Everything Calm on the Occidental Battlefield: Or, Plagiarism 101

Pictured is the edition used for this review

What follows is a literary analysis I received at the end of the spring semester in one of my English 112 classes. My first clue that something was amiss was the title in the first sentence–and the fact that it changed by the end 0f the same paragraph. I began to realize just how amiss when I read such phrases as “an important hotspot” and “passage tickets and a bull battle” (!).

My first thought was that the student had found an essay online and paraphrased it, thesaurus in hand, by maintaining the same structure as the original but replacing every few words with a not-always-accurate synonym. With a quick Google search, I found the source. However, as I wrote the original words above the new ones on my student’s paper, I realized that he surely couldn’t have created such howlers as “spear corporal” for lance corporal or “the supply route of his arm” for the artery of his arm.

I was right. Plagiarism has now become an insidious multi-step, guided process: (1) Find an essay you like; (2) Copy and paste the entire essay onto paraphrasing-tool.com; (3) Voilà! Within 4 seconds, you will have a brand-new essay! (4) And to finish with a flourish, I quote, “All done? Proofread your final text product with Proofreading Tool (also free).”

I have reprinted below the student’s essay, followed by the original, along with a link to the latter. I invite you to compare these two documents–a process that would be jolly good entertainment if it weren’t predicated upon such a bleak view of the state of education in the 21st century. This is indeed where we have come.

The idea of World War I as portrayed in Erich Maria Remarque’s Everything Calm on the Western Front was a brutish and harsh experience for warriors on all sides of the front. This tale, told from the perspective of Paul Baumer, a German trooper on the Western front amid WWI investigates the horrid reality officers looked at regularly and exhibits the enormous toll the war took on the psychological and physical states of warriors battling on the two sides of the war. All Calm on the Western Front is an important hotspot for the chronicled record as it permits the peruser access to a point of view on the war which already couldn’t be experienced.

The recorded substances at work in the novel exhibited the degree to which warriors battling in the war did not completely see how they had come to be the ones doing the battling. In fact, a scene in the novel highlights the fundamental character, Paul Baumer, talking about with his companions the different systems which ought to legitimately be utilized to fathom universal debate: “a revelation on war ought to be a sort of famous celebration with passage tickets and a bull battle. At that point the clergymen and commanders of the two nations … can have it out among themselves” (41). This ludicrous picture really shows a significant component to the truth at the front which was the degree to which officers felt distanced by battling on such a mass-scale over the contentions which had developed by virtue of just a couple. The substances depicted exhibited how ineffectively arranged numerous warriors were for the front, particularly the newcomers who had small preparing and how, much of the time, lives were lost because of the insufficiencies of the strategic systems connected by commanders.

Another significant element of the war exertion as exhibited inside the work was the degree to which WWI was a creating war. That is, on both a psychological and specialized dimension the war in 1914 was altogether different from the substances of the war which seethed on in 1918. Paul Baumer’s mind can be viewed as growing quickly over the span of the novel. First and foremost his character is practically good humored, shameless and spritely in doing his wartime obligations. There is a feeling that he and his confidants extravagant themselves in an excellent experience which will lead them to triumph. The tone of the novel initially suits a positive reasoning individual as he relates “today is superbly great” when the mail comes and he and his confidants get letters from home (7). His pleasure in his hours off-administration playing card amusements and drinking is another model as he alludes to these occasions as: “superbly lighthearted hours” (9). In any case, as their experience winds down on it turned out to be progressively hard for Paul and his companions to discover euphoria in these paltry interests as they didn’t adjust the monstrosities they were seeing day by day on the combat zone as is exhibited through the incredible and realistic visual pictures depicted through the content:

We see men living with their skulls blown open; we see warriors keep running with their two feet cut off, they stumble on their fragmented stumps into the following shell-gap; a spear corporal slithers a mile and a half staring him in the face hauling his crushed knee after him; another goes to the dressing station and over his caught hands swell his digestive organs; we see men without mouths, without jaws, without faces we discover small time who has held the supply route of his arm in his teeth for two hours all together not to sleep to death. (134)

