Few things exist that provoke as fearful or as gruesome an image as war. War brings about hardship, pain and suffering to all involved. It is the battle of two sides made of trained fighting machines, previously known as young men, many of whom do not understand for what they are fighting. These feelings of war have carried through to future generations as well; young people of today have not experienced a war first hand, but can still relate to these feelings and emotions with the help of descriptive texts in literature. Both the novel All Quiet On the Western Front and the poem "The Man He Killed" help to portray the image of the effects and feelings of warfare.
In the novel All Quiet On the Western Front, Remarque does an impeccable job conveying the torturous misfortunes of war. Through the eyes of Paul Baumer, a young man shipped off to fight, a story is told of hopelessness and desperation on the front lines of WWI. As Baumer experiences starvation and injury among other hardships, the reader begins to comprehend how tragic a war really is. .
Once Baumer arrives, he immediately begins training while spurred on with the motto "kill or be killed." He then realizes that he is no longer an individual man, but a trained killing machine. At first, he does not understand exactly what he will be doing at the front lines. However, after watching a man die at his hands, Baumer can no longer cope with the idea of killing the enemy. Before he was shooting from a distance but now he had actually seen the face of the man he killed. AS compassion cam over him, he could no longer face the violence that had taken over his life. Once a cordial and friendly man, Paul Baumer had been made into a monster, lacking all feelings of remorse. This situation describes the emotional ordeal that so many veterans had to go through during the course of a war. In fact, the effects of killing this man were so hard on Baumer that eh began to question whether he could continue fighting.