All Quiet on the Western Front

general article writing


Essay Assignment for Erich Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front

Every source, whether historical or from our own day, is written from a particular perspective. Even eyewitnesses see their own truth and the historian, as a critical reader, must be alert to the bias of eyewitnesses. The point of this exercise is to give you practice in looking for the other truths that may lie between the lines. Use the materials given to you by Erich Remarque’s fictional but highly autobiographical account of WWI to construct, as carefully and as sympathetically as possible, a different story, different because it is not written from the perspective of Paul Bäumer.  Choose, instead, one of the following:

  •   Himmelstoss
  •   Kantorek
  •   Paul’s father
  •   Paul’s mother
  •   Gérard Duval

The best accounts will be those that pay the closest attention to the text of the actual document, but by reading between the lines as well as using the information it conveys (and that you have from lecture), construct a different perspective.  Your narrative will not have a thesis, like your previous two papers, but it will (must!) demonstrate your knowledge of the war and European society and to do this it must be grounded in the original source itself.

Be creative!!  Have fun with this.  The paper should be typed, double-spaced, 12-pt, in Times New Roman, and approx. 6 pages long., This is the link to SparkNotes, if you do not know the book. When you write the paper, please check the spelling and grammars. Please read the guide carefully. 

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