All Quiet On The Western Front

This essay has a total of 875 words and 6 pages.

All Quiet On The Western Front


All Quiet on the Western Front

The remains of Paul Baumer's company had moved behind the German front lines for a

short rest at the beginning of the novel. After Behm became Paul's first dead schoolmate, Paul

viewed the older generation bitterly, particularly Kantorek, the teacher who convinced Paul and his

classmates to join the military, feeling alone and betrayed in the world that they had left for him.

Paul's generation felt empty and isolated from the rest of the world due to the fact that they had

never truly established any part of themselves in civilian life. At boot camp, Himmelstoss abused

Paul and his friends, yet the harassment only brought them closer together and developed a strong

spirit amongst them. Katczinsky, or Kat, was soon shown to be a master scavenger, being able to

provide the group with food or virtually anything else; on this basis Paul and him grew quite close.

Paul's unit was assigned to lay barbed wire on the front line, and a sudden shelling resulted in the

severe wounding of a recruit that Paul had comforted earlier. Paul and Kat again strongly

questioned the War. After Paul's company were returned to the huts behind the lines, Himmelstoss

appeared and was insulted by some of the members of Paul's unit, who were then only mildly

punished. During a bloody battle, 120 of the men in Paul's unit were killed. Paul was given leave

and returned home only to find himself very distant from his family as a result of the war. He left in

agony knowing that his youth was lost forever. Before returning to his unit, Paul spent a little while

at a military camp where he viewed a Russian prisoner of war camp with severe starvation

problems and again questioned the values that he had grown up with contrasted to the values while

fighting the war. After Paul returned to his unit, they were sent to the front. During an attack, Paul

killed a French soldier. After discovering that this soldier had a family, Paul was deeply shattered

and vowed to prevent other such wars. Paul's unit was assigned to guard a supply depot of an

abandoned village, but he and Kropp were soon wounded when trying to escape from the village.

Paul headed back to the front, only to engage in final battles where all of his friends were killed.

The death of Kat was particularly hard for Paul because they were very close. One month before

the Armistice, Paul was killed.



Ramarque's purpose in writing this book was to display the hidden costs of war. The

physical aspects of death and wounds did not begin to portray the mental anguish that the soldiers

experienced during and after the war. He hoped to show the results of war on

an entire generation; a loss of innocence in life which those who were once soldiers could never

replace. Remarque's message came across very clearly. There were constant tragedies which

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