remarkable quality of All Quiet on the Western Front is its universality and timelessness. There is no sense of nationalism about the war, nor animosity toward enemies. Throughout the book, any nationality can be substituted for the Germans or their enemies. With the exception of dated weapons, the descriptions could be of any war.

All Quiet on the Western Front depicts the horror, mutilation, and destruction brought by war. Soldiers are maimed and killed by weapons, or at the very least, feel their emotions, intellects, and spirits disintegrate. For Remarque, war - any war - seems valueless and senseless. Throughout the book, Remarque describes the horrid maiming and torture that war inflicts on its participants. Decapitation, amputation, and other forms of mutilation are commonplace in the novel. During his hospital stay, Paul realizes the infinitely awful injuries war wreaks on humanity. The wear on soldiers intellects and spirits is also immense. Some soldiers are shell-shocked and even maddened by exploding mortars. Others have fits of claustrophobia, striking out at concerned friends. Eventually and inevitably, their spirits break; they feel hopeless, alone, and unable to sympathize any longer. Having enlisted in patriotic fervor, Paul soon learns he must hide his emotions, suffer through inane drills, and survive by any means of deviant or tough behavior. Once at the front, Paul copes in the only way he can without losing his sanity - by becoming insensitive to the pain around him. But after three years of this numbing existence, Paul is unable to fit into society again. And he can find no reason for his suffering. In his view, war accomplishes nothing but destruction.

Introductory Notes
All Quiet on the Western Front is prefaced by a brief statement of the novels purpose. Here the author makes it clear that the story is not an accusation of an individual or group. It was not Remarques intention to align himself with any particular German political party. The reader is also warned against viewing the book as an exciting adventure. This is an account of a generation of young men destroyed physically and spiritually by the experience of the war. The book is not concerned with depicting the events of the war. The essential point is to describe wars effects on a particular generation. It was Remarques contention that his generation had grown up in a way different from others before and after it. Their overwhelming experience was the war. Shortly after publication of his novel, the young author declared, The generation of young people, which no matter from what motive, has been driven through this period must necessarily have developed differently from all former generations. The men who emerged from the trenches were marked for life by deep, irreparable psychic wounds. For these young disillusioned, the world could never again hold the same innocence it had when the century was just beginning. As Jacques Barzun has put it, The energies born with the twentieth century had been sapped, misspent and destroyed. In a mood characterized by despair, disgust and disquiet, the youth of Europe and America returned to their private lives in 1918 to attempt to live in a world that no longer held sacred the ideals and beliefs that prevailed prior to 1914. Gertrude Stein, when she said to young Ernest Hemmingway in Paris, you are all a lost generation, summed up the dilemma Paul Baumer and his comrades faced. 2

Paul Brummer The soldier, narrator and focal point of the novel who volunteered with four others from his class for military duty. Pauls group included: Muller, Kropp, Leer, Kemmerich and Behm.

Tjaden Muller -

A thin soldier with an immense appetite. He is nineteen and a former locksmith in civilian life. A soldier who carries his school books with him and often dreams of examinations. Kat is a forty year old soldier who becomes Pauls best friend. He is shrewd, good-natured and known for his remarkable ability to find good food and soft jobs for the group.

Stanislaus Katczinsky -

Albert Kropp -First soldier of Pauls group to make lance-corporal. He was regarded as the best student in Pauls school. Leer - Pauls youthful classmate who grows a beard. He is first of Pauls group to have experience with women. Franz Kemmerich Haie Westhus Detering Kantorek Pauls childhood friend and fellow volunteer. He is the first of the group to wear the fine leather boots. The soldier who prefers the army to digging peat in civilian life.

The soldier who was a peasant-farmer in civilian life and thinks constantly of his farm and wife. The schoolmaster who urged Paul and his friends to enlist. He is later called into the reserves under Mittlestaedt, a former pupil. The drillmaster for Paul and his comrades, hated for his sadistic treatment of recruits. He is a former postman.

