“All quiet on the Western front” and “Slaughterhouse 5”

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When composing literary plants most. writers will hold that it is hard to compose a narrative without any inspiration. The authors will frequently hold some motivation. either from past experiences or something that can animate an thought for a novel. Although the novel can be fabricated it can still alter how society feels about a certain issue.

The two novels All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque and Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut romanticizes what war is like. stressing thoughts such as glorification. horror. award. loyal responsibility. and escapade. The similarities include both writers have their feeling that the absurdness of war is morally incorrect. how soldiers act as playthings in the sandbox being played with higher governments. Both novels characteristic the society of immature work forces to be controlled and sent to their death with small hope. The differences between the two novels is that both novels feature a different attack on how the novel flows. Vonnegut moves the narrative in humourous mode whereas Remarque tells it in a serious mode.

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The obvious comparing when researching the two novels is the facet that they are antiwar novels. In Slaughterhouse 5. Vonnegut is seeking to show his point of position. or rock the readers to understand the negative belongingss of war since the firebombing of the German town Dresden during World War II. The supporter Billy Pilgrim is the antiwar hero because he does non suit the description of the usual war hero. “He didn’t expression like a soldier at all. He looked like a foul flamingo” ( Vonnegut. 33 ) Billy’s character is a customary figure of merriment in the American Army. Billy is no exclusion. He is powerless to harm the enemy or to assist his friends. He wears no decorations. his physical visual aspect and physique is a jeer and his religion in loving Jesus troubles most soldiers. ( Lichtenstein ) Vonnegut realizes that war is inevitable. it’s like decease.

Even if Billy were to develop difficult. have on the proper uniform. and be a good soldier he might still decease like the remainder of the others in Dresden. Billy lives in a life with indignity and is non afraid of decease. and in conformity to the Traflamadorian doctrine of accepting decease. By expressing the phrase “so it goes” the storyteller points out the meaningless slaughter after every decease. no affair how dry. sarcastic or random. “On the 8th twenty-four hours. the tramp died. So it goes. His last words were. “You think this is bad? This ain’t bad. ”” ( Vonnegut 79 ) “But the tapers and soap were made from the fat of rendered Jews and Gypsies and faeries and Communist and other enemies of the province. So it goes” ( Vonnegut. 96 ) Billy ever sees decease coming. but nil he can make about it. In chapter 10. at the terminal of fresh Vonnegut shows the reader how there is nil intelligent to state after the slaughter of Dresden.

“Billy and the remainder wandered out onto the fly-by-night street. The trees were flicking out. There was nil traveling on out at that place. no traffic of any sort. There was merely one vehicle. an abandoned waggon drawn by two Equus caballuss. The waggon was green and coffin-shaped. Birds were speaking. One bird said to Billy Pilgrim. “Poo-tee-weet? ” ( Vonnegut. 215 )

It is obvious when everyone is dead it is suppose to be quiet. but the bird who says “Poot-tee-weet? ” symbolizes the deficiency of anything intelligent to state about war. It is the lone appropriate thing to state. since no words can depict the horror on the firebombing of Dresden.

Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front presents its reader with the rough world of war. The fresh sets out to portray war and the existent experiences. replacing the romantic image of glorification and gallantry with a unquestionably unromantic vision of panic. amour propre. and slaughter. The fresh takes topographic point during World War I and in the position of a German soldier. Paul Baumer the supporter. Stylistically the fresh consists of short chapters that symbolize the speedy gait of decease in the novel. For illustration in chapter one Remarque already introduces the hurting and torment of loss in friendly relationship. ( Ward ) For illustration in chapter one. Kimmerich being one of the four friends of Paul dies while being brought back from the trenches. ( Remarque ) Remarque smashes any positive ideas the reader may hold about warfare in his descriptions.

“It is impossible to hold on the fact that there are human faces above these lacerate organic structures. faces in which life goes on from twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours and on top of it all. this is merely one individual military infirmary. merely one – there are 100s of 1000s of them in Germany. France. and Russia. How pointless all human ideas. words and workss must be. if things like this are possible! Everything must hold been deceitful and pointless if 1000s of old ages of civilisation weren’t even able to forestall the river of blood. Merely a military infirmary can demo you what war truly is” ( Remarque. 186 ).

