Comradery in "All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque

Essay by terps351College, UndergraduateA+, December 2006

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Comrades or Brothers?

A comrade is defined as "a person who shares in one's activities, occupation, etc.; companion, associate, or friend"(Dictionary). This definition however does not convey the great love that these soldiers had for one another. The soldiers of the second company are more than comrades; they are brothers. They are all offspring of an enraged War that envelops their minds and bodies. The war has stripped all of humanity from them; the lone quality they have retained is love for one another. In All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, the soldier's brotherly love for one another is manifested through Paul's thoughts, speech, and actions.

Throughout the entire novel, Remarque successfully uses Paul's thoughts to show us that the single greatest thing that attributed the war was comradeship. Just after Paul and Kat have captured a goose Paul takes a rest, while Kat cooks the bird.

Through the slits of eyes he sees Kat slaving away Paul thinks, "In a half sleep I watch Kat dip and raise the ladle, I love him...[Kat's] clear voice utters words that bring me peace,"(95). While Paul is on the front, he describes the soldiers as animals that rely on their will to survive and suppress all emotion. Remarque demonstates the inhumanity and hatred of war and then contrasts it with the love the soldiers have for each other. It would seem that the soldiers were incapable of love after the terrible things they have gone through, but their love for each other is their only human quality. It is Kat's words that bring Paul peace and nothing else. This hope of peace gives them the will to fight. Peace gives them hope for the future, despite war's chaotic and life stealing nature.

When Paul first returns from...