Also, soldiers In the war never had a chance to live their youth because they had to go to war. Just as they should be starting their lives, they were forced to drop everything at once and put their life on the line. In “Peace”, it reveals that the soldiers are not in the war for themselves, but for God and for their country. Since they are doing this, their senses sharpen, and their youth fades away. If war does not kill you physically, then It will emotionally. Its a simple fact, war Is destruction at Its best.
It does not only destroy lives, but emotions. The theme of “All Quiet on the Western Front” perfectly presents how war destroys innocence. ” generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war”(Armature Prologue). Even though war does not always physically injure someone, it can emotionally scar them for the rest of their lives. The incidents that happen while people are at war are hard to forget about. They are metal images that cannot be erased. Naught broken save this body, lost but breath” (Brooke 11).
This quote from “Peace” Indicates that yes, the soldiers were saved, but they’re soul destroyed on the Inside. Nothing was saved, but the body. The comrades in the war had to quickly erase their youth and prepare for the worst. However, there is only so much you can prepare for. They were quickly broken down and forced to grow up no matter the occasion. “All Quiet on the Western Front”delays why war destroys youth. ‘We had to recognize that our generation was more to be trusted than Armature 12).
Most of the soldiers were young, around eighteen to twenty-one years old. They never had a chance to live their youth years because they had to go to war. Right when they should be starting a new chapter In their life, they have to risk their lives and fight for their country. “For us lads of eighteen they ought to have been mediators and guides to the world of maturity to the future in our hearts we trusted them. The idea of authority, which they represented, was associated in our minds with a greater Insight and a more humane 12), In “All
Quiet on the Western Front” Paul and his comrades must determine what is correct since the older generation is incapable of helping them and being the supervisors that they are supposed to be. War destroys youth Is portrayed In “Peace” because the soldiers lose themselves and become animal-Like men. “And half-men and their dirty songs and dreary'(Brooke 7). When at the front, the soldiers lose their humanity. “Just as we turn 1 OFF Into animals when we go up to ten Ellen … So we turn Into wags Ana looters when we are resting….
We want to live at any price; so we cannot burden ourselves with feelings which, though they may be ornamental enough in peacetime, would be out of place here”(Armature 138-139). When soldiers were giving up their humanity, they were giving up their youth as well. The soldiers lost their whole selves in the war; especially when they were on the front. They could not think like human. In order to survive the anxieties of war, Paul explains that he and his comrades would have to disconnect themselves from their emotions.
The only way of surviving the war notionally is if it is avoided in thoughts. If it is not avoided, then the grief, despair, and fear would drive a man insane. Only an adult would be capable of doing this. No child or young man could. This is a perfect example of how war destroys youth. The war caused the soldiers to grow up fast. If they did not, they would not survive in any way. Mouth! We are none of us more than twenty years old. But young? Youth? That is long ago. We are old folk” (Armature 18). Armature refers to the men as “Iron Youth”.
The men are still young but they have a feeling of strength and being invincible on the inside and out. The soldiers are no longer part of society. After the war they could not go back and live their lives like nothing happened. They have grown up in a way no one will ever understand. Most of the veterans from World War I stayed in the army because they did not believe they belonged anywhere else. They considered war their home. The soldiers lost their youth from the beginning of their journey in war. War destroyed the innocence of the veterans in World War l. There was no way of regaining what they lost.
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