All Quiet on the Western Front. The question asks how Paul's combat experiences throughout the novel age him beyond his years. Includes direct quotations from the novel.

Essay by Xodus22High School, 10th gradeA+, August 2002

download word file, 2 pages 4.6


Wars contain in them the deadly ability to destroy a man. This fact remained true in the book, All Quiet On the Western Front. In this book, Paul Bäumer experienced many changes. To begin with, he lost his faith and trust in his family, which used to be a crucial component in his life. Second, he witnesses death all around him. Moreover, he lost all of his hope for his generation. To Paul, "?The front is a mysterious whirlpool," yet, this unfamiliar territory permanently changes him. In the book All Quiet On the Western Front, Paul's combat experiences age him beyond his years.

To begin with, Paul loses the faith and trust in his family, which had been a crucial part of his life in the past. In one scene, Paul goes home on leave only to find out that all of his family is babbling about a war that they don't understand.

Paul becomes so disturbed by their behavior that he decides that he, "?Ought never to have come (home) on leave." Furthermore, Paul realizes that the front was in deed better than his own home," Out there (front) I was indifferent and often hopeless;-I will never be able to do so again. I was a soldier, and now I am nothing but an agony for myself, for my mother, for everything that is so comfortless and without end." Paul gains the steady realization that his past is slipping away from him forever.

Second, Paul witnesses death and atrocities all around him, which change his perception on death forever. These terrible incidences that he encounters are not normal for a boy of his age (19) and he can barely deal with them on a mental level. Paul quickly realizes how fragile life is...