It seems that the feeling of war is non honor or glorification yet it is enduring of those who are take parting. Because All Quiet on the Western Front is set among soldiers contending on the forepart. one of its chief focal points is the detrimental consequence that war has on the soldiers who fight it. How one’s ideas on the war can destroy the past experiences with a rough focal point on the physical and mental harm done. The work forces in the novel are invariably subjective to physical danger. Literally the soldiers can be blown to pieces at any clip. This menace causes harm done to the encephalon and triping a mental image. coercing soldiers to see fright during every minute of their clip on the forepart. “We became tough. leery. hard-hearted. vindictive and unsmooth. if they had sent us out into the trenches without this sort of preparation he likely most of us would hold gone mad” ( Remarque. 19 ).

Likewise in Slaughterhouse 5 Billy Pilgrim didn’t receive the proper preparation that driven him into the extremum of insanity. And the lone manner to last for both Billy and Paul is to unplug themselves from their feelings. and accept the conditions of their life. “We want to populate at any monetary value ; so we can non burthen ourselves with feelings which. though they may be cosmetic plenty in peacetime. would be out of topographic point here. ” ( Remarque. 123 ) In Billy’s instance he uses the semblance of clip travel to get away his ideas in the Slaughterhouse 5.

Additionally to the similarities of both novels being antiwar novels. there is an thought that the writers highlight the coevals of immature work forces being drafted to the war. Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front gives accent on the peculiar affect war has on the immature work forces who have non been given the opportunity to see life. Paul’s character represents the immature coevals of work forces who went directly from childhood into World War I. Paul describes his fellow soldiers: he. Leer. Muller. and Kropp are all 19 old ages old.

They are from the same school. same categories. and each enlisted into the ground forces voluntary. ( Remarque ) “They are from one of the freshly rise regiments. about entirely immature work forces from the latest age group to be drafted. They’ve had barely any preparation. nil more than a spot of theory. ” ( Remarque. 93 ) The war alterations Paul’s attitude about the universe and about humanity. He believes the war becomes non simply a traumatic experience or a adversity to be endured but something that really transforms the kernel of human being into eternal agony. ( Ward )

The longer that Paul survives the war. the more that he hates it. the less certain that life will be better for him after it ends. ( Ward ) The war teaches the coevals of immature work forces the effects of patriotism and political power. Tools used to command the states population. Coercing them to believe in what is “right” . Throughout Paul’s experience he realizes that the soldiers that fight on the forepart are non contending for the state but contending for their ain endurance. to kill or be killed. Additionally. Paul and his friends do non see the opposing fraction to be their existent enemies.

“I didn’t want to kill you. copulate. If you were to leap in here once more. I wouldn’t do it… But earlier on you were merely an thought to me. a construct in my head that called up an automatic response – it was that construct that I stabbed. It is merely now that I can see that you are a human being like me. I merely thought about your hand-grenades. your bayonet and your arms – now I can see you married woman. and your face. and what we have in common. Forgive me comrade. how can you be my enemy? If we threw these uniforms and arms away you could be merely every bit much my brother as Kat and Albert. ”

In his position. the existent enemies are the work forces in power in their ain state. who they believe have sacrifice them to the war merely to increase their ain power and glorification. At the terminal of the novel. about every major character is dead. typifying the war’s lay waste toing consequence on the coevals of immature work forces who is force to contend in it.

