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

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In 1914, a war broke out between two alliances: the Central Powers and the Allies. Germany and Austria-Hungary made up the Central Powers, and the Allies consisted of Britain, France, Russia, and the United States. This great battle became known as World War I, an event where millions of people died over a four-year span for an unnecessary cause. In order to gain military power, help allies, and imperialize, these countries used all their reserves and maximized their efforts to win this war. Countries motivated men to join the war with fame and nationalism. For example, in All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque, a German soldier, named Paul Baumer, joins the war because he was taught to believe that war was easy, and he would be recognized as a hero. Unexpectedly, he encounters many disturbing moments during…show more content…
These consequences are most impactful because of how dehumanization allowed the soldiers to kill mercilessly, which connects to how they gain a sense of guilty after the war when they have time to reflect. Unfortunately, their guilty consciences became so unbearable to the point where some would commit suicide. This exact scenario occurs to Paul in All Quiet on the Western Front. During a battle, Paul lost his senses as he is caught in the heat of the battle. Suddenly, a random body falls on him and “[Paul] strikes the [French soldier without thinking] at all” (Remarque 216). As a soldier fighting in battle, Paul is unable to “think at all” during these desperate situations. His actions of “[striking the soldier]” viciously emphasizes how he had become desensitized, which also reveals his animalistic nature because of how he follows his instincts of “[striking the soldier without thinking]” about the consequences. Paul, like many other soldiers in WWI, was forced to kill more people “[without any thought]” for the preservation of his own life allowing him to develop inhuman behavior. Throughout the war,
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