Erich Maria Remarque, "Triumphal Arch": a summary

One of the most famous novels of the 20th century was published for the first time in the last year of the Second World War. The writer began work on the book at the end of the 1930s. What is the "Triumphal Arch"? A summary of the novel is set forth in today's article.

triumphal arch summary

about the author

The writer was born in 1898. Hometown of Remarque - Osnabruck. Already in the early years, Erich showed a love of literature. In his youth he was fond of the works of such writers as Thomas Mann, Stefan Zweig, and Fyodor Dostoevsky. In 1904, Remarque entered the church school. After five years - in the teacher's seminary.

In 1925, the writer married Jutta Zambon, who became the prototype of the main character of the novel “Three Comrades”. The girl for many years suffered from consumption. This marriage lasted about four years. True, later Remarque again married Yutta. But it was already a sham marriage that allowed a woman to leave Germany.

erih mary remark triumphal arch summary

Remark's works are riddled with hatred of the fascists. In the early thirties, the writer was forced to leave his homeland and go to Switzerland.In Germany, his books were not only banned, but also publicly burned. The Nazis accompanied the slogan “No to scribes who betrayed the war heroes!” To execute Remarque’s literary works.

In 1939, the writer left for the United States. He managed to obtain citizenship only eight years later. In the early fifties, he began an affair with the famous actress Paulette Goddard. In 1957, Remarque issued a divorce with Jutta and married the former wife of Charlie Chaplin. He spent the rest of his life in Switzerland, where he left in 1958. One of the most famous prose writers of the 20th century, a representative of the literature of the lost generation, died in 1970 in the Swiss city of Locarno.

From the writing history

In the late thirties, Remarque became increasingly difficult to work in Germany. His books did not correspond to the official ideology. In addition, he changed the German spelling of his last name to French, which could not but cause a negative reaction from the authorities.

summary of the triumphal arch remark

In 1939, the writer met Marlene Dietrich. With the famous actress at Remarque began a romance. It Dietrich is the prototype of the main female image in the novel. Having learned only a brief summary of the “Arc de Triomphe”, the actress was angry.She didn’t like at all that the heroine of Remarque’s works was just an ordinary restaurant singer. Marlene Dietrich was already a world star by that time.

"Triumphal Arch" Remark: a summary of the chapters

Hero Remarque knew firsthand what fascism is. That experienced Ravik in Germany, the reader learns from the memories. Key events from the biography of a surgeon of German origin are mentioned in the summary of the Triumphal Arch. Remark has created several storylines in his book. Which of them is the main - a moot point. The summary of the book "Arch of Triumph" below is set out according to plan:

  • Past Ravika.
  • Joan
  • Ravik and Morozov.
  • The fate of the emigrant.
  • Arrest.
  • Revenge.
  • Death Joan.
  • War.

The action of romani takes place at the beginning of the war in France. The main character is the escaped German surgeon Ravik, who is secret, having no documents, is still living in France. Possessing quite professional skills and many years of experience, he works by replacing less qualified French doctors. For the sake of fate he had to set the edge of the world. He believed that in France it would be easier for him, and life would get better.

In Paris these years there were many refugees from Germany. They left their homeland, tortured by the fascist regime, persecuted. Many failed to avoid arrest after the start of the war. However, what happened to Ravik in the forties, neither the summary of the novel “The Triumphant is Bright” nor a literary source will give an idea.

Past Ravika

While staying at home, he acted in a runaway of friends, thereby saving them from being executed. Ravik himself spent several weeks in the Gestapo. Together with him his beloved was arrested. Sybil died. Ravik will never forgive this death for the Gestapo men.

triumphal arch roman summary

The book of the German writer can be disassembled into quotations. Summary of the "Arc de Triomphe" does not allow to appreciate the skill of the author. The plot of the novel is tragic, but its heroes do not utter pathetic words. Ravik is cold and restrained. It seems he is deprived of the ability to experience. But such an impression is created only on the first pages of the novel “The Triumphal Arch”. Remark in the brief content of reading - it means to evaluate only the ability of the writer to create twisted, fascinating scenes. After all, the works of this author are filled with subtle psychologism, concise philosophical sayings.


In France, the new hero meets a woman in deep despair in the spring of her new life.They are sent to the institution where they drink Calvados, then spend the night together. And only in the morning he learns that her name is Joan Madu, and her position is rather difficult.

triumphal arch remark a summary of the chapters

She is an unemployed actress. Last night, the man who came to Paris died. Her hero helps her to arrange a funeral.

Ravik and Morozov

In the summary of the “Triumphal Arch” by Erich Maria Remarque, it should be noted that the hero of this book is a refugee. It is worth saying that the emigrant theme is perhaps the main one in the novel. Everything that happens with Ravik is somehow connected with his past. The narrator told not only about the fate of the main character, but also about the fate of other immigrants. For example, Morozov - a friend of Ravik. This is quite a colorful character. Already for the sake of witty dialogues of Morozov and Ravik, one should not limit ourselves to the short content of the “Triumphal Arch” by E.M. Remark.

