All Quiet On The Western Front

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In the text All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, it could be said that Paul Baumer’s death at the end was a blessing. A blessing is the act of declaring, invoking, or bestowing favour (Illustrated Oxford Dictionary, 2003). Paul’s death could be seen as a blessing as none of his friends were left, he died where he felt most at home and he made a promise to Kemmerich’s mother that he wouldn’t return. Firstly, Paul Baumer’s death can be seen as a blessing as none of his friends were left. In difficult situations such as war, friends would be very important to survive emotionally and psychologically. They provide support and help you survive whilst serving your country. Paul’s first friend to die is Kemmerich. His death occurs at the beginning of the novel. This upset Paul as it is not just another death to him; it was one of his close friends and he was only 19 years old. ‘This is Franz Kemmerich, he’s nineteen and a half, and he doesn’t want to die! Don’t let him die!’ my thoughts run wild. This smell of carbolic and gangrene clogs the lungs, like thick, suffocating porridge. (Remarque, (1996), p. 21) This quote shows the emotional impact Kemmerich’s death has on Paul Baumer. Throughout the text all of Paul’s other friends from his class either died, are injured and sent home or try to run away. ‘I am the last one from the seven from our class still here.’ (Remarque, (1996), p. 199) Paul only has one person left, the person he looked up to most; Private Stanislaus Katczinsky. After Kat dies because of shrapnel in his head, Paul has no friends left, and no one to support him. The idea that he would have no friends fills him with a fear of being lonely. ‘The fear of loneliness wells up in me. If Kat is taken out I will have no friends here at all.’ (Remarque, (1996), p. 196) With no friends left it would have been hard to go on
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