Abattoir 5 besides portrays an first-class illustration of immature work forces traveling to war go forthing back a life behind to laud the nation’s good being. Billy Pilgrim is merely 20 old ages old when he enters the war. During his station war life he attended dark Sessionss at the Ilium School of Optometry. ( Vonnegut ) As he progresses throughout the events he encounters other soldiers who are similar in age. “Roland Weary was merely 18. was at the terminal of an unhappy childhood” ( Vonnegut. 35 ) “Two of the Germans were male childs in their early teens” ( Vonnegut. 52 )

The differences seen in the two novels is that Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front moves in a really serious and descriptive manner. Unlike Vonneguts Slaughterhouse 5 Remarque illustrates every decease with usage of slaughter and Gore. Every conflict scene characteristics barbarous force and bloody descriptions of decease. “We see work forces travel on life with the top of their skulls losing ; we see soldiers travel on running when both their pess have been shot away–they stumble on their seceding a full half-mile on his custodies. dragging his legs behind him. with both articulatio genuss shattered. We see soldiers with their oral cavities losing. their lower jaws losing. with their faces losing ; we find person who has gripped the chief arteria in his arm between his dentitions for two hours so that he doesn’t bleed to decease. The Sun goes down. dark falls. the shells whistling. life comes to an end” ( Remarque. 97 )

Hospital scenes portray work forces with serious lesions that go untreated because of deficient medical supplies. Paul carries the hurt Kat on his dorsum to safety. merely to detect that Kat’s caput was hit by a piece of shrapnel while Paul was transporting him. The descriptions of rat-infestation. famishment. conditions conditions. and trench warfare. and how it forces the soldiers to populate in these disquieted conditions. ( Remarque ) Remarque’s novel dramatizes facets of World War I and how the development of engineering ( trenches. heavy weapon. chlorine gas ) was a major influence that made killing easier. “Continuous fire. defensive fire. drape fire. trench howitzers. gas. armored combat vehicles. machine guns. hand-grenades – words. words. but they embrace all the horrors of the universe. ” ( Remarque. 68 )

Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5 moves the narrative in a scientific discipline fiction procedure filled with temper and sarcasm. First of all the thought of Billy being “unstuck in time” . Billy travels indiscriminately through the minutes of his life without control over his chronological finish. ( Lichtenstein ) Time travel leads to instability in the novel. as Billy is seeking to do sense in his life giving an experience that no 1 can understand how Billy truly feels. He clip travels in order to get by with his life and all he has been through. In chapter two. Vonnegut instantly tells the beginning. in-between. and stoping of the narrative right off. Vonnegut enchants the subject of novel by adding Tralfamadorians ( Vonnegut’s wit of toilet-plunger molded Aliens ) and how they abducted Billy into their starship and learning Billy the doctrine of clip and decease and discoursing whether free will be. ( Vonnegut ) Witty temper and sarcasm is a factor in the class of the novel. for case.

“Weary socked Billy a good 1 on the side of his jaw. knocked Billy off from the bank and onto the snow covered ice of the brook. “You shouldn’t even be in the Army. ” said Weary. Billy was doing involuntarily doing spasmodic sounds that were a batch like laughter. “You think it’s good story. huh? ”

But so Weary saw that he had an audience. Five German soldiers and a constabulary Canis familiaris on a cilium were looking down into the bed of the brook. The soldiers’ bluish eyes filled with a blear-eyed civilian wonder as to why one American would seek to slay another American. and why the victim should laugh” ( Vonnegut. 51 )

Ironically. of the four original soldiers. Billy is the lone 1 who remains alive. yet he is the most improbable one to make so. In decision. in malice of the differences between Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front and Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5 both novels convey the same message Whether the readers view Slaughterhouse-Five as a science-fiction novel or a autobiographical statement. and All Quiet on the Western Front the reader can non disregard the destructive belongingss of war. since the ruinous firebombing of the German town of Dresden during World War II or the awful Acts of the Apostless of World War I including trench warfare. Both novels suggest the same decision about war and how it ends “quiet” . By stressing the bird that whispered “Poot-tee-weet” towards Billy. Or the decease of Paul Baumer’s “Nothing new to describe on the western front” ( Remarque. 207 )


  1. Lichtenstein. Jesse and Douthat. Ross. SparkNote on Slaughterhouse-Five. 1 May. 2005

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“All quiet on the Western front” and “Slaughterhouse 5”. (2017, Jul 18). Retrieved from


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