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All Quiet on the Western Front

Essay by   •  March 4, 2011  •  Book/Movie Report  •  1,222 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,135 Views

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The novel "All Quiet on the Western Front", Erich Maria Remarque, tells a story of a young German soldier by the name of Paul Baumer, during the First World War. The novel told of the bloody battles, and the struggle for survival. The story begins during the war on the front, the majority of the novel the story is bases here, with exceptions of flashbacks, and the time he was drafted. During the story Paul becomes veteran from the inexperience private he was. Through out the story he made new friends with his fellow soldiers and grew a bond with his high school buddies.

Paul and his friends joined the army because of the influence of their teacher, Kantorek. They begin their training with Corpal Himmelstoss, who is said to be a cruel and petty person. After experiencing the training with Himmelstoss and the life on the front, they begin to have second thoughts. Now the young men begin to leave in fear and they do not see the war as honorable as they once did.

After two weeks on the front, when they return from their leave, the men find that there is more than enough food for everyone. Therefore, they are able to enjoy a hearty meal. Later we come to find out that it is because only eighty of the one hundred and thirty five men had survived. On their leave Paul and his friends went to see another friend of theirs Kemmerich, a boy they had attended school with. Kemmerich was in the hospital because he had gangrene; therefore he had to have his leg amputated. This is also causing him to die a slow death. Kemmerich had a pair of boots that were valuable to him, and his friends also seemed to think they were something special. Since he is unable to use the boots, Muller would like to have them. Paul is now learning to disconnect himself and his sad emotions, and does not even considered Muller being insensitive. Not too long after Paul visits Kemmerich, this time he visits him at his death bed. Before he dies Kemmerich tells Paul he would like Muller to have the boots, Paul being a noble person takes the boots to Muller.

They are back at front and a group of new recruits come in. Kat shared some of his stew and impresses them with it. Kat also talks about how if everyone was to be paid the same amount of money in the army, and they all ate the same food, he thinks that the war would be over a lot faster. Then you have Kropp, another friend that went to school with Paul. He believes that should be no army at all, he believes that the leaders should dispute their differences with clubs. Furthermore they discuss the type of people who become powerful during the war, people they believe who are insignificant. During this time one of the troops announce that Corporal Himmelstoss, who is said to be brutal, has come to fight at the front,

The troop is sent on a mission during the night, to lay barbed wire around the front. All of a sudden they find themselves being pounded by artillery and hiding in a graveyard. Around them the dead are arising and groups of men that are alive are dying all around them. When the horrific attack is over, the survivors return to their camp and begin to think about what they will do after the war is over. Paul is in fear that when the war does end he will not know what to do with himself, while other men seem to have big plans.

A charging group of Allied infantry men begin a blood-spattered battle. Troop's body parts are blown all over, giant rats being to eat at the wounded men, and the dead around them. When this battle ends, there are only thirty-two of the eighty men had survived. When the men are at the field depot they receive a break, here they go swimming and French ladies come along, and they all begin to have some fun. Paul becomes shy around the ladies and feels that nothing would ever happen.

Some time later, Paul receives a seventeen day leave.

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