All Quiet on the Western Front

Eternality of War College

Perhaps nothing is more frequent in the pages of history books than wars. Since the beginning of time, men have fought to hold their ground and conquer more. Yet the images of war are not always the trumpeting, flag-flying, fresh-faced recruits that they are painted out to be. The reality of war is dark, desolate, and harrowing, with conditions detrimental to mind, body, and spirit. The realities of war and the terrors experienced there are documented and told by authors throughout time, including Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front, Tardi's graphic Goddamn This War!, and Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. What the three men allude to is the idea that perhaps the true brutes are not the ones on the defense, but the offense, and that the disease of imperialism and the contagion of power are what turns men into savages in the end.

The most graphic and raw depiction of the war is told by Jacques Tardi, who in his collection of drawings portrays a bitter and brutal state of perpetual violence. His short captions are paired with images of dismembered men and bloody faces, the worst of the quotes being "I'd have liked to see the wise guys right there, in the heart of the inferno: Joffre, the president, the Kaiser,...

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