Be that as it may, the psychological changes occurring were by all account not the only improvements saw all through the war. Indeed, the psychological injuries experienced by troopers talk emphatically of a changing specialized encounter too. For instance, after coming back to the front Paul notes “there are such a large number of new firearms, an excessive number of planes” (280). What’s more, as the tide betrays Germany Paul’s perceptions become increasingly disheartening: “there are such a significant number of aviators here… for each one German plane there come no less than five English and American… For one eager, vomited German fighter there come five of the foe, crisp and fit” (286). As innovative progressions fused progressively successful weapons, tanks and even airplane into the war increasingly significant misfortunes were looked on the two sides of the front. Dread of death and an incomparable gratefulness forever can be viewed as winding up increasingly conspicuous attributes of the warriors’ mind: “Never has life in its miserliness appeared to us so alluring as now… O Life, life, life!” (285).

The most striking part of Remarque’s epic is his portrayal of the psychological and physical repercussions of the war on those at the front. As portrayed over, the physical mutilation which occurred amid the war was seen every day by troopers who frantically attempted to maintain a strategic distance from a similar destiny. Encountering and seeing physical mutilation negatively affected the intellectual capacities of the fighters. Paul’s experience when he is offered leave to return home exhibits the normal warrior’s powerlessness to identify with the substances of regular citizen life subsequent to having encountered the war: “What is leave? An interruption that just makes everything after it so much more regrettable… I should never to have gone ahead leave” (179-185). Besides, Remarque incorporates incalculable instances of shellshock and the different structures it took. A few men depended on claustrophobic fits of anxiety, as Paul encounters with one officer who felt “just as he was suffocating and needs to get out at any value… he would keep running about anyplace paying little mind to cover” (190). Still others turned out to be so achy to visit the family seeing whatever helped them to remember home would lead them to absentmindedly forsake the front looking for home similar to the case with Paul’s companion Detering misfortune’s identity’s “that he saw a cherry tree in a greenery enclosure” (275).

To conclude, All Peaceful on the Western Front illustrates the substances of WWI and the idea of fighting experienced by the officers at the front. The dread and distance fighters felt because of the bloodlettings they were compelled to observe and the dynamic idea of fighting as new weapons advances were presented quite a long time after year, just lead them to stick to life in dread and made recovery into regular citizen life after the war for all intents and purposes inconceivable. The effect of the war on those at the front was without a doubt life changing for the rare sorts of people who were fortunate to endure, the results of which would be seen in regular citizen life for ages to come until the procedure rehashed itself, apparently to a much more regrettable degree in 1939.

Critical Book Review: All Quiet on the Western Front
By Vanessa

The nature of warfare as depicted in Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front was a brutish and inhumane experience for soldiers on all sides of the front. This novel, told from the point of view of Paul Baumer, a German soldier on the Western front during WWI explores the grim reality soldiers faced on a daily basis and demonstrates the tremendous toll the war took on the mental and physical conditions of soldiers fighting on both sides of the war. All Quiet on the Western Front is an invaluable source for the historical record as it allows the reader access to a perspective on the war which previously could not be experienced.

The historical realities at work in the novel demonstrated the extent to which soldiers fighting in the war did not fully understand how they had come to be the ones doing the fighting. Indeed, a scene in the novel features the main character, Paul Baumer, discussing with his comrades the various strategies which should rightfully be employed to solve international disputes: “a declaration on war should be a kind of popular festival with entrance tickets and a bull fight. Then the ministers and generals of the two countries …can have it out among themselves” (41). This preposterous image actually demonstrates an important element to the reality at the front which was the extent to which soldiers felt alienated by having to fight on such a mass-scale over the conflicts which had emerged on account of only a few. The realities portrayed demonstrated how poorly prepared many soldiers were for the front, especially the new recruits who had little training and how, in many cases, lives were lost due to the inadequacies of the tactical strategies applied by generals.

