Night and All Quiet on Western Front Summer Reading Essay Example
Night and All Quiet on Western Front Summer Reading Essay Example

Night and All Quiet on Western Front Summer Reading Essay Example

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  • Pages: 13 (3542 words)
  • Published: August 31, 2017
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Summer reading Night 1). Crimes are committed in many situations. In some of those situations one is not always able to assist the target and extinguish the aggressor. Throughout the novel Night Lie witnesses his father being beaten multiple times by gypsy Kapok and AS guards. It is his silence that reflects both his understanding and his incapability. It reflects his understanding because he knows he can't possibly overtake the guards, in a way he admits defeat. It displays his incapacity (and those of the adults in Nazi Germany) because it is their silence and passive ways that let a horror like the

Holocaust to occur. The level of cruelty on display, on a daily basis in the concentration camp is overwhelming. The risk of Jeopardizing one's life


is a daily tribulation. As Lie watches his father being beaten with an iron bar by Ides, their German-Jewish Kapok, he does nothing. "l watched it all happening without moving. I kept silent. In fact I thought of stealing away in order to not suffer the blows. " Lie could have helped his father but he knew that if he did he would also be senselessly beaten, essentially putting his life in Jeopardy and then he wouldn't be able to help his father recover.

However a civilian can also try to "stop the bleeding" and aid the target in their troubles. When Frank notices that Lie still has a gold crown in his mouth he tells Lie to give it to him. Lie does not, but Frank knows his father's weakness, he cannot march very well. Every time Lie's father would mess up Frank would bea

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his father. Lie tried to teach his father how to march. "l decided to give my father lessons in marching in step, in keeping time. We began practicing in front of our block. Left, Right! And my father would try. " Lie tried to help his father but his father never came proficient at marching.

Eventually Lie had to give up his crown. But even in a difficult situation Lie was still able to try and help his father. The author Wishes is not very concerned about detailing the physical scars of the prisoners; rather it is their emotional scars that Lie is portraying. Although he was not able to stop the beating instantaneously he was able to relieve it. Being a prisoner in these camps has left Lie to become something less than himself, it has shaken his faith. By the end of the novel He looks at himself and describes himself as a "corpse".

One day when I was able to get up, I decided to look at myself in the mirror on the opposite wall. I had not see myself since the ghetto. From the depths of the mirror, a corpse was contemplating me. The look in his eyes as he glazed me has never left me. " A piece of him has died at the camp and will never come back. The author Wishes is making sure his reader understands that it is the emotional trauma that is most distinct about this war. Yes there have been other wars in which prisoners have died but none with the emotional beatings that lasted a lifetime like his one.

In the story Night

by Lie Wishes, him and his family are taken to concentration 2). Camps by the German army. They were taken in cargo trains to Brinkmen. As Lie and the rest of the Jews arrived "there was nothing but complete darkness. " The word and title night serve as a metaphor of a land without god. The Bible begins with God's creation of the earth. When God first begins his creation, the earth is "without form, and void; and darkness upon the face of the deep" (Genesis 1:2, King James Version) God first creates light to eliminate the darkness.

While in the concentration camps Lie continuously ponders to himself "How could god let us suffer? " While in the camps Lie is surrounded by darkness in a land without god. He only has his father as a source of willingness to stay alive. The feeling of light being good and dark being bad continue to this day. For example if one says "someone is seeing the light" it meaner that a person has come to an understanding. Another example is being "black balled" is to be excluded and a "black cat" is bad luck. All quiet on the western front. Erich Maria Armature uses language powerfully to shape an idea in the trader's mind.

An example of his ability to use descriptive language to paint a visual picture for the reader is as he explains "Those are wounded horses. But not all of them. Some gallop away in the distance, fall down, and then run on farther. The belly of one is ripped open, the guts trail out. He becomes tangled in them and falls, then

he stands up again. " (Armature, 63) This description of the wounded horses alludes to Bummer's band-of-brothers. Towards the end of the novel the allegory becomes true; it is actually a foreshadowing of the future. Many of the men crack and begin to o insane.

