, Research Paper
Modern European History
September 9, 1996
All Quiet on the Western Front
By, Erich Maria Remarque
All Quiet on the Western Front is a story of events that happened to a young man named Paul Baumer. Paul Baumer is a young man that was talked into joining the war by his teacher Kantorek, who also convinced the other boys in his class to enlist in the army and to serve their country. Kantorek said it was very noble to defend the land that gave them life, and that he beleived it would be a quick victory. After all the young men enlisted in the army they were taken to basic training, where they are trained to become soldiers by the postman turned Corporal, they moved out and joined the Second Company. During thier first assignment the first of their classmates, Joseph Bhem, was killed after being blinded on the battlefield and wandering out into the line of fire and was shot dead. They were next taken to the trenches where they fought off a forward attack of the enemy. After the day was finished they had lost seventy of their original one hundred and fifty. After a few more encounters with the enemy the Second Company goes far back in the battle lines where they rest and a few encounter some French girls whom they bring food to. After this Paul takes a short leave, in which he goes home and discovers that he is not able to have fun in his youth because he was so caught up in the war that he has lost all of his youth and he feels that he is only good for war, he rejoins his friends in the Second Company where they are again sent to the front line. On a patrol one night Paul was separated from his group and is forced into hand to hand combat with an enemy. Paul stabs and fatally wounds his enemy whom he watches die because he is pinned down by enemy fire. After this ordeal Paul is assigned to a supply depot. While evacuating the supply depot Paul and his friend Albert Kropp are shot and sent to St. Vincenz Hospital where Kroop s leg was amputated. Also, after Paul was sent to the dying room, he recovers, and is one of the only people to return from the dying room. Paul recovers and is able to leave and return to duty. In the summer of 1918 while Kat was out looking for food he was wounded in the shin by a bomb that was dropped from a plane. Paul then carries Kat to an aid station, but on the way there is another bomb that is dropped near them and a particle of some sort flies and kills Kat before Paul can get him to the aid station. The story ends when Paul is killed when he reaches out for a butterfly from his positon in the trenches, and he is shot in the back of the head.
In the Book All Quiet on the Western Front the author is trying to say that
war is not wanted by the people that fight it. War is wanted by people in authority who have something to gain, and, in turn trick everyone else into thinking they have something to benefit from it. The author is also trying to show the effects that war can have on a young person that is taken and stripped of his youth and forced to fight in a war that he did not need to participate in. The author makes this very clear in the book by having the men even talk about how they did not want the war one day while they were eating. They discussed how they did not want the war and how they wanted to go home . They said that a country can not offend another country. People get offended when a head of a country offends another head of a different country, and they have other people fight their battle for them. The other point the author was trying to make about the loss of innocence within the men could be seen in all of Paul s classmates and Paul. They were brought into a war and when they were through they realized that they were only good for war and they could no longer enjoy their youth. They were all late to stop it because they all fell victim to the fever of the war, spread by lies and false propaganda. I agree totally with the points that the author was making. It is my beleif that it is unfair for men in government to trigger an altercation and then lead young men to beleive that someone has betrayed them, and that it would be noble for them to die fighting for a cause they really know nothing about. I also agree with the other point . The young men were asked to take on a world of responsibilities that they were not ready to handle and they were forced to mature much faster then they should have. It is seen even today when young teens are asked to drop out of school and get a job to help the family and take on responsibilities they they are not ready for.