Corporal Himmelstoss -

Josef Behm - One of Pauls schoolmates. Lieutenant Bertinck - Pauls company commander who is a fine soldier, respected by his men. Ginger The company cook who is more concerned about his personal safety and accurate food portions than he is concerned about feeding the men. The soldier who calls for his mother while dying and holds off a doctor with a dagger until he collapsed. A sniper who takes pride in his ability to pick off enemy soldiers. A soldier who has told Pauls mother about the increasing dangers in front line fighting. 3

Tiejen -

Sergeant Oellrich -

Heinrich Bredemeyer -

Mittelstaedt - Pauls friend who has been promoted to company commander of a home guard. He has the opportunity to take revenge on schoolmaster Kantorek who is only an ordinary soldier. Boettcher The soldier who was the school porter at Pauls former school. The soldier who shares the hospital ward with Paul, Albert and others. He has a shooting license because of his mental derangement.

Josef Hammacher -

Little Peter - One of Paul and Alberts hospital ward mates. He is thought to be the only patient ever to return from the Dying Room. Franz Wachter Sister Libertine Berger A hospital ward mate who dies of a lung wound. One of the sister-nurses at the hospital where Paul and Albert recover from their wounds.

The strongest soldier in Pauls company. During the last days, Berger loses his sense of judgment. He is wounded trying to rescue a messenger dog under fire. The French soldier who lands in Pauls shell hole. Paul realizes the enemy on the other side of the barbed wire is just a lonely, frightened soldier like himself.

Gerard Duval -


Cliffs Notes, All Quiet on the Western Front, Cliff Notes Incorporated, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1965. Contemporary Classics: All Quiet on the Western Front, The Perfection Form Company, Logan, Iowa, 1980.

Novel Class

All Quiet on the Western Front

Assignment Sheet

Monday, September 22, 2008 In Class: a) Introduction to All Quiet on the Western Front b) Author Information c) Background information d) Reader Response Journals e) Listen to pp 1-6 Homework: a) Read Chapters 1-2 (pp. 1-33)

Tuesday, September 23 In Class: a) News of the Day b) Film: World War I c) Background Information/Casualties d) War Statistics from Today e) Kemmerich Chapter 2 Homework: a) Read Chapter 3 and begin Chapter 4 (pp. 35-65)

Wednesday, September 24 In Class: a) News of the Day b) Poems: War Is Kind by Stephen Crane Grass by Carl Sandburg c) Notes: Realism, Naturalism, Pacifism, and Expressionism d) Vocabulary work e) Kat and Kropp on War Chapter 3 Homework: a) Complete Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 (pp. 66-97)

Thursday, September 25 In Class: a) News of the Day b) Vocabulary Review c) Round Table Discussion d) Worksheet I e) Paul p. 55, Chapter 4 Homework: a) Begin Chapter 6 (pp. 99-125) b) Reader Response Journals 1-2 due

Friday, September 26, 2008 In Class: a) News of the Day b) Quiz I (Chapters 1-4) c) Journals 1-2 due d) Authority figures worksheet e) Kantorek Chapter 5 (pp. 84-86) Homework: a) Complete Chapter 6 and Begin Chapter 7 (pp. 126-150)

Monday, September 29 In Class: a) Vocabulary Quiz b) Excerpts from Chapter 6 c) Letters from War d) Writing assignment 5


a) Continue Chapter 7 (pp. 150-175)

Tuesday, September 30 In Class: a) News of the Day b) Review of Letter Assignment c) Making Decisions worksheet small group d) Large group discussion Homework: a) Complete Chapters 7 and 8 (pp. 176-198) b) Complete Letters

Wednesday, October 1, 2008 In Class: a) News of the Day b) Paul at Home Chapter 7 c) Round Table Discussion Part II d) Reading Letters e) Begin Worksheet II Homework: a) Read Chapter 9 (pp. 199 -229) b) Reader Response Journals 3-4 due

Thursday, October 2 In Class: a) News of the Day b) Quiz II (Chapters 5-8) c) Pauls Retraining Chapter 8 d) Reader Response Journals 3-4 due e) Begin Essential Question #1 Homework: a) Begin Chapter 10 (pp. 231-258) Friday, October 3, 2008 In Class: a) News of the Day b) Essential Question #1 c) Chapter 9 d) Symbols worksheet small group discussion Homework: a) Complete Chapter 10 and Begin Chapter 11 (pp. 259 -286)

Monday, October 6 In Class: a) News of the Day b) Introduce Essential Questions Position Paper c) Position groups (4) discussion (Gather ideas/notes) d) Draft position papers e) Worksheet III Homework: 6 a) Complete novel (pp. 287 295) b) Complete Position Paper

Tuesday, October 7 In Class: a) News of the Day b) Quiz III (Chapters 9-12) c) Discussion of the end of the novel d) Class Discussion of Position Questions (Position Paper due at the beginning of the hour.) Homework: a) Complete worksheets b) Reader Response Journals 5-6 due

Wednesday, October 8 In Class: a) Objective Test b) Essential Questions review c) Pre-writing Question #1 d) Reader Response Journals 5-6 due Homework: a) Prepare Essential Question

Thursday, October 9 In Class: a) Essay Exam b) Packets Due c) Introduction to The Great Gatsby Homework: a) Read in The Great Gatsby Writing Letters Assignment Novel Class

All Quiet on the Western Front

Directions: After reading a series of letters from soldiers, and with your knowledge of the war in All Quiet on the Western Front, write a letter from the war front. Your letter should be 250300 words, typed or written on theme paper. 1. Assume the character of Paul, and write a letter to the wife of Gerard Duval. 2. Assume the character of Paul, and write a letter to Kantorek telling him how you felt about the war when you were in his classroom and how your opinion has changed. 3. Assume the character of Paul, and write a letter home to a friend. 4. Assume the character of Paul and write a letter to your father about your feelings of the war. Suggestions: 1. Refer to the persons last letter to you. 7

2. Tell how his/her last letter made you feel. 3. Give some news of battles, friends, specific happenings, and inner feelings. 4. Write about the plans you had for after the war and how they have changed. 5. Use specific examples from the book. _____________________________________________________ Realism



Pacifism 5. dixie a. kettle b. whistle c. plate d. region 6. billet a. rent b. lodging c. weapon d. check 7. martinet a. puppet b. spaceman c. disciplinarian d. leader 8. ostracized a. excluded b. frightened c. ignored d. liked 9. coveted a. valued b. hidden c. stolen d. desired 10. pettifogging a. trivial b. opaque c. difficult d. showy 11. attributes a. acknowledgements b. frailties c. beliefs d. characteristics 12. revile a. sicken b. cheer c. reproach d. anger 13. saveloy a. bread

1. dollop a. fool b. serving c. area d. toy 2. voracity a. beauty b. gluttony c. loudness d. speed 3. queue a. signal b. mark c. question d. line 4. disconcerted a. melancholy b. dissatisfied c. interrupted d. disturbed 8

b. sausage c. cheese d. soap 14. patronize a. visit b. condescend c. follow d. protect 15. fatigue a. labor b. patrol c. laziness d. color 16. acrid a. thick b. bitter c. hazy d. sweet 17. lorry a. song b. tent c. cannon d. truck 18. rent a. payment b. washed c. torn d. filled 19. levies a. answers b. whips c. collects d. grabs 20. insatiable a. curious b. disturbed c. unhappy d. unsatisfied 21. laconically a. concisely b. lazily c. comically

d. obscurely 22. gait a. swing b. walk c. breathing d. pull 23. pensive a. thoughtful b. unsure c. bored d. worried 24. sufficed a. granted b. gorged c. allowed d. wasted 25. obliquely a. closely b. haphazardly c. clearly d. diagonally 26. apparitions a. appearances b. dividers c. reflections d. ghosts 27. inapprehensible a. not frightening b. not understandable c. disturbing d. uncertain 28. melancholy a. sadness b. obsession c. indifference d. frustration 29. quixotic a. foolish b. illogical c. idealistic d. speedy

30. askance a. sideways b. carefully c. hurriedly d. keenly 31. deloused a. to move b. to feel sick c. to remove lice d. to bathe 32. precipitously a. roughly b. misty c. massively d. abruptly 33. sluices a. streams b. floodgates c. pieces d. bridges 34. apathetic a. pitiful b. indifferent c. spirited d. sad 35. gendarmes a. weapons b. tanks c. officers d. policemen 36. tommy a. soldier b. gun c. leader d. grenade 37. extenuation a. frustration b. triumph c. justification d. profusion 38. quarrying a. removing stone 9

b. sparring c. building bridges d. fighting 39. repulsed a. affirmed b. repelled c. disgusted d. considered 40. pretence a. expectation b. deception c. advance d. offering 41. irresolutely a. thoughtlessly b. heedlessly c. carefully d. uncertainly All Quiet on the Western Front

