All Quiet On The Western Front: A Character Analysis

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For years people that express anti-war feelings can be seen throughout media, like in books, news and TV or even through protest. The novel All Quiet on the Western Front written by WWI veteran Erich Maria Remarque is no exception as it delves in the horrors of war through its main character Paul Baumer, a German soldier who fights in the infamous Western Front during WWI while truly questioning if the war is worth fighting. Paul and his comrades face the disgusting conditions of the trenches as they risk infectious diseases like “Trench Foot” and rat infestation. Baumer is also faced with the deaths of his own comrades and friends and the effects that it has on him. Paul also witnesses the dark effects of power and the lengths in which people …show more content…
To understand the deaths of these characters one must look at the amount of casualties on all sides in the war itself "On the Allies side, the total casualties suffered were as follows: Russia, 9,150,000; England, 3,190,235; France, 6,160,000; Italy, 2,197,000; the U.S., 323,018, and Serbia, 331,106. On the Axis side, Germany lost 7,142,558; and Austria-Hungary, 7,020,000." (“Historical Context: All Quiet on the Western Front”). This goes along with All Quiet on the Western Front because during the duration of the novel death is almost unavoidable and only the lucky survive. The deaths of his own comrades shape Paul in the novel and begin to take their toll on him. Families are also affected by the loss of life “Also often neglected when examining the enormous human cost of total war are the effects of so many deaths on the families left behind—or never to be started” (“Origins and Impact of World War I.”). Much like how the deaths have effected loved ones Paul loses many friends and comrades including his best friend Stanislaus “Kat” Katczinsky this of course makes Paul shut down emotionally in the novel. It also mentioned in the beginning of the novel that the painful death of Paul’s fellow classmate Joseph Behm who was reluctant to volunteer in the war, broke whatever …show more content…
These effects are the horrid trench conditions, the casualties of the novels characters, the showing of not only the struggle for power but also abuse of it within the novel, the horrid effects of gas and shrapnel, the novel also delves into the thoughts of the characters and how they perceive how hopeless it is to fight for a war that has no concrete reasoning for existing. To this day antiwar is still expressed in abundance in the media by showing the dark side of war much like in All Quiet on the Western

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