All Quiet On The Western Front

2471 Words10 Pages
All Quiet on the Western Front 1. Paul Baumer and his friends, as German soldiers in World War I, collectively fight any who oppose the German army. However, Corporal Himmelstoss is an enemy whose transgressions are taken far more personally by Paul and his friends. Himmelstoss often torments Paul and his comrades for the sake of doing so, as he is power-driven and tries to exert control over others whenever he can. It is never stated that the soldiers hate or even dislike the enemies that they fight daily on the battlefield; yet they disfavor Himmelstoss openly. In addition, they all begin to harbor distaste for their former teacher, Kantorek, for encouraging them to join the army. All of the men also struggle against the knowledge that…show more content…
3. At one point, Kropp and Kat place bets on an air fight happening above them. The German plane is eventually shot down, but neither of the men seem to care. Kropp regrets only that he lost the bet. This shows the desensitization that the soldiers feel towards who wins the war, and the war as a whole. They don 't care who lives or dies; they only know that their job is to fight, kill, and die for their country. The loss of life is less important to Kropp than the loss of his money. 4. Men of Paul 's age group fear the end of the war because the war has taken up so much of their lives and personalities that they wouldn 't know how to function in a world without the war. They were conditioned to violence and battle. Moreover, they spent quite a few of their formative years in the war, and essentially grew up in combat. Older men in the war have jobs and families to which they can return; Paul and his friends have nothing of the sort. They often joke about becoming postmen like Himmelstoss, solely because they want to best him in his own field. In reality, though, they have no idea how they will operate in the world, even if they escape the war alive. 5. The war enables small-minded, controlling men like Himmelstoss because they lived insignificant, tiny lives before the war. They were often unrecognized in their daily lives, so when they are afforded the kind of control that a position of authority gives them, they often become intoxicated with
Open Document