"All Quiet On The Western Front"

836 words - 3 pages

The Screaming of the Wounded HorsesHorses played a significant role in World War 1. Cars were not used all that often because of the noise they produced, so horses had to transport provisions to any place that a train could not reach. In the novel, when the horses were hit during the bombardment, their screaming affected all of the men who could hear it. By reading the novel and researching World War 1, it can be learned that most of the soldiers died slowly and painfully. The screaming represents the death that the war caused, but it seemed that no one was ever there to witness the entire ordeal. None of the soldiers knew the kind of pain that they inflicted on the enemy because it was rare to kill anyone at close range. The author made the screaming of the wounded horses symbolically important because these agonizing sounds represented a slow and painful death, suffered by many who had jobs, families, and dreams away from the battlefield, just as the horses couldn't have known what was in store for them.First of all, the screaming of the wounded horses greatly affected the soldiers because they were in pain and dying very slowly. It was hard for the men to ignore these terrifying sounds. They felt sorry for these animals because they were suffering. This is the first time that the narrator, Paul Baumer, had felt this kind of emotion since he had begun fighting at the front. 'It is unendurable. It is the moaning of the world....' (p. 62) He realizes that death is far worse than they make of it. To hear a living thing suffering like that is something that most soldiers didn't get to experience, unless they had to kill at a close range or 'hand-to-hand' combat. For example, 'We sit down and hold our ears. But this appalling noise, these groans and screams penetrate, they penetrate everywhere.' (p. 63) Most of the fighting was done between the trenches. The soldiers couldn't see the damage they were causing on the other side. The screaming had made the soldiers realize that they were all afraid just as the horses were. It also made them realize that they were all fighting someone else's war.The horses in this story were innocent. It was not their war, yet they were still involved and they were still risking their lives. The young men were able to make their own decision to enlist, but they were still, in a way, forced to because...

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