Deterring sees a Cherry tree blossom and takes a tree branch with him reminding himself of his orchard at home. A few days later he leaves the squad and was never heard from again which represents his disillusionment and that his thoughts are in disarray. At the end of the novel, Kate, an experienced, war torn veteran, dies in Bummer's hands. Beamer was the last one to die on a peaceful day in October 1918. Armature also gives a great description of the lethal gas that could potentially end Bummer's existence. The nauseous gas is portrayed as "a big, soft Jelly fish as it loots into our shell hole and lolls there obscenely. (Armature, 69) The gas mask is the only thing saving Beamer from the toxic gas that would cause a painful death. Bummer's life is hanging by a thread as he is being bombarded with mortars and gas in a graveyard. The casket is his only refuge. The gas appears harmless but Beamer knows one slip of the masks defense and the deadly toxins will kill him. Armature also illustrates one of Franz Chimer's prized possessions, his boots. "They are fine English boots of soft, yellow leather with reach to the knees and lace all the way- they are things to be coveted. Armature, 16) These boots represent the expendability of a soldier's life. The boots were first

owned by a pilot who had died until Chimer took them. After Chimer had died Mueller had inherited the boots. At the end of the novel Mueller died but the boots remained intact. The boots demonstrate that human lives in war are more expendable than a pair of fancy boots. 2). Throughout the novel All quiet on the Western Front the themes of beauty and horror are illustrated through the thoughts of Paul Beamer. In the first stages of the novel, Beamer describes his conditions at his camp. He describes how "... Lies are full of beef and Haricot bears. We are satisfied and at peace. "(Armature, 1) Beamer and his friends were safe and sound in their camp that rests five miles away from the front. Beamer had a bed, food, water, and cigars with tobacco. What else could a soldier need? Beamer is equipped with enough materials to feed himself for a week. When Armature uses phrases and vocabulary such as "bellies are full and they were at peace" Armature is sharing with the reader that Beamer is feeling content with the situation. Beamer describes how "they have such luck and have not had as much luck or a long time".

This luck that Beamer describes is Armature's way of letting the audience know that Beamer is in the midst of pleasure and Joy, not the usual description for wartime. The contrast comes as the story progresses; Beamer comes face to face with the reality and cruelty of war and its harsh environments. For example, when Beamer is marching with his troop, he is suddenly bombarded. Gunshots and mortars fly over his head.

Some of the rookie soldiers are so frightened that they defecate in their pants. Beamer is in the middle of a graveyard being shelled by mortars.

Beamer in his haste has to find cover; the only place available is in an opened coffin. He and his leader Kate, who is a war veteran, take cover there. While in the coffin the enemies throw grenades filled with gas. Kate yells "Gas! " and Beamer puts on his gammas as the yellow gas crawls into their coffin. Beamers mask is the only thing protecting him from the gas. Bummer's life is hanging by a thread and if one breath of gas slips into his mask, he is a dead man. Beamer notices his fellow soldiers and sees that they are dead. He sees they are covered in blood. Beamer had seen once again, the horror of war firsthand.

One can only imagine his agony, when he turns to see his friends dead on the ground. There are also several instances in which Armature offers the reader the contrasts of happiness and sadness throughout the novel. Franz Chimer was one of Bummer's best friends. During battle he had his foot blown off; he was sent to the infirmary. While in the infirmary Beamer was put on leave while visiting him. Beamer even watched him lie in his death bed and die. "Chimer suddenly groans and begins to gurgle. I Jump up, stumble outside and demand, where is the doctor? Where is the doctor?

As I catch sight of the white apron I seize hold of it: Come quick, Franz Chimer is dying. " (Armature, 31) The doctor didn't

care. As Chimer is dying it is as if he is going into a seizure. Unlike many people Chimer did not have a slow and easy death. Franz Chimer's death gave Beamer an amount of mental trauma that is an accurate reflection about the cruelty of war. Beamer and his troop continued to go into war. Armature leaves a rare glimpse of happiness when in a moment of surprise they meet the French girls. The platoon had to cross a canal to get to the girls' house.

