The Harsh Realizations of Life During World War I During the war the soldiers in All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque, become disillusioned because of the people dying all around them. The soldiers end up losing all of their hope and, as a result, become spiritually dead. There souls had to go through a more a bloodier and painful death than their bodies. This war ended up becoming a cause of their disillusionment because of all of the people dying around them and losing all hope in life. A cause of this hopelessness and disillusionment could be how the system of militarism was used with all of the soldiers. The soldiers also start to become disillusioned and pessimistic because they know the end is near.
Another reason for the disillusionment is how the soldiers are unaware of all the bloody deaths around them. Several examples of this come in throughout of the novel. We march up, moody or good tempered soldiers we reach the zone where the front begins and become instant animals, . This shows how the soldiers have been trained. They are not trained to think about what they are doing that they just have to react whatever is thrown at them.
This is an example how the system of militarism is used in the war. The soldiers can easily be compared to wild animals because they have the inability to think about what they are doing. This is the only mind set that the soldiers can be in because without this type of thinking it is ensuring defeat. This can be a cause of their disillusionment because they are not able to think for themselves anymore.
Paul and the rest of the soldiers are like computers and are just trained to be killing machines. This can also be a cause of shell shock because the soldiers have to live with themselves after killing the enemy. Another example of the soldiers hopelessness could be found here, The others jest to, unpleasant jests but what can a man do? The coffins are really for us, . This shows how they have lost all of their hope of returning to home. They cannot conceive going back to their old life and having the things use to be. Even the commanding officers know the end is near for most of the soldiers.
This can be perceived because coffins have been bought to place the dead soldiers that have not loss all of their limbs and extremities. Paul and the soldiers can only see themselves staying in Europe and dying a horrific death. This can be a cause of disillusionment because of the hopelessness they have from leaving Europe and going back to the United States for a normal life. The soldiers become disillusioned of the other soldiers being killed in the beginning of the novel. An example of this can be, Fourteen days ago we had to go up and receive the front line. It was fairly quiet on our sector, so the quartermaster who remained in the rear had requisitioned the usual quantity of rations provided for the full company of 150.
English heavies opened up on us with high explosive, drummed carelessly on our position, so that we suffered severely and came back only 80 strong. This shows how the soldiers attitudes have changed since the beginning of the novel. This quote shows how na ve the soldiers are. They are not able to conjecture why they have extra food and are served their food faster. This is definitely a cause of their disillusionment because they cannot find why they have extra food. It is hard for them to think about of all of their fellow soldiers dying because they are not used to witnessing such a massacre of this magnitude.
These are the harsh realities that the soldiers had to live with during World War I. As hard as they tried to block out the deaths of their friends it only mad them more disillusioned. The soldiers end up losing all of the hope they once had prior to the war when they were still in school. Paul and the rest of the soldiers can only be cynical and pessimistic of their chances of returning home. The soldiers lost everything they once had in their lives.