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All Quite on the Western Front Essay

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" And we would all go down together".

The book All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque shows the changes of a person that goes through war. Billy Joel also shows the tradegic things that one can go through in war in the song "Goodnight Saigon". Billy Joel's experience was hands on when he was in the Vietnam War. Both book and song demonstrate three main themes; horrors of war, comraderie, and the loss of innocence. They both show how badly a war can affect on person. They are both very powerful and demonstrate these three themes through strong beliefs and knowledge.

" We sit opposite one another, Kat and i, two soldiers in shabby coats, cooking a goose in the middle of the night. We don't talk much, but I believe we have a more complete communion with one another than even lovers have."(94). Paul and Kat have become so close that they have such strong feelings without even talking. During the book it shows how much one needs someone to be there for them when they are in the war; someone to have their back. Kat and Paul have a brotherhood, they share a comraderie with the other boys. A main theme in this book is comraderie. In the song " Goodnight Saigon", Billy Joel also shows that he has complete trust in someone who he just met going into a war. "And we held onto each other like brother to brother. We promised our mothers we'd write. And we would all go down together." Billy Joel is trying to say that when you are so vunerable; when everything is taken away from you so you can support your country, your family, everything you have, you need someone to lean on. Men get so lost and feel like they have nothing left. Therefore, the book and song strongly support the fact that when you lose everything you once had, you will find it again but with different people; people who can and will risk their lives for your own.

War can impact someone's life so negatively that they change who they are completely. War touches a part of your mind that can never be restored to its beginning stage. Some people have to be in mental care from the brainwashing and they horror that they see; the people being killed or killing someone to save their own lives. Albert Kropp wants nothing more in his life. He knows that he will not make it out of this war alive so what is the point of trying to survive or strive for anything else in his life. The war has taken everything from him. It drained his ambitions and hopes for something great in his life. " I don't want to do anything. You'll be dead one day, so what does it matter? I don't think we'll ever go back."(87). Kropp has been so negatively affected that all he can think of is his death and his comrades dying along side of him. He wishes for nothing more in his life; he is lifeless and without hope. Billy Joel also went through these struggles. He knows how it feel to have to kill someone so he can survive. He knows the feeling of being so anxious with the thought of death on his mind. He felt his brothers dying and saw it too. " We came in spastic like tameless horses. We left in plastic as number corpses.". Billy Joel knows how it feels to be



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