The Vietnam War era novel, "The Things They Carried
," by Tim O'Brien, would make a great pairing with "All Quiet on the Western Front
," by Erich Maria Remarque, for your comparative essay.
These two books have many similarities in spite of being set in completely different times and places. Both authors served as infantry soldiers during wartime: Remarque was a soldier in the German Army during World War I, and O'Brien was an infantryman in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
Both books happen to be narrated from the perspective of young soldiers who participate in active warfare. The overriding themes of both books touch on a profound loss of innocence, as well as the sense of alienation and dehumanization often experienced by soldiers in wartime.
The juxtaposition of these two great novels would make for an interesting comparative essay, especially given the similarities in the experiences of the main characters, set against the big differences between the novels' social, cultural, and political contexts.