All Quiet On The Western Front

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In the book, All Quiet On The Western Front, the character Corporal Himmelstoss is portrayed as a disciplinary, brutal, and sympathetic type of person in the training camps. Although prior to his position as a trainer he was a postman. Corporal Himmelstoss is in charge of No. 9 platoon. His petite size and the sleek moustache is not intimidating at first, until he displays his strict side towards the young soldiers. The brutal strictness of discipline that the corporal is known for changes once he has a taste of the frontlines. Thereafter a new soft tender person is born in the need for companionship. Himmelstoss, " had the reputation of being the strictest disciplinarian in the camp, and was proud of it." (Page 26) It is apparent that he liked what he did, and that was to discipline soldiers. Himmelstoss trained the soldiers in the fields so they can be ready for whatever was in store for them at the front lines. One disciplined training activity was advance and lie down on the order of the Corporal. The soldiers were trained until they became, "one lump of mud and [they] finally collapsed." (Page 26) The reason for this practice was to make the soldier fit and to have high stamina in the battlefield. The soldiers under Himmelstoss' discipline learnt to become, " hard, suspicious, pitiless, vicious, tough and that was good; for these attributes were just what we (soldiers) lacked." (Page 29) It does not matter how acute and severe the discipline training was for the soldiers at least they are satisfied of what they have learnt and also I am intrigued by this quality the Corporal had because in the army the soldiers are suppose to be trained through discipline and if I were in this environment, I believe a strict disciplinary would only discipline me. . In addition, the brutal trait of the Corporal is revealed is when he makes his student soldiers do chores that are just savage. For example, he makes Paul remake, " his bed fourteen times in one morning. Each time he had some fault to find." (Page 26) It shows how brutal a man can be that a bed has to be made fourteen times and each time there is something wrong with it. Moreover, Himmelstoss has made Paul knead, " a pair of prehistoric boots that were as hard as iron for twenty hours.

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