All Quiet On The Western Front

2471 Words Aug 4th, 2014 10 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 they are fighting and killing men just like themselves.
2. The technological innovations (and lack thereof) of the war affect the lives of the soldiers daily, on and off of the battlefield. Machine guns, hand grenades, gas, razor wire, and more tools of war are used to kill soldiers on the battlefield, while limbs and lives are lost in hospitals. Off of the front lines, food cannot be preserved, refrigerated, or frozen in the same way that it could be now, presenting another challenge for the soldiers to face daily. Medical technology is not nearly as advanced as it is now, and many soldiers die from complications during surgeries, amputations, infections, and other medical issues. Sometimes the care given is simply inadequate and soldiers…

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