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All Quiet on the Western Front Essay

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Imagine being in an ongoing battle where friends and others are dying.  All that is heard are bullets being shot, it smells like gas is near, and hearts race as the times goes by.  This is similar to what war is like.  In the novel All Quiet on the Western Front, the narrator, Paul Baumer, and his friends encounter the ideals of suffering, death, pain, and despair.  There is a huge change in these men; at the beginning of the novel they are enthusiastic about going into the war.  After they see what war is really like, they do not feel the same way about it.  During the war the men experience many feelings especially the loss of loved ones.  These feelings are shown through their first experience at training camp, during the actual battles, and in the hospital.
 Training camp was the first actuality of what war was going to be like for the men.  They thought that it would be fun, and they could take pride in defending their country.  Their teacher, Kantorek, told them that they should all enroll in the war.  Because of this, almost all of the men in the class enrolled.  It was in training camp that they met their cruel corporal, Himelstoss.  The men are in shock because he is so rude to them; they never thought that war would be this harsh.  Paul and two of his friends are ridiculed the most by him.  They have to lie down in the mud and practice shooting and jumping up.  Also, these three men must remake Himelstoss’ bed fourteen times, until it is perfect.  Himelstoss puts the young men through so much horror that they yearn for their revenge.  Himelstoss is humiliated when he goes to tell on Tjaden, and Tjaden only receives an easy punishme...


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...son dies, it really does not mean anything to the doctors, except a free bed.  This scene plus the others which take place in the hospital show change in the way that men pull together when someone is in need. The hospital scenes also show that men are so accustomed to death, they know when someone is going to die, and can tell the degree of an injury when it happens. 
There is a major change in the men in this novel.  At first, they are excited to join the army in order to help their country.  After they see the truth about war, they learn very important assets of life such as death, destruction, and suffering.  These emotions are learned in places like training camp, battles, and hospitals.  All the men, dead or alive, obtained knowledge on how to deal with death, which is very important to one’s life.    

 


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