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All Quiet on the Western Front Character Analysis

An analysis of Paul Baumer from the book All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
by

Ashley Messier

on 19 April 2011

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Transcript of All Quiet on the Western Front Character Analysis

Character Analysis
Paul Baumer In All Quiet on the Western Front Paul has to endure some pretty scary things. When we meet Paul at the beggining of the book, he is just a school boy; he is only 19. His teacher at school told him and his school mates that if they joined the war then they would become heroes. Paul didn't know what was in store for him. Paul has only been in the war for a short time but he has matured mentally.

"We are none of us more than twenty years old. But young? That is long ago. We are old folk."
Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet On The Western Front, Ch. 1 Paul realizes that the war is changing him and his mates in a bad way.

"We have become wild beasts. We do not fight, we defend ourselves against annihilation."
Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front, Ch. 6 It's not always bad times for Paul and the gang. Paul and Kat become comerades. Also the group always plays skat and have chats. Even though Paul is going through a very hard time in the war he still cares for his family. It is one of Pauls best traits. He generously gives a lot of his army food to his family and is very worried about his mother. "I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another."
- Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet On The Western Front, Ch. 10

In the end, Paul and all of his mates in the Second Company die. Some peacefully, some not. Paul was actually quite happy that he died in peace. Paul was just a school boy, then he went to a tough soldier who thought the only way to survive was to kill. He then realizes the enemy fighters were men also, this changed the way that he thought. He started out young and unknowing about the war, his experiences showed how they can make a boy to a man.
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