All Quiet on the Western Front
All Quiet on the Western Front
by Erich Maria Remarque
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All Quiet on the Western Front Theme of Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

In the world of All Quiet on the Western Front, we are exposed to the dreams of men who endure months upon months of trench warfare. Conditions are abysmal and mass death is a frequent occurrence. This violent context shapes the soldiers' – and particularly our narrator's – concept of life and of dreams. The soldiers dream in order to keep sane and in order to stay alive. Their dreams are not elaborate, but are, rather, tied to home, family, sex, and food.

Questions About Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

  1. What does Paul wish for?
  2. Are any dreams realized in this novel?
  3. How does the war change the soldiers' dreams and plans?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Because Paul loses his ability to dream at the end of the novel, he loses his life.

Seeking revenge on the likes of Himmelstoss and Kantorek is a dream come true for the soldiers in this novel.

Next Page: Warfare
Previous Page: Identity

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