Beamer stays with a brunette. While with the brunette Beamer says "l feel the lips of the little Brunette and press myself against them, my eyes close, I want it all to fall from me, war and terror and grossness, in order to awaken young and happy; I think of the picture of the girl on the poster, and for a moment, believe that my life depends on winning her. And if I press ever deeper into the arms that embrace me, perhaps a miracle may happen. " (Armature, 150) When Beamer speaks of being young and happy he is imagining his life before the war and before witnessing theses atrocities.

It is almost as if Armature is sharing with his reader that amidst all of the difficulties each soldier is still searching for a reason to believe. This reminds me of a scene from another film about the conflicts of soldiers in the Vietnamese war. The film is Apocalypse Now, the main character and his troop are on a mission to extinguish a rogue leader as they go in to enemy territory. The similarity with Armature's story,

is amidst the chaos of their war they come upon an American outpost where out of nowhere the playboy bunnies put on a show for the American troops.

Like All Quiet on the Western Front the terrors of war are put on hold and the audience gets to share in the Joy and happiness of the soldiers as they get a respite of the war's violence. The young German soldiers have an intense feeling of national patriotism, national pride if you will. Keynoter, a friend and fellow soldier of Group embodies German pride. His letter to Group is an example of his fervor. He refers to the young soldiers as Germany's "Iron Youth" (Armature, 18) Yes, that's the way they think, these hundred thousand Keynoters! Iron Youth! " However as the war continues

Beamer begins to lose his patriotism. When he returns from his leave he is put in charge of some Russian prisoners. He watches as they are only fed enough to keep them from starving. He also notices their "Honest peasant faces, broad foreheads, broad noses, broad mouths, broad hands, and thick hair. " (Armature, 190) Beamer begins to notice that the prisoners are Just like him. He ponders why he is fighting them. It is the military leaders that are the true enemies. Beamer begins to lose hope and moral about the war. In All Quiet on the Western Front love is expressed as a love for ones country.

As a child, children were told how they should have a love of country and a love of duty. "During drill-time Keynoter gave us long lectures until the whole of our class went,

under his shepherding, to the district commandant and volunteered. I can see him now, as he used to glare at us through his spectacles and say in a moving voice: won't you Join up, comrades? " (Armature, 11) Beamer enlisted in the army as a volunteer to serve his country. Loyalty and duty were drilled into these young boys and their expectations upon serving in the war were of romantic adventures and heroic events. That all changed in a heartbeat.

Their discontent and hatred of their leaders is displayed throughout the novel. "The first bombardment showed us our mistake and under it the world that they had taught it to us broke in to pieces. " (Armature, 13) This quote is the first indication that the young boys feel that they were promised one thing and given another. The blurring of the distinct lines between German soldiers and Russian soldiers becomes very evident when Paul is put in charge of guarding Russian prisoners. But when he reflects on faceless leaders making decrees, stating who is right and who is rang his frustration comes to the fore front. But who can draw such a distinction when he looks at these quiet men with their childlike faces and apostles beard. Any non-commissioned officer is more of an enemy to a recruit, any schoolmaster to a pupil, than they are to us. And yet you would shoot at them again and they at us if they were free. " (Armature, 194) Both Novels 1). "The synagogue resembled a large railroad station: baggage and tears. The altar was shattered, the wall coverings shredded, the walls themselves bare. There were

so many of us, we could hardly breathe. The twenty-four hours we spent there ere horrendous. The men downstairs, the women upstairs.

It was Saturday-the Sabbath-and it was as though we were to attend services. Forbidden to go outside, people relieved themselves in a corner. "(Wishes, 22) Lie's place of sacrament has become unholy and desecrated as it has become their area of deportation. When Wishes states that the day of deportation was on the Sabbath day, it displays the soldiers disregard and contempt for their prisoners and all that they held sacred. This is very similar to All Quiet on the Western Front ,as Bummer's place of peace and safety becomes a battleground. We are at rest five miles behind the front.

Yesterday we were relieved, and now our bellies are full of beef and haricot bears. We are satisfied and at peace. Each man has another mess-tin full for the evening. " (Armature, 1) However unlike Ell, Paul Beamer is a soldier who must fight in the war on a day-to-day basis. In Night Lie and his family are transported to Brinkmen in cargo trains. When they had arrived Wishes described the situation through his eyes. "We stared at the flames in the darkness. A wretched stench floated in the air. Abruptly, our doors opened. Strange-looking creatures, dressed in striped jackets and black pants, Jumped into the wagon.

