Character Sketch Of Paul In All Quiet On The Western Front

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The main character in Erich Maria Remarque's book All Quiet on the Western Front is Paul Baumer. He is a soldier in the German army and is used as an example of what war can do to people. Throughout the story Paul's mental state slowly deteriorates until he becomes a total psycho. By the end of the book Paul no longer wants to live because of what he has seen and done. Paul literally longs for the day that he will die. These things are all very different from his attitude at the beginning of the book. He used to think of himself as a brave, honorable man, but at the end he thinks of himself as a monster. Paul realises that war does not always bring glory it can also bring sadness and longing for your old life.

Paul, who is not yet very affected by the horrors of war watches his best friend die and starts thinking of his old life of happiness and peace. Paul remember the words of his old school teacher Kantorek "You my students are the iron youth, do your duty to the fatherland."Kantorek was trying to convince all of his students to join t he military and was using peer pressure and guilt to get them too. Paul thinks of his old life as a scholar and how he used to love to read and draw. Even though it was only a couple of months ago that he was doing all of those things they feel distant to him. He longs to go back to his old life.
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As he watches hundreds of new recruits get mowed down Paul thinks of their families and his own. While he thinks of his family he wonders if his Mom is still alive because she started to get sick before he left. Paul thinks of how he had to tell his now dead friend Franz's mother how he died and he starts to wonder if he will have to do that again or how many of these soldiers will have to do the same
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