All Quiet on The Western Front has made me think differently ever since I finished reading it. It strikes me how connected you can feel towards Paul (the main character). It changes the way you think about wars and how they affect the people fighting. Paul’s life is destroyed and ruined by war. When he is finally home, he doesn’t know what to do, who to talk to. It makes me think about war and why it even exists.
The final chapters of All Quiet on The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque might leave the reader feeling sympathetic towards Paul because in the last chapters the last of Paul’s friend group is killed and he is left with nothing at all. He becomes depressed and starts to believe that he won’t know what to do when the war is over. He then ends up being killed as the war ends. An example of this is on page 67. “We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces”. This is sad because even though he is on the “wrong” side that being on the German army he has no choice and many of the people like him are just puppets that are being used and are forced to do people in power’s bidding.
We learn something interesting about one of the characters, Kropp on page 203 where it says “We are here to protect our fatherland. And the French are over there to protect their fatherland. Now who’s in the right”. This is typical of how the character acts in the book so far. He often seems to be questioning the morality and justification of war and how there is no such thing as good or bad in war for soldiers as for them they are doing what they have been told to do. To them they are fulfilling their “duty” to serve their country. This changes the way the reader thinks not just of Kropp but of war and I believe that’s why he is such a powerful and important character to this book. Most readers wouldn’t be friends with him as a lot of people are against the Central Powers, but I think many would like to have a conversation and discussion with him.
After this part of the book, most readers probably will be looking forward to reading the rest of this book. The reason I say this is because I believe that Kropp and Paul are 2 characters that are so complex and feel very “human”. What I mean by that is that they really seem like soldiers during World War 1 and aren’t like these crazy and over the top characters. What will happen next is nothing because by the end of the book the entire main characters are al on dead. What would probably happen is that they would return home and be completely lost. As for a while they will be blamed for the failure of the German army. They will also have all of these built up emotions that they don’t know who to talk to about besides each other.
War! What is it good for? by Diego is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.