All Quiet on the Western Front

The Glory of War is the Realization That There is No Glory

World War I was a conflict fueled by territorial desires and nationalism. This very sentiment is captured in Erich Remarque's novel All Quiet on the Western Front. In the novel, the main characters, all young soldiers, come to understand that war is not glorious and that the people they are fighting are not their enemy. At the time, such ideas were dangerously anti-nationalist ones. Nationalism was a necessary component of World War I but was not, as is explored in Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front, a doctrine held by all Europeans.

It is not difficult to see the mark nationalism left on World War I. The popular definition of nationalism is that it is a doctrine that "holds that all people derive their identities from their nations, which are defined by common language, shared cultural traditions, and sometimes religion" (Hunt et al 814). Considering that at the beginning of World War I many countries had a variety of different cultural traditions, religions, and in some cases, languages, it is conceivable that they would be facing considerable turmoil within their borders.

One country dealing with the problem of multiple ethnicities was Austria-Hungary. These struggles culminated in the assassination...

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