The meaning of the novel “A Time to Live and a Time to Die” by Remarque: to have time to make war and fall in love with a beautiful German woman. Erich Maria Remarque created a lot of wonderful works that will forever remain in human memory. Most of his work was devoted to war, the personification of its horrors and trials that fall to the lot of ordinary soldiers.
This is exactly what the novel “A Time to Live and a Time to Die” is about. Today we will consider its meaning and a brief plot. Get comfortable, it will be interesting.
The plot tells us about the events in the Third Reich in 1944. German troops are forced to retreat under the pressure of the Allied forces and the Red Army. The few soldiers who return home from vacation see the cities destroyed by the bombing, and curse the allies.
The protagonist of the novel is the German soldier Ernst Graeber, who, like the others, returns to his native place from the front on vacation. He sees his hometown completely destroyed, meets old acquaintances who have been completely changed by Allied bombing and the hardships of war.
As in many other Remarque novels, the love line is beautifully and reliably written here. Graeber’s fiancee is called Elisabeth Kruse. Despite the loss of her country and the complete destruction of infrastructure, she is full of lust for life, trying to make plans for the future.
Her father was arrested, a neighbor denounces everyone around, but Kruse does not push her away. Elizabeth is the very embodiment of love, which alone can withstand all the horrors of war.
The meaning of the novel
The meaning of the novel “A Time to Live and a Time to Die” is Remarque’s desire to warn future generations from the mistakes of his contemporaries. To do this, the author uses a concise, but very colorful language to show all the horrors of war.
Remarque also says that only pure and strong love can withstand all the horrors of war. After all, when people lose their desire to live, and love dries up in their hearts, they turn into puppets who blindly obey orders.
The novel also reveals the theme of social injustice, which we describe with the saying “To whom is war, and to whom is mother dear”. While many Germans did not have a roof over their heads and a piece of bread for their children, such as Alfons Binding, a party functionary, had access to all delicacies, drank expensive wines. Moreover, even in 1944 he replenished his collection of art objects, and took revenge on the offenders of the pre-war period.
However, Remarque assigns the central place to war. The meaning of his colorful descriptions of the swollen bodies of soldiers on both sides of the barricades is simple – to warn future generations from repeating history.
He, having spent a short time on the active front, saw and heard a lot. The author also watched with his own eyes the destruction of Germany by aircraft, cannons, artillery and explosives. He would not wish such a fate on anyone, and therefore he did not write for people who, like him, saw it all with their own eyes. No, he created original messages for future generations, which will already be born in the well-fed years of renewed prosperity.
Remarque was well aware that politicians and ordinary people cannot be changed so easily, and there will still be more than one bloody page in the history of mankind. With his work and, in particular, the novel A Time to Live and a Time to Die, he wanted to say that history is cyclical, and life always comes after the joys of life.
It depends only on a person how he will live his life and how he will leave this world. Therefore, you must always think soberly, and evaluate the situation around.
This concludes our analysis. If you have any questions or suggestions, be sure to write them in the comments.
And we have prepared for you some equally interesting analyzes. Here they are:
The meaning of the story “Notes from the House of the Dead”
“In war as in war”: the meaning of the work
The meaning of the novel “Cancer Ward”
We’ve got it all. Peaceful sky above your head and see you soon on the pages of new articles!