Death In Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet On The Western Front

849 Words4 Pages
“When a man has seen so many dead he cannot understand any longer why there should be so much anguish over a single individual.” (Remarque, 181) During the war, many soldiers may often become desensitized and not feel the emotions they would usually feel when a friend or comrade dies. The war causes them to have a feeling of loss; they lose their emotions and friends; they lose a part of themselves during the war. If the soldiers were to think about every single death that occurred they would go mad. There are so many deaths everyday that it makes them have to move on pretty quickly. Paul, the main character from Erich Maria Remarque’s novel, All Quiet on The Western Front, and Roland Gerard Garvin, known as Ged, a British soldier who often…show more content…
Paul is a kind-hearted 19-year-old soldier, but his time in the war forces him to disconnect from his feelings as acknowledging them would release too much pain. Like Ged, Paul coped with Kemmerich’s death, along with the death of anyone who was important to him, by accepting it and moving on. When Paul is telling Kemmerich’s mother about her son’s death, he thinks, “Why doesn’t she stop worrying? Kemmerich will stay dead whether she knows about it or not.” (Remarque, 181) Paul cared about Kemmerich, but he has accepted his death and has already stopped worrying about it. Like Ged’s parents, Kemmerich’s mom coped with her son’s death by being told that they died bravely and did not suffer. Paul helps Kemmerich’s mom cope by telling her that “He died immediately. He felt absolutely nothing at all. His face was quite calm.” (181) Since the parents do not get to experience the war, when they get told that the soldiers passed away in a very peaceful manner it makes it easier for them to accept it; otherwise, if they got told the real way their kid or someone they knew died, they would feel guilt and remorse for allowing them, or even encouraging them, to join the
Open Document