Lesson Plans

All Quiet on the Western Front



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Lord of the Flies

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Heart of Darkness

Pride and Prejudice

Plato’s Republic

The Scarlet Letter


All Quiet on the Western Front
  These study questions address important topics introduced by this program and are listed in the sequence in which they are covered in the video. Answers to focus questions are available.

Focus Questions
  1. What is the significance of the title All Quiet on the Western Front?

2. From whose perspective is the story of All Quiet on the Western Front told?

3. What specific event ignited World War I in Europe? What other factors contributed to the outbreak of the war?

4. Where was the Western Front?

5. Why does Paul Baumer feel betrayed by the adults in his life?

6. Which advancements in science and technology during World War I were depicted in the battle scenes in All Quiet on the Western Front?

7. Why is Paul Baumer alienated from his family and the people in his town when he goes home to visit?

8. Who were the members of the “Lost Generation”?

Discussion Questions
  1. All Quiet on the Western Front paints a picture of war that is full of terrifying, grotesque details in an attempt to persuade readers of the horrors of battle. Portrayals of war in other books, however, as well as in films and on television, often ignore the more painful side of battle to glorify fighting. Debate the ethics of how war should be depicted—not only in literature, but also in other art forms.

2. Through Paul Baumer’s eyes, we see war as a horribly dehumanizing experience. Debate what experiences in war—if any—might make young soldiers more human.

3. Analyze whether there are any heroes presented in All Quiet on the Western Front. What is the nature of their heroism? Are there any villains in the novel? What makes them villainous?

4. Hitler banned All Quiet on the Western Front at the beginning of World War II and had copies of the novel burned. Although it is easy to condemn his acts of censorship, this may not always be the case. Is there ever justification for censorship of antiwar material? Debate the right of a government to censor certain types of antiwar media when the country is involved in a full-scale war.

5. Discuss the possible statements that Remarque might have been making by the ironic way he kills off the characters of Kat and Paul—veteran soldiers who survive many terrible fights but end up dying anyway when they aren’t in battle.

6. World War I was known as a “total war” because it involved the efforts of many civilians in addition to the military. Today, however, warfare can be drastically different. How would All Quiet on the Western Front be different if it were told from the perspective of a modern-day American soldier during, say, the war in the Persian Gulf? What events would be different? What ideas and issues might change?

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