ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT summary and reflection

Essay by Bianconi34High School, 11th gradeA+, June 2005

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All quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front is about the German warfront during World War One. The traumatic tale of battle is narrated by Paul Baumer, a young soldier in the German infantry. He and his school friends have been urged to enlist in the fighting by Kantorek, their teacher, who glorified entering the war effort and saving the fatherland.

The story is set on the front lines where Paul and his friends are fighting for survival. As a result of the tragedies and deaths that they see all around them, Paul and his friends are completely disillusioned by the war. Now they believe that war is a big waste and question whether it is even worth fighting. They have also realized that it's the ordinary people, the little guys not the generals or captains, who actually fight the war and suffer the devastation.

Paul's platoon is often bombarded, and Paul constantly sees death and destruction all around him.

Paul and his platoon are eventually granted a short time away from the front and he even gets a short leave. When he goes home, he realizes he has changed. He feels lost when he puts on civilian clothes and interacts with "normal" people. He resents that everybody in his hometown acts as if the war were a game or a wonderful thing. He becomes annoyed because no one understands the true horrors of the war and never will.

Paul meets some girls from the enemy side and has a great time with them. It is the first time he sees the enemy are just normal people. During a scouting expedition he is taking cover in a shell hole when an enemy soldier falls in. He stabs him and this causes him to feel a...