All Quiet on the Western Front

by: Erich Maria Remarque

Suggested Essay Topics

1. According to the text, how does war empower petty, power-hungry men? Think especially about Himmelstoss. How do the other characters cope with their forced subordination?

2. In what ways does the novel critique the romantic rhetoric of war, honor, and patriotism? How might this critique extend to nineteenth-century ideas of nationalism? Think especially about the soldiers’ reaction to Kantorek’s letter.

3. What is Paul like as a character? Has the brutality of war completely stripped away his humanity, or does he retain vestiges of his old self?

4. Discuss how the goals of the novel, as stated by the epigraph or suggested by the text, affect the work’s form and style. Does Remarque compromise his realistic style in order to deliver a message? Is Kantorek too one-dimensional a character?