42. placate a. please b. judge c. comfort d. locate 43. avert a. prevent b. guide c. hesitate d. join 44. parapet a. barrier b. tower c. cage d. weapon 45. idyll a. fatal confrontation b. mental lapse Making Decisions

c. pleasant episode d. inactive confinement 46. fastidious a. exhausting b. meticulous c. active d. intelligent 47. aberration a. irregularity b. opening c. reduction d. greeting 48. emaciated a. fatigued b. gaunt c. wounded d. freed
Perfection Form Company, 1990

Novel Class

Directions: Examining a situation from the novel, identify a dilemma or difficult choice the character(s) must make and complete the following process. 1. Define the Problem -The most significant step in any decision making process is to describe why a decision is necessary. This is critical, because how you define a problem determines how you define causes and where you search for solutions. What is the dilemma? Explain fully.

2. Identifying Alternatives - List the possible choices. (Brainstorm possible choices.)


3. Evaluating the Alternatives Choose the two best alternatives. As you evaluate each alternative, you should consider the likely positive and negative consequences that will follow each. List the pros and cons of each possible decision.

4. Implementing the Decision - Deciding on the best solution is not the same as doing something. Action is the first tangible step in changing a problematic situation. What action should be taken?

5. Evaluating the Decision - The final test of any decision is whether or not the problem was addressed and whether the subsequent consequences will justify the action taken. Answer the following questions: a) Was your decision consistent with the policies, procedures and norms of society (socially acceptable)? Explain. (If not, what are the possible consequences?)

b) Was your decision legal? Explain. (If not, what are the possible consequences?)

c) Does your decision satisfy your own definition or right, good and fair? Explain (If not, what are the possible consequences?)


d) Does your decision meet with moral and universal principles? (Those principles that go beyond social norms and legal limits.) Explain. (If not, what are the possible consequences?)

All Quiet on the Western Front 1. Why do the men receive double rations?

Worksheet Chapters 1-4

Novel Class

2. Why did Paul and his friends enlist in the army? What do the boys think of men like Kantorek?

3. Who was Joseph Behm and what happened to him?

4. What are some of the indications that Kemmerich is dying?


5. What did Paul often do in the evenings before the war? What is significant about this?

6. How do Paul and the other young men differ from the older soldiers?

7. What do the men think of Corporal Himmelstoss? Why?

8. What is Kats sixth sense?

9. What is Kats opinion of war?

10. How does Kropp think wars should be fought?


What will the gas do to a person? Where is the gas most likely to linger?



What do Kat and Paul nearly do to the recruit with the hip wound? Why would they even consider this?

All Quiet on the Western Front

Worksheet Chapters 5-8

Novel Class

1. Why does Himmelstoss want to have Tjaden court-martialled?

2. What will the mens lives be like when they return to society?

3. How efficient is the German army? Explain.

4. How do the men end the rat attacks?

5. Why does Paul hesitate before throwing the grenade?


6. Why are the reinforcements killed so rapidly?

7. What happens to Himmelstoss during the attack?

8. What does Paul think will happen with their war memories from the front after the war?

9. Why does Paul feel strange in his own home?

10. What conflict does Paul have with the Major? Why is this incident ironic?

11. Why is Paul unable to tell his mother and father about his true war experiences?

12. What does Paul think of the Russian prisoners? Why is Paul not more sympathetic towards them? 15

All Quiet on the Western Front

Worksheet Chapters 9-12

Novel Class

1. What is a flying division?

2. What does Paul do when the French soldier stumbles into his shell hole?

3. How does Paul react to what he has done? What does he realize about the French soldier?

4. What does Paul promise himself after this incident?

5. How does Sergeant Oellrich react to killing? How does he differ from Paul?

6. How is Paul wounded? Describe his surgery?


7. Why does Paul throw a bottle into the corridor at the hospital? Why does Josef Hamacher claim he threw the bottle?

8. What is the Dying Room?

9. What does Paul think of the world as he views the wounded in the hospital?

10. What happens to Detering?

11. What is happening now to the German lines?


How does Bertinck save his men?

