Essay about All Quiet On The Western Front

1237 Words Dec 10th, 2015 5 Pages
In All Quiet on the Western Front by Enrich Maria Remarque, there is a common theme of ups and downs. As time progresses on the front lines and off, characters emotions alter. The soldiers struggle with keeping their humanity no matter the circumstances. The main character, Paul Baumer is practically stripped of his humanity by feeling like a foreigner in normal society and accepting violence, still he has sparks of humane behavior in the darkest of times.
The first signs of Paul’s loss of humanity are when he goes on leave back to his hometown. Once back at the house where he grew up he describes trying to put on normal clothing: “I feel awkward. The suit is rather tight and short, I have grown in the army. Collar and ties give me some trouble. In the end my sister ties the bow for me. But how light the suit is, it feels as though I had nothing on put a shirt and underpants” (Remarque 164). In this quote, clothing is a symbol for Paul’s state of being. The clothing given does not feel natural to him and is a misfit, similar to him in normal society. In the suit, he can only feel the bare clothing underneath as if the outer layer has been stripped away, similar to his humanity. The physical growth of the army that causes him to be too large for his clothing also comes with the mental and emotional growth that causes him to be a foreigner from the life away from the front lines. As Paul spends more time on leave, he realizes that he does not belong in the real…

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