When battle breaks out, Himmelstoss pretends to be hurt and hides in order to get out of fighting. He acts as a big, mean, and forceful guy until he feels the same fear and terror as the rest of the soldiers in the trenches do. Himmelstoss spoke about being courageous and how nothing scares him, but once he had to experience war for himself he realized it is not that easy to be
In All Quiet on the Western Front the protagonist is Paul Baumer because we experience the story from his point of view and thus we sympathize with him. Paul’s situation is troubling because his life and the lives of other soldiers his age “have become a wasteland” (20). War has changed them and the world so much that they don’t really know what they are going to do once the war finishes. They don’t know any trades; all they know is war. The value of their lives was also changed by war.
He is always thinking about if she has boyfriends or if she is still a virgin. Martha takes away his sense of concentration and ability to watch over his squad. Three of his men die from Cross making poor decisions and not taking control of his squad. Cross is too immature and not controlling enough to lead a squad of men or even being in the
Realizing that the homeland was withdrawing from the war, soldiers became edgy. As put by Lieutenant Frank M. Campagne, “Nobody wants to be the last man in Viet Nam Killed.” Furthermore soldiers lacked inspiration and a sense of purpose. Leadership went out of their way to impress superiors with increased body count by slaughtering innocent civilians including women and children. A study ordered by Military professionalism concludes “in pursuit of selfish career goals, senior officers sacrificed integrity on the altar of personal success. They became preoccupied with trivial short term objectives even through dishonest practices and compelled subordinates to lie, cheat, and steal to meet the impossible demands of higher officers” (Millet, Maslowski & Feis, 2012, p.561).
The culture would make their soldiers very brave and loyal in battle, this was done not by upholding a high standard or praising the soldiers from achievements in battle but by harshly reprimanding them. The soldiers during this era were so immensely afraid of the punishment that would come from deserting the war that they would give their lives to the enemy by risking it all. As shown in the text “Some men who have lost a shield or sword or another part of their arms in battle heedlessly throw themselves against the enemy, hoping either to recover what the lost, or to escape the inevitable disgrace and the insults of their relatives by suffering injury or death” (Hunt et. Al 2009, 154). It was derived from this excerpt, that the soldiers during Polybius’ reign were so scared to be punished or even ridiculed for leaving their post in battle or failing that they would bravely throw themselves into the enemies position to regain their arms or face death.
For Paul to think that he only knows what “despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality” is at the age of twenty demonstrates how Paul is mentality affected by the war, as most teenagers do not think about such things. Paul thinks negative thoughts, and his thoughts are centralized about the war; his thoughts on death, his fear for death or the aftermath of the war, despair since he has no life outside the war. War does not only affect Paul’s mental state; the war also gives off the presence that although he may no longer be in the war, the war will always be with
The frustration of the soldiers develops further as the conditions continue to be unbearable and now deadly. They begin to think about the rationale for this war. Many feel the war serves no purpose and that they are not getting anything out of being in Iraq,
When Doherty spoke to our class he said, “Replacements couldn’t keep up with casualties.” This problem led to another problem. Men that began training toward the end of the war would have their basic training rushed or cut short. When Terry spoke to our class he said, “Boot-camp changed from 12 weeks to 8. We were beat down but never got built back up.” It seems that our troops struggled to find an effective way to fight the guerilla warfare in Vietnam, “Walked around in circles. No strategy.”(Doherty) He also wrote in his book, “I was not going to try to win the war.
He couldn’t help it.” Albeit the perils ahead, he could not force himself to concentrate on his responsibility as a leader of the troop. He was in a dilemma between work and personal needs. “His mind wandered. He had difficulty keeping his attention on the war. On occasion he would yell at his men to spread out the column, to keep their eyes open, but then he would slip away into daydreams.” Because of his negligence, Ted Lavender was dead.
He also makes it seem like everything is crumbling around Paul, and destroying all hope of survival and return to normal life for anyone who had experienced the front line. This is very different from pro-war poetry, which makes war seem fun. Something Remarque does either subconsciously or very well, is to make you feel sorry for the German and Central Powers’ soldiers, and to grow a subliminal hate for the allied soldiers, no matter who’s side you came in on. The Textbook also does this well, but in reverse. The Textbook gives off a sense of dislike towards the Central Powers, and made them seem primitive and destructive for no reason.