“Exemple de bonne écriture”

“All Quiet on the Western Front” Good or Bad?

What makes a piece of writing, or any type of writing, “good”? This piece of writing successfully demonstrates 2 traits of writing, but also connects with people on a personal level. “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque is an example of advanced writing because of the voice, word choice, and the connections he makes throughout the book.

While reading, I felt as though I was the soldier fighting the French, and I was right next to all those other men fighting. Erich Maria Remarque’s voice throughout the section/book helps take the reader to a place where they can feel every bullet and see every man die. This section of the book has a very distinct voice. There are descriptions throughout the whole book, it’s very personal, and it helps the reader see the truth behind the war. The voice helps the reader grasp the reality of war that the author is trying to portray, and grasp the seriousness that Remarque wants his reader to understand. “A young Frenchman lags behind, he is overtaken, he puts up his hands, in one he still holds his revolver-does he mean to shoot or give himself up?- a blow from a spade cleaves through his face. A second sees it and tries to run further; a bayonet jabs into his back. He leaps in the air, his arms thrown wide, his mouth wide open; yelling; he staggers, in his back the bayonet quivers.” This quote describes the struggle some young men had with both surrendering themselves and ending it, or to keep fighting. The voice of Remarque is very disheartening making the reader feel the struggle of the young man and the choice he had to make; although, he made his decision too late.

The words the author uses are not necessarily fancy, but they are detailed, natural, and vivid, painting an accurate picture in the reader’s head; making the reader feel as though they were actually there alongside him. Painting pictures in the reader’s head is the best way to grab hold of their attention and maintain their interest. Describing the scene of men being bombarded with bullets and bombs, then of men attacking each other because they’re so filled with madness and despair, requires careful and detailed word choice. If the author wasn’t precise about his words, then his goal wouldn’t have been accomplished like he wanted it to. “I fling myself down and when I stand up the wall of the trench is plastered with smoking splinters, lumps of flesh, and bits of uniform.”

Being in the military or a part of a military family, takes a toll not only on the person, but also on the family. I’ve known many girls whose fathers were shipped off overseas, or deployed to some exotic location; my father was one of those men as well. When I lived in Oklahoma and was about five or six years old, my father was deployed to South Korea and Saudi and was gone for a year. Not having him there for a whole year took a toll on my mom, because she was left with handling three kids all by herself, and it also took a toll on my sister, brother, as well as myself. Worrying everyday whether or not he was safe, if he’d gotten killed, or if he gotten taken was a hard thing to carry on a young girls shoulders. Luckily after one years’ time, he came back to us and it was a feeling of relief I’d never felt before. My father was never truly in the line of fire like the characters were in this book, but the feeling of sorrow and worriedness still fluttered throughout me during that one year.

I personally feel as though this section of the book and the book in general is one of the most extravagant pieces of writing I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. While reading I didn’t want to put it down, it made me feel so many emotions all at once, and picture so many situations in my head that I didn’t know what to do with them all. It displayed two of the six traits of writing well and also connected with people on personal levels. Whether their spouse or father has or was been in the military, or if they were put in the line of fire. I would recommend this book to anyone, because if they haven’t read it, they’re missing out.


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