All Quiet On The Western Front

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade October 2001

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All Quiet on the Western Front By Belinda Collier Paul Baumer the narrator and protagonist in All Quiet on the Western Front, is a character who develops extensively within the course of the novel. As a young man, he is persuaded to join the German Army during World War I. His three-year period in the army is marked by Paul's short, but tragic journey into adulthood as he learns to cope with the trials and tribulations of war. As the war continues we see the loss of Paul's precious innocence as he is further isolated from his childhood world and overwhelmed by the destruction of war. Paul's growth throughout the novel is a result of him having to adapt in order to survive.

The importance of the narrative voice in All Quiet on the Western Front is undeniable, throughout the novel the reader is taken into Paul Baumer's (the narrator's) world and that of his friends to see the many aspects of war.

This graphic and horrorifing real journey opens the reader's eyes to the shocking but very real truth of war, dealing with both the physical and mental anguish that war brings through the eyes of an ordinary soldier.

Paul's initial experiences on the battlefield completely shatter any of his misconceptions about war. "˜ The first bombardment showed us our mistake and under it the world as they had taught it to us broke into pieces.' His young and naive ideas about war are immediately challenged; he is confronted with the patriotic lies that he had been relentlessly taught to him as a schoolboy and as a recruit. From this moment on the reader, sees Paul drawing his own conclusions and opinions on life and the war as his personality matures.

As Paul's time in the war continues,