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Word Count: 2,014
War is a devastating concept that hurts people both physically and mentally Paul Baumer in Erich Maria Remarques All Quiet on the Western Front is an example of this inner turmoil caused by the First World War Paul changes in his personality his attitude towards his home-life his attitude towards war and his attitude towards death which causes him to give up in the end Throughout the novel Remarque takes Paul the main character from an optimistic romantic to a cynical soldier to someone who looks forward to the peace found in death At the beginning of the novel Paul is a very optimistic person who looks forward to the simpler activities in life He even finds beauty in the act of going to the bathroom in a group Paul explains We feel ourselves for the time being better off than in any palatial white tiled convenience There it can only be hygienic here it is beautiful Remarque 13 The author makes this statement seem almost elegant with the short phrasing and words such as palatial and beautiful Also he uses the term white-tiled convenience This shows Pauls view of society as being clean-cut and complex The term white-tiled brings to mind the thought of a society that never gets soiled and that is always the same It shows that Paul enjoys the simpler events in life such as being out-of-doors with his friends with none of the complications of everyday society Paul is at this time a hopeless romantic who enjoys simplicity however as the war progresses he turns into a hardened veteran whose out look is not so positive His outlook on life changes and he thinks I know nothing of life but despair death fear and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow I see how people are set against one another in silence unknowingly foolishly obediently innocently slay one another Remarque 228 As Paul comes to understand the war
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