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“All Quiet on the Western Front”: Movie and the Book

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Using the main universal truth of demutualization of war, Armature presents to us the compelling story of Paul Beamer, who goes through the most traumatic experience in life as he loses all his dearest friends and becomes estranged to his past. Both the novel and movie successfully bring out the theme of the terrible brutality of war, just in different ways. Using figurative language skill, Armature in the novel illustrates the psychological damage on soldiers while the movie, using visual effects, shows the physical damage.

As a result, they both send an eloquent message about the horror of war. Also, Pall’s character is appropriately developed in both novel and the movie. In the novel, readers can go into Pall’s mind and comprehend his thoughts; in the movie, audience can see Pall’s facial expression and straightforward reaction towards various events. It is hard to judge which version of the story is better because both the novel and the movie achieve the goal of revealing the truth of war.

The film version of All Quiet on the Western Front should be greatly credited because it moves the audience with thrilling scenes while the words in the novel are simply black and white. The novel requires the readers to have unconstrained imagination in order to step into Pall’s world. Through the aid of visualization, the movie version demonstrates some additional emotional details. For example, the movie shows Pall’s high school teacher, Keynoter talking about patriotism and the inevitable duty to protect the fatherland.

In the novel Paul makes light of Keynoter convincing the boys to enlist through brief and sparse memories. While readers might remember this as more of a fact, the audience is able to draw into the theme of the institutionalizing of war easier because the incorrect scene is provided on a logical and chronological timeline. While the novel skillfully digs into readers’ hearts, the movie seems to lose a bit of emotional effect. The movie, however, enables the readers to see the virtual world similar to what it is like in the novel, including battle scenes with poisonous gas and gunshots.

When reading the novel, readers heed to Pall’s questions and thoughts while the audience focus more on the visual images. The movie certainly creates emotional responses through visualization, but the writing in the novel is more effective because readers tend to picture things when hey read which tends to stay in minds longer. In other words, people tend to take what is shown in a movie for superficial value rather than visualizing and understanding the deep meaning of something. Visualization, therefore, is less effective in symbolism.

For instance, though the part where Paul and his comrades find themselves in a graveyard during a bombardment can be stunning on the screen, the audience might miss the symbolic irony that stems from the novel’s account of the event. The novel is able to slowly unravel the event, thus producing an extremely detailed account of not only the physical vents, but also the emotional events that take place; we are able to see the irony in the fact that the living soldiers hide from the shells in coffins, while the dead are being flung around the very place they are laid to rest.

Since the novel is able to take us inside Pall’s head with greater ease than the film, it succeeds in showing Pall’s difficulty to remain sane, as well as his inner conflict as he searches drastically for the right thing to do. Even though the movie version of All Quiet on the Western Front lacks effective emotions and descriptive details, it portrays the main idea just as well as the evolve does. Unfortunately, Paul and his schoolmates all die at the end of the story and they become, literally, a lost generation.

Thus, a powerful statement about World War I is revealed; war has a devastating effect on the generation of young man who are forced to fight it. Indubitably, it is an anti-war film, not just for World War l, but all wars throughout history. Paul Bummer’s story, depicted in the novel and the movie, conveys the horror of war, serves as a warning to the world, and remains just as powerful as it was first written.

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