"All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque.

Essay by gundogladHigh School, 10th grade November 2003

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The Unforgotten Leader

In the novel All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, a major referred to as Himmelstoss mistreats soldiers. Himmelstoss is commanding troops during World War I for the German Army. He is said to be strict and gives unreasonable orders. He fought in the war once and couldn't relate to the soldiers until he had those experiences. Throughout the novel Himmelstoss is cruel, power hungry, and a coward.

Himmelstoss is extremely cruel through out the story by making the soldiers' lives much more difficult and harder to cope with. For example, Tjaden, a young soldier, is having a friendly conversation with Himmelstoss until Himmelstoss becomes outraged when Tjaden refuses to follow Himmelstoss' orders, " 'I'll have you court-martialled,' storms Himmelstoss" (83). This shows that Himmelstoss demands high respect and has no consideration for the hardships others are facing. Himmelstoss has better living conditions than the soldiers, which is causing the soldiers to feel bitter towards him despite his actions.

In addition, Himmelstoss asks the soldiers to do unreasonable tasks, "I have remade his [Himmelstoss'] bed fourteen times in one mourning" (23). This shows that Himmelstoss gives tasks that do not benefit anyone but himself. Himmelstoss desires being cruel because he likes to take advantage of others to make this uneasy time at war much more easier to accept. Himmelstoss has no regard towards the soldiers' feelings and has cruel intentions with them.

Himmelstoss becomes power hungry through his cruel acts. For example, Himmelstoss likes the idea of being able to tell people what to do so he has received a bad reputation, "He had a reputation of being the strictest disciplinarian in the camp, and was proud of it" (23). This shows that Himmelstoss likes to be strict so he can abuse...