, 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
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 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.