Remarque's Definition of War

War is a lie told by the government. During war, many young men all across the world are persuaded to join the military as a proud citizen and defend their home. The government portrays war as a place of glory where if you join you will be a hero in the eyes of your country. The ugly truth about war is that it permanently damages the men and they are either killed in battle or left abandoned by their country and sent home with their newly received PTSD.

Majority of the men, if not all, wouldn’t have joined the military if they knew what horrors were waiting for them on the battlefield. During the time of war, it seems like the citizens and the government are being paid to wheedle the young men into joining the fight. “During drill-time Kantorek gave us long lectures until the whole of our class went, under his shepherding, to the District Commandant and volunteered.

” Stated by Remarque on page eleven. Since the young men did not know any better most were eager to be part of the war and fight for their country. The citizens gave the men comfort in their decision and convinced them they were doing the right thing.

“The idea of authority, which they represented, was associated in our minds with a greater insight and a more humane wisdom. But the first death we saw shattered this belief.” Stated by Remarque on page twelve. The government and the citizens supported the young men with their decision but once the fighting began their  support was nowhere to be found.

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The men found out the truth about war not from their loved ones or the people they knew their whole lives but instead were informed from the horrifying experiences they endured. Once injured during battle men no longer mattered to the government they were just another casualty or a filled bed that needed to be occupied with a healthier patient. “Hospital orderlies go to and fro with bottles and pails. One of them comes up, casts a glance at Kemmerich and goes away. You can see he is waiting, apparently he wants the bed.” Stated by Remarque on page thirty. The soldiers aren’t important in the eyes of the war they are just objects that are used to settle disputes between the rich and powerful men in the government. If the soldiers are lucky enough to return home on leave or from injuries they still can’t escape the horrors of the war. Paul experiences this first hand on his leave from the army. “But now I see that I have been crushed without knowing it. I find that I do not belong here anymore, it is a foreign world.” Stated by Remarque on page 168.

The war has done so much to him that he feels like a foreigner in his own home and he’d rather be fighting in a battle than be with his own family. The soldiers are laying their lives down for their country and they’re not receiving proper treatment. They are given unhealthy food, worn out clothes, and aren’t getting enough sleep. “They (rats) seem to be mighty hungry. Almost every man has had his bread gnawed. Kropp wrapped his is a waterproof sheet and put it under his head, but he cannot sleep because they run over his face to get at it.” Stated by Remarque on page 102. If a country wants to win a war wouldn’t they make sure the ones who are fighting it are well taken care of? The soldiers went through enough troubles with the actual war itself and on top of that they have to worry if they will receive decent food and sleep every night. Remarques definition of war is that it’s just something that the government has lied about. Its job is to recruit young men who are naive and eager to join the fight for their country and loved ones when in reality they are actually fighting because the leaders of the country need to settle a dispute. Men are losing themselves and everything they know about life in the war and are left with just a body that belongs to the system, a shattered mind, and no true home. War is lie told by the government so they can continue to recruit new young men who are willing to die for their country.

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Remarque's Definition of War. (2022, Oct 12). Retrieved from

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