All Quiet On The Western Front Character Analysis

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People’s personalities are often the result of the environment that they’re in. Harsh environments such as war can foster negative personality traits in people. You see examples of this in the novel All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. In the novel, Paul Bӓumer is a 19 year old soldier in the German army during World War I. During the story he has to learn how to deal with the harshness of war. Paul’s dominant personality traits revealed in chapters one through three are that he is desensitized, bitter, and loyal. These characteristics are all directly caused by the war he’s part of and without the war he would likely not have these traits. Paul’s most dominant personality trait is how desensitized he has become. This is…show more content…
The war, specifically commander Himmelstoss’ harsh training, nurtured a sense of loyalty in Paul. While training, Himmelstoss would put the boys through harsh exercises such as clearing snow out of the barrack-square with only a hand broom and a dustpan. He continually tried to break them down. However, according to Paul, it was this that developed “the finest thing that arose out of the war - comradeship” (27). This comradeship led to the development of Paul’s loyalty. An example of Paul’s loyalty is when his friend, and fellow soldier, Kemmerich is in the hospital Paul spends hours by his side to comfort him before he dies. This loyalty, created by the war, helps them to survive while out on the front by making sure the men watch out for each other and is one of the few positive things to come from the war. Paul’s prominent personality traits; his desensenzation, his bitterness, and his loyalty are all results of the war. It’s hard to say exactly what Paul would be like if he never fought the war but it is easy to say that his personality would be immensely different. World War I forever changed Paul Bӓumer in All Quiet on the Western Front just as it changed the lives of real life soldiers fighting in the war and how war continues to change lives
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