All Quiet on the Western Front

1871 Words8 Pages
War is never a pretty thing. We’re separated by the ones we love, lose the ones we care about, and forget who we were before it all began. In the novel All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, it proves just that when a group of soldier’s lives are completely turned around due to the effects of war. The narrator and protagonist of the book Paul Baumer, persuaded by his schoolmaster Kantorek, volunteers for the war at the tender age of nineteen with friends Kropp, Muller and Leer, hoping to be considered courageous once he joins the war. Kantorek often calls them the iron youth because he describes their efforts as brave and heroic. As a member of the Second Company, Paul has doubts in his choices when his classmate Joesph Behm is one of the first to die when enlisted in war. To make matters worst, Paul’s friend Kemmerich loses his leg and has a slow and painful death. Paul then has the burden of telling Kemmerich’s mom of her son’s death, especially when she confides in him to watch over her son during the war. As the war continues, the leader of the Second Company Himmelstoss is disliked by many of the soldiers because of his harsh tactics and insensible actions. Himmelstoss was just a postman before the war but is now ranked as a general with his higher status, changing his perception of many things. It is not until he fights on the front line does he gain respect for Paul and the others. When they are deported away from the trenches, Paul, Leer and Kropp meet three young women and offer food in return for the fulfillment of their lust. Paul hopes that his desire to be with the French women will recapture a piece of the innocence that he’s lost. Paul is also sent home on a seventeen-day leave and is greeted by news that his mother has cancer. Paul regrets coming home now because he realizes the life he’s missed out on. It feels that the war is all
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