13. Why does the book describe Pauls face at the end as calm?

All Quiet on the Western Front

Authority Figures

Novel Class 17

Authority Figure

Advice Given

Your Opinion of that Advice

All Quiet on the Western Front

Symbolism Sheet

Novel Class


Scene or Situation


The theft of Kemmerichs watch

The boots

Kemmerichs death

The front

Coffin stacked against a school-house wall

The death of the horses

Paul dreaming of childhood scenes during a bloody battle

Pauls visit home

All Quiet on the Western Front Overall Assignment: Write two 1-page journals for three sections of the novel, All Quiet on the Western Front. This is 6 total entries: two for chapters 1-4, two for chapters 5-8, and two for chapters 9-12. 19

Readers Response

Each entry should be 1-page or a minimum of 200 words. All three journals from a section should be stapled together and turned in on the due date. Use theme paper or type entries. Please indicate the date on each entry. Writing Topics: You may write about anything in the section that you find significant. Explore, explain, compare, examine, analyze, interpret, criticize, synthesize, and/or evaluate. Discuss literary technique, conventions, or craft used in the work. Do not summarize the text. Support: Cite relevant references from the text being commented upon, explain them, and relate them to the larger thematic developments in the text. Avoid assertions without textual support. You may refer to other texts that we have read to help support your assertions. Entries may reflect work within a certain section or with the entire text. Suggestions: Make arguments that are outside the predictable or expected responses and that extend or move beyond the in-class discussions. Entries should reflect your ideas and perspectives. This is not a place to restate the authors views. All Quiet on the Western Front Essential Questions Novel Class Directions: For each question make a list of your initial ideas and add notes from our classroom discussions of the novel. When you have gathered enough background information, develop an answer to the essential question. Check your answer and revise before the essay exam.

1. Trace Pauls development. Describe him before joining the army; his initial army experiences; and his war experiences. How has he changed? What physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual effect has war had on him? Explain his final sense of detachment? 20

All Quiet on the Western Front

Directions: Write a paragraph stating your position (claim) on each of the four statements. Be sure to add support (evidence), and tell why/how (warrant) it supports your position. I. It is important to keep a strong military presence in Iraq until he Iraqi government can maintain order.

Position Paper

II. If we pull out of Iraq now, it will increase the likelihood of terrorist attacks in America. III. Because of the necessity to maintain a strong military presence in both Afghanistan and Iraq for years to come, we should reinstitute the draft. 21

IV. War is inevitable. There will always be war despite attempts by society to avoid it.

A claim states your position on the issue you have chosen to write about. A good claim is not obvious. A good claim is engaging. A good claim is not overly vague. A good claim is logical; it emerges from a reasonable consideration of the evidence.

The evidence or data which you cite to support your claim. Like a lawyer presenting evidence to a jury, you must support your claim with facts; an unsupported claim is merely an assertion. Data can include: Facts or statistics: objectively determined data about your topic. Expert opinion: Learned opinion, theory, and analysis that you should cite frequently, both to support your argument and to disagree with. Primary research: an explanation and discussion of your own research findings and how they relate to your topic. Personal anecdotes: the most difficult kind of data to use well because doing so requires a persuasive argument that your own experience is relevant and can be objectively grasped by your reader. Personal experience can, however, bring an argument to life.

The warrant interprets the data and shows how it supports your claim. In other words, the warrant explains why and how the data proves the claim. A good warrant will be a reasonable interpretation and analysis of the facts. A good warrant will not make illogical interpretive leaps. A good warrant will not assume more than the evidence supports. A good warrant may consider and respond to possible counter-arguments

Position Paper Notes

I. It is important to keep a strong military presence in Iraq until he Iraqi government can maintain order.


If we pull out of Iraq now, it will increase the likelihood of terrorist attacks in America.


III. Because of the necessity to maintain a strong military presence in both Afghanistan and Iraq for years to come, we should reinstitute the draft.

IV. War is inevitable. There will always be war despite attempts by society to avoid it.