The fate of the emigrant

In a conversation with his colleague Ravik, he opens the following: He is a fleeing emigrant and has no right to work and live in France. He comes to live in a hotel where documents and registration are not required, and most importantly - to hide his real name.

triumphal arch book summary

Indifference, constant tightening of living conditions, attempts to track down and expel from the country - these are just a few touches to the picture of the attitude of society to illegal immigrants.


The hero has a love affair with Joan. He helped her with the work. There were significant changes in the appearance of Joan: now she is not a faceless, desperate woman, but rather a bright, attractive person.

Joan has a very good, humane conciliation that doesn’t need to hide and be constantly in fear. On this basis between quarrels incessantly quarrel. The present conflict between the heroes arises after him, as the surgeon is arrested and sent to Switzerland. He dwells there for about three months and returns to France again, where he soon breaks up with Joan. A woman during this time managed to find another. As it turned out, she does not know how to wait.

Chance meeting

Ravik meets in Hake, a Gestapo employee, in France. By the happy occasion, the former prisoner does not recognize, on the contrary, he is glad that a compatriot is in the Paris capital. The surgeon offers Haacke to put on the famous Burd, but he will take him out to the Bulon forest. Having committed the murder, he will remove the unmused corpse in the Saint-Germain forest.


Remark has devoted only a few pages to this storyline. Ravik accidentally sees on the Paris street a man who is guilty of the death of his beloved girlfriend. It was Haake who interrogated Sibylla. It was he who brought her to suicide.The girl hanged herself in her cell after another conversation with the investigator.

Ravik starts spying on his enemy. It is in an overexcited state. The doctor did not think that someday he would be lucky, and he would meet this man. But in his thoughts, he repeatedly destroyed it. Ravik kills a Gestapo officer. But this crime does not bring him relief.

Death joan

At the end of the heroic series, an alternate shock was expected. Joan is fired by an alternate suitor. The surgeon is trying to reach the bullet, but this only aggravates her condition. They both realize that death is near and confess their love to each other. After Ravik, Jean infused a lethal injection in order to alleviate her death agony.

 e m remark triumphal arch

After losing everything, he doesn’t fight the politics. In the case of an alternate detention, it will publicize its name. France is occupied. Ravik understands what awaits him in Paris, captured by the fascists. But he is not afraid of anything. Fear is inherent in those who have something to lose. This is a summary of the "Triumphal Arch" by Erich Remarque - books about love, revenge, loneliness.

Main character

Ravik is a doctor, a professional in his field, who has no ambitions, no interests, no personal gain.All this was before, in a past life. Remark shows the reader a unique ability to focus on the main thing, to gather the will into a fist. The fact that Ravik has been dreaming of revenge for many years, the reader becomes aware of from a conversation with Morozov. When reading the first chapters, it seems that the hero of Roermark is a man devastated, indifferent, incapable of feeling. But no, he knows how to love and hate.

Beloved woman

Ravik is obsessed with his love. But his relationship with Joan was initially doomed. Could he be happy with the femme fatale? Such as Joan - this is the goddess and the harlot. They live in the greedy pursuit of sensual pleasures. Happiness with them is ghostly, but emotions over the edge.

The prototype of Joan, as already mentioned, is the film star Marlene Dietrich, and Ravika is Remark himself. The painful love of the writer and actress lasted fifteen years. With his novel Triumphal Arch, Remarque wanted to heal. The love story of Joan and Ravik is described so vividly, colorfully, that their feelings in the literal sense can be appreciated and experienced through reading.

However, in the meeting with a woman who becomes for Ravik the closest person in a cold but beautiful Paris, she never suffers a miracle, the hard life does not stop her rotation.Lovers do not harbor hopes and illusions, and oddly enough, it deprives them of the inevitable grass-roots of mutual love - initially loved by a bitter hopelessness, and new Calvados (the favorite drink of the Remarque heroes) with cheap cigarettes is not unacceptable for them. To the same in the life of Ravik, a new, exciting and burning passion is emerging - a meeting with a former Gestapo tormentor sets in motion all the other gears of the soul mechanism.

triumphal arch erich remark

The incredible humor of Remarque, not mocking at all, just as deep and wise, caused the book to expand on many amazing quotes. From his deepest insight into the mechanisms that drive human souls, it will become a little sad. “Triumphal Arch” - a multi-edged book, populated by bright, unique images. All these amazingly convincing characters will live forever, thanks to the genius of the writer. The reading of the novel by Remarque makes readers wiser, brighter through the boundless sadness of the protagonist.

Related news

Erich Maria Remarque, Arc de Triomphe: a summary image, picture, imagery

Erich Maria Remarque, Arc de Triomphe: a summary 35

Erich Maria Remarque, Arc de Triomphe: a summary 88

Erich Maria Remarque, Arc de Triomphe: a summary 94

Erich Maria Remarque, Arc de Triomphe: a summary 60

Erich Maria Remarque, Arc de Triomphe: a summary 71

Erich Maria Remarque, Arc de Triomphe: a summary 14

Erich Maria Remarque, Arc de Triomphe: a summary 20

Erich Maria Remarque, Arc de Triomphe: a summary 32

Erich Maria Remarque, Arc de Triomphe: a summary 44

Erich Maria Remarque, Arc de Triomphe: a summary 61