18 year-old German school student , Paul Baumer is very creative and loves to draw. Paul is an 18-year old boy during WWI and died on a peaceful day on the front, Paul enlisted with his classmates to fight in world war l, the “war to end all wars”. The challenge of this, the most harrowing one of his young life, is developed in ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’. In his novel, Erich Maria Remarque insists “death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it.” Baumer’s challenge in the face of constant death helps him to understand his disillusionment and hopelessness as he loses his friends in battle.
The first point that stood out to me was the inhumane dehumanization effect of war. While reading Remarques’ storyline about the dehumanization led to the feeling of knowing that once the war ended being ‘injured’ or ‘dead’ didn’t really affect anyone anymore, instead it was just a normal thing that happened to everyone and someone everyday.
Kemmerich was seriously injured and lost both his feet after they had to be amputated in hospital. This wasn’t just one of those upsetting moments when someone from your country dies, it was one of those dreadful moments when one of your childhood best friends died. In this moment of Paul watching his friend say his last words he knew he had to learn to get on with life and not let Kemmerich’s death set him back, and yes it may have been hard for Paul but it wasn’t that hard for Muller. “I get blister after blister in these things”, Muller repeats over and over again in the sense that he knows Kemmerich had the best boots and no longer would be needing them. Muller continued to complain to the group until they finally came to an agreement that he can take Kemmerich’s boots.
Not long after I learnt about the inhumane dehumanization of war I learnt about the wastefulness of war. The wastefulness of war is an important aspect of the book as it will put into the readers minds that there is no point of having another war in our lifetime as all it does is kill innocent people, when instead it can be solved by signing a piece of paper. The wastefulness of war is an important theme that should be placed into the heads of all people around the world, if people nowadays understand the wastefulness of war that will stop them from starting wars themselves.
Throughout the story Remarque used a symbol of Kemmerich’s boots to give out his important idea. His symbol seems to not only be attracted to Muller but also to all other soldiers on the front. Well Muller is fighting over whether he can get the boots or not. Paul is fighting for his friend’s life. “There have already been 17 deaths today, your friend will probably be the 18th”, the nurses explain to Paul while he watches Kemmerich take his last breaths.