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An Analysis of the Change in the Character Paul Baumer in All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarques
Word Count: 1,171
World War I 1914-1918 was called The Great War because until that time there had never been a more destructive war on such a global level Erich Maria Remarques All Quiet on the Western Front a novel set during this Great War centers around the changes brought on by war in one young German soldier During his time in the war Paul Baumer the narrator and protagonist changes from a rather innocent Romantic to a hardened and fairly caustic veteran soldier Before the war Paul and his comrades were fresh from school full of hopes and dreams for their future Their teachers and parents told passionately at times about the glory and honor of war to persuade them to enlist in the war effort Baumer states that teachers always carry their feelings ready in their waistcoat pockets and trot them out by the hour Parents too were not reluctant to use words to shame their sons into enlisting At that time even ones parents were ready with the word coward Were no longer young men Weve lost any desire to conquer the world we believe in the war Paul said this about himself and his comrades This was their mentality after horrifying experiences on the front lines Seeing the friends he grew up with dying had an initial negative effect but there was nothing he could do about their deaths There was no reason dwelling on it because After all war is war The change in Paul is most evident by his time on leave in his hometown He figures that speaking to anyone there is impossible His military experiences and the home front settlers limited or nonexistent understanding of the war do not allow for a discussion When he arrives home and sees his mother he realizes that he has nothing to say to her or his family We say very little and I am thankful she asks nothing The fact that he does
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