Another important feature of the war effort as demonstrated within the work was the extent to which WWI was a developing war. That is, on both a mental and technical level the war in 1914 was very different from the realities of the war which raged on in 1918. Paul Baumer’s psyche can be seen as developing rapidly throughout the course of the novel. In the beginning his character is almost jovial, brazen and spritely in carrying-out his wartime duties. There is a sense that he and his comrades fancy themselves in a grand adventure which will lead them to victory. The tone of the novel in the beginning suits a positive thinking individual as he recounts “today is wonderfully good” when the mail comes and he and his comrades receive letters from home (7). His enjoyment of his hours off-service playing card games and drinking is another example as he refers to these times as: “wonderfully carefree hours (9)”. But as their experience wanes on it became increasingly difficult for Paul and his friends to find joy in these trivial pursuits as they did not balance out the atrocities they were witnessing daily on the battlefield as is demonstrated through the powerful and graphic visual images portrayed through the text:

“We see men living with their skulls blown open; we see soldiers run with their two feet cut off, they stagger on their splintered stumps into the next shell-hole; a lance-corporal crawls a mile and a half on his hands dragging his smashed knee after him; another goes to the dressing station and over his clasped hands bulge his intestines; we see men without mouths, without jaws, without faces we find one man who has held the artery of his arm in his teeth for two hours in order not to bleed to death (134)”.

But the mental changes taking place were not the only developments witnessed throughout the war. In fact, the mental traumas experienced by soldiers speak strongly of a changing technical experience as well. For example, upon returning to the front Paul notes “there are too many new guns, too many aeroplanes (280)”. And as the tide turns against Germany Paul’s observations become more and more bleak: “there are so many airmen here…for every one German plane there come at least five English and American…For one hungry, wretched German soldier there come five of the enemy, fresh and fit (286)”. As technological advancements incorporated more effective guns, tanks and even aircraft into the war more substantial losses were faced on both sides of the front. Fear of death and a supreme appreciation for life can be seen as becoming more prominent characteristics of the soldiers’ psyche: “Never has life in its niggardliness seemed to us so desirable as now…O Life, life, life! (285)”.

The most striking aspect of Remarque’s novel is his depiction of the mental and physical repercussions of the war on those at the front. As depicted above, the physical mutilation which took place during the war was witnessed daily by soldiers who desperately tried to avoid the same fate. Experiencing and witnessing physical mutilation took an extreme toll on the mental faculties of the soldiers. Paul’s experience when he is given leave to go home demonstrates the common soldier’s inability to relate to the realities of civilian life after having experienced the war: “What is leave? A pause that only makes everything after it so much worse…I ought never to have come on leave (179-185)”. Furthermore, Remarque includes countless examples of shellshock and the various forms it took. Some men resorted to claustrophobic panic attacks, as Paul experiences with one soldier who felt “as though he was suffocating and wants to get out at any price…he would run about anywhere regardless of cover (190)”. Still others became so homesick the sight of anything that reminded them of home would lead them to absentmindedly desert the front in search of home as was the case with Paul’s friend Detering who’s “misfortune was that he saw a cherry tree in a garden (275)”.

In conclusion, All Quiet on the Western Front paints a very vivid picture of the realities of WWI and the nature of warfare experienced by the soldiers at the front. The fear and alienation soldiers felt on account of the carnages they were forced to witness and the progressive nature of warfare as new weapons technologies were introduced year after year, only lead them to cling to life in fear and made recuperation into civilian life after the war virtually impossible. The impact of the war on those at the front was undoubtedly life altering for the few who were lucky to survive, the consequences of which would be witnessed in civilian life for generations to come until the process repeated itself, arguably to a much worse extent in 1939.

Postscript: The website where I found this content, Owlcation, provides the following information under “About Us:”

Who We Are
Welcome to Owlcation.com! We are a site created by educators and experts on topics related to education—sharing our unique expertise and knowledge about all things academic. We offer articles ranging from the ten most important moments in history to the different types of owls in Florida. If you’re looking for information that is education or academia related, we are here for you!

Our Purpose and Goal
Our goal at Owlcation.com is to be the best place online to find high-quality, informative-style content. We are also a platform for enthusiasts and aficionados to create original, useful, in-depth content. In most cases, we pair our authors with professional editors to create a well-written, informative piece.

Just so you know.



This entry was posted in books, education, plagiarism, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *