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All Quiet Of The Western Front Essay

, Research Paper

All Quiet on the Western Front

by: Erich Maria Remarque

All Quiet On The Western Front was set in Belgium, Germany. The

novel covered about three years beginning in 1916. The setting was as

important as the war itself, because it was told from a German

perspective. No one knew what to expect from this war since it was the

first world war. The soldiers dint know who their friends or enemies

were or what devastation might occur.

Paul Baumer, the main character, narrated the story. Other

important characters included Muller, Tjaden, Kat , and Kemmerich.

Paul was forced to grow up in the second company of the German

Army during the war. He had written a play and also some poetry but,

never expected what he was about to encounter.

Muller was sharp, smart, young man who was constantly studying

and worrying about doing well in school, even while at war. When

Kemmerich died, Muller inherited his soft airman s boots, then he gave

the boots to Paul when he died.

Stanislaus Kat Katczinsky was a forty year old veteran who was

a non-commission tutor. He helped Paul and his friends cope with the

trauma of the war.

Crop was the best student, He joined in on the rebellion against

Himmelstoss, He threatened suicide after losing his leg, but accepted an

artificial one.

Tjaden was a skinny, former locksmith who had an appetite twice

his size. He had a habit of wetting the bed when got nervous. Corporal

Himmelstoss, his boot camp drill Sargent, was constantly making fun of

him for his nervous habit of wetting the bed.

Kemmerich was one of Paul s best friends. He wanted to become

woodsmen when he got older. He was the first to die after sustaining an

injury to his leg.

Kat was my favorite character because he was like a father to

those boys just out of high school. He always told them jokes to comfort

them and to take their simple minds off the war.

In the novel all the characters wanted one thing, to escape the

horrors of the war and to get on with their lives. None of them get what

they want. All of them die and do not get what they desired. All the

characters changed in the same ways because they were all in the same


The main characters were all interesting in their own ways. I

personally liked them because they had the courage to go to war

defending their country and encounter new experiences, even if those

experiences were not so comforting.

The most important conflict in the novel was when Paul was

fighting a French soldier and killed him in the trenches. Paul soon was

eaten alive by his guilty conscience and begged forgiveness from the

dead soldier. While looking through the soldiers wallet Paul discovered

pictures of the soldiers family. Paul told the dead soldier he would give

the dead soldier his twenty years of life. Then he could go and be with

them instead of laying dead in the trenches of the front line. This is when

Paul finally realized how real this war was.

A group of recent high school graduates joined the German Army

of World War I, after hearing a speech from their teacher. Soon after

joining they are shipped off to training camp where they encountered

Corporal Himmelstoss, a brutal drill Sargent. He drills them and abuses

the boys till they decide to get revenge. The way they went about their

revenge was they waited in the woods with a blanket and threw it over

the corporal s head and clobbered him with their fists. They then went to

war and thrown into situations they were not prepared for. Kemmerich

was the first to die. When this happened it showed them that they were

vulnerable and it could happen to them, too. Soon they were sent to the

front line, Corporal Himmelstoss joined the men and attempted to boss

them around. He did manage to get Tjaden and Kropp in trouble for

becoming rebellious. The whole troop spent their time fighting and ended

up far behind enemy lines. Everyone started to die one by one. While at

battle Paul kills a French soldier and has a crisis of conscience. He

begged the soldier for forgiveness. Later Paul and Kropp, the remaining

members of their squad were reassigned to supply duty at camp. While

at the camp they were both moderately injured and shipped out on a

train to a hospital. Kropp s injury was worse than thought to be and his

leg was amputated. Paul returned to the front line to fight. While there

he met up with Kat. Throughout their struggles at the front line Kat

sustains a shin wound. Paul tried to carry him to a medic, but while in

the process Kat catches a splinter in the head and dies. Paul, recovering

from gas poisoning, is killed.

All Quiet On The Western Front was told in fist person until Paul

dies when it is told in third person. The point of view has a major effect

on the story because the reader knows Paul s hardships and triumphs,

which would not be know if it was told by another party. Also, the first

person perspective give the thoughts and feelings of all the other men in

the squad.

The tone and the mood of All Quiet On The Western Front was

sorrow and pity. This is thought because the novel is written from an

anti-war point of view. The tone and mood is also sad, because the main

characters all die and don t get a real chance at life. Their lives were cut

by untimely deaths.

The theme of the novel is the destruction of war and the pain it

causes. When Paul comes back from leave he starts having second

thoughts about the war and what he is doing in the middle of this big

mess. He also believes that the men he is fighting are just the same he is

but in different uniforms.

The significance of the title All Quiet On The Western Front is

that the western front, located in Germany, has been silenced because all

the soldiers have fought to death and the battle field has been silenced.