All Quiet On The Western Front Essay

1218 Words Nov 18th, 2015 5 Pages
In the First World War soldiers had experiences with both good and bad leaders. In the book All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque explores the idea that leaders can be competent and kind or clueless and bitter. In this novel, Paul Bäumer deals with many different leaders which he has both positive and negative feelings towards. As the story progresses, Paul begins to realize that there are both good and bad leaders, and he gives them respect only if he feels that they truly deserve it. Paul learns that many leaders in the war are unqualified for the task as they lack the basic understanding how to lead soldiers.
One leader that Paul often has negative encounters with is Himmelstoss, the man who was responsible for the training of Paul and many of the people in his company. Himmelstoss was a cruel trainer, with many inhumane punishments. One example of Himmelstoss ' inhumane punishments is that he made two bed wetters, Tjaden and Kindervater, sleep in bunkbeds where they would switch beds each day in an attempt to force them to stop bed wetting. Due to this cruelty, Himmelstoss is forced to fight on the front at the same time Paul had to fight at the front. Although Paul thinks of Himmelstoss as a cruel leader, Paul begins to develop a level of respect for him after the time they spent together on the front: "[He] wants to get on good terms with us. I am willing because I saw how he brought Haie Westhus in after he was hit in the back" (137). Himmelstoss is…

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