Holding flashlights and sticks, they began to strike at us left and right, shouting. "(Wishes, 28) It was Lie's first experience of a concentration camp. Darkness surrounded the camp creating a loss of hope and faith. Similarly in All Quiet on the Western Front Paul

spend the majority of his time trying to survive in filthy, waterlogged ditches full of rats and decaying corpses and infested with lice. "We have to go up wiring fatigue. The motor lorries role up after dark. We climb in. It is a warm evening and the twilight seems like a canopy whose helter we feel drawn together.

Even the stingy Teased gives me a cigarette and then a light. "(Armature, 51) Paul and his troop constantly go without food, good clothes, and decent medical care. Paul has to leave with the constant deaths of his friends in and extremely violent ways. Armature portrays the overall effect of these conditions as a crippling overload of panic and losing heart. 2). In Lie Weasel's novel Night Lie witnesses death as soon as he is brought to Auschwitz. "Not far from us, flames, huge flames, were rising from a ditch. Something was being burned there. A truck drew lose and unloaded its hold: small children, Babies!

Yes, I did see this, with my own eyes... Children thrown into the flames. " (Wishes, 32) Lie had a firsthand encounter with the German soldiers' wrath and cruelty. The German soldiers' were wiping out the new generation of Jews and trying to complete genocide. The unimaginable has become a harsh reality in World War Sis's Nazi Germany. These images have been seared into Lie's mind. Lie travels with his father through multiple camps while imprisoned. While in the camps his father begins to disintegrate and his spirit is demoralized, through eating, hard work, and sickness.

Towards the end of the novel Lie's father caught dysentery. Lie would help his father

by giving him extra rations of food and supplying him with water. But it was too late to save his father. "l brought him water. Then I left for roll call. But I quickly turned back. I lay down on the upper bunk. The sick were allowed to stay in the block. So I would be sick. I didn't want to leave my father. All around me there was silence now, broken only by moaning. In the front of the block, the AS were giving orders. An officer passed between my bunks. My father as pleading: my son, water...

I'm burning up my insides... Silence over there! Barked the officer. Likelier, continued my father, water... The officer came closer and shouted to him to be silent. But my father did not hear. He continued to call me. The officer wielded his club and dealt him a violent blow to the head. I didn't move. I was afraid, my body was afraid of another blow, this time to my head. My father groaned once more, I heard: Likelier... I could see that he was still breathing-in gasps. I didn't move. "(Weasel, 1 1 1) Lie had to sit quietly as his father was beaten and punished.

His father was taken to the crematorium. Even in his father's death bed he was still beaten with no mercy and Lie was left to ponder his internal conflict about being silent. Likewise in All Quiet on the Western Front Beamer had to witness one of his best friends die. Franz Chimer had his foot blown off and Paul Beamer rested by his side the whole time. After staying with

Franz for a while Beamer begins to notice he is dying. "Suddenly Chimer groans and begins to gurgle. " (Armature, 31) Beamer was traumatized by this event as he talked to the doctor and they did not care.

The actor simply said "that will be the twentieth one today. " In war one is surrounded by death, in civilian life death is a rare occurrence. At the front, it is all too common and one has to quickly disassociate from it. On another occasion Beamer and his platoon were shelled in a graveyard. They were bombarded with mortars and bullets. Beamer watched his brothers in war die. "l open my eyes-my fingers grasp a sleeve, an arm. A wounded man? I yell to him-no answer-a dead man. My hand gropes farther, splinters of wood-now I remember again that we are lying in the graveyard. (Armature, 66) Beamer experiences the ritually of war as he is knocked unconscious In the middle of battle and wakes up to a dead brother. The angel of death reigns on the battlefield, most soldiers are left to scramble, so that the angel stays away from them. In summation the themes of death, horror, and man's inhumanity to man are very powerful topics. I believe that these novels have showcased them very well. I believe these novels are an accurate representation of the horrors all soldiers and prisoners go through. I have been given a new perspective on the Holocaust and War. These are universal truths that still continue today.

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