All Quiet on the Western Front: The Innocence of Youth In All Quiet on the Western Front, the main character is a nineteen year-old, who tells his perspective of the war. Throughout the story, he talks about his recent class-mates and how they enlist in the war with him, and how he and his friends experience the war. In the story, it talks about the innocence that is taken away from the soldiers like Paul and his friends. The story is set in Germany during the First World War. Numerous events took place during this bloody war including the deaths of millions and the youth taken away from the young men that enlisted in the war. In this war, Paul, along with his friends, experience these things during the war: their innocence that was taken…show more content… “Kantorek had been our schoolmaster, a stern little man in a grey tail-coat, with a fact like a shrew mouse.” (10) Paul’s old schoolmaster was a depiction of his recent youth and is one of the last real “youth-ism” that he will possess throughout the rest of his life. The quote is important to point out because the author (or in this case Paul) wants to address his teacher from his youth, and what’s left of it. Now because of the war, his youth is gone. “We had no definite plans for our futures. Our thoughts of a career and occupation were as yet too unpractical a character to furnish any scheme of life.” (21) At this point, Paul is so confident that his youth is taken away from him he begins to think about his future in the war. Since Paul and his friends lost their youth during the war, even their futures’ were taken away from them in a way, not knowing how to maintain life after the war or even if they get out of the war. Over all, Paul in the story talked about his youth being taken away from him and how his generation will be stripped from their youth. Every soldier’s youth was taken from them, whether or not they even survived the war; the soldier’s also experienced the un-awareness of the consent in the war.
The young men that enlisted in the war were not blamed for the war, but yet they have no say in the war so they are fighting by orders and not themselves. “A man with a small pointed