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Character Analysis: All Quiet On The Western Front

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During the 1900’s, war was often romanticized. When a man went off to war they were viewed as a hero for being patriotic and defending their country. Most people thought they would come out of war as a better man because of what they were told. However they did not know what they were in for. In the book, All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque the negative effects of war on an individual are shown. The main character, Paul Bäumer, is a soldier during World War I. The reader can see what the war has done to him and his comrades. In the beginning of the story, Paul explains how war has changed the lives of him and his comrades forever. He says, “We are not youth any longer. We don’t want to take the world by storm. We are fleeing. We fly from ourselves. From our life. We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces...we believe in such things no longer. We believe in war” (pg. 87-88). Paul has explained that his generation …show more content…
Without thinking, Paul stabs the soldier. This is the first time Paul has ever killed someone with his own hands. Since he is still stuck in the hole he has to sit and listen to this French soldier die, knowing it’s his fault. He sees the soldier’s face and thinks of his wife and children. He starts talking to him. He says “ Comrade, I did not want to kill you...now, for the first time, I see you are a man like me... I see your wife and your face and our fellowship...Forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy?” (pg.223). When Paul calls the soldier comrade, it shows that he no longer views him as an enemy. He realizes they are more alike than different. They share the same fears and have both lost their innocence to war. Paul feels terrible when he thinks about what he has done to the soldier’s family. The mental damage this has done to Paul will last him his entire

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