All Quiet On The Western Front Theme Of Compassion

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World War I was filled with tragedy and despair especially for young soldiers. This monstrosity lasted for four long painful years while everyone was fighting for resources and their own will to live. The horrors that these soilders endured, changed the way they lived forever and their outlooks on life. In Erich Maria Remarque’s novel All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul Bäumer exemplifies compassion, generosity, and perseverance throughout his experience as a soldier in World War I.
Throughout the novel, Paul illustrates his compassion to his fellow recruits as the war goes on. Paul then goes on to say, “comrade, I did not want to kill you. If you jumped in here again, I would not do it, if you were sensible too” (Remarque 223). At this point …show more content…

When he saw the expression on his face, it pained Paul. He felt numb and inhumane for what he had just done and seeing this poor soldier in such pain. When Paul goes on to say that he would not have killed him if he was sensible too it really dives deep into the pains of the war these young men had to experience at such a young age. Secondly, Paul demonstrates compassion by giving out his cakes to the Russian soldiers in prison. This act especially shows his compassion because they are supposed to be fighting against each other. Paul states, “It is distressing to watch their movements, to see them begging for something to eat”(Remarque 190). Paul is having a difficult time in the war at this point and cannot stand the fact of seeing people die anymore. He had also just …show more content…

After inhaling the toxic gas, Paul is given leave to go home for a little bit. While he is home he goes through a lot of mental struggles but was not ready for the mental toll he was about to encounter coming back to the war. Paul admits that he had changed a lot in the days saying, “I ought never to have come here, Out there I was indifferent and often hopeless — I will never be able to be so again. I was a soldier, and now I am nothing but an agony for myself, for my mother, for everything that is so comfortless and without end” (Remarque 185). While Paul was on leave, he was able to be with his family who he no longer felt the same connection with because of the trauma he had gone through already. Paul was able to feel emotions he had been avoiding to become inhumane for the war conditions that eventually built up so much that now he is not able to contain himself anymore. But, even though he had these horrible feelings and thoughts, he kept fighting, he did not give up. He knew that it was not an option and he had to forget about everything he has gone through and the painful deaths he had to encounter. Secondly, Paul was one of the last recruits alive of his friends in the war. He no longer had the people who had started this fight with, no longer had something to live for. But, Paul knows he has to keep going and keep fighting because there is a purpose and there will be peace eventually. At the very end of the

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