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Can I please get feedback on my "All Quiet on the Western Front" essay

Q) Describe how at least one character or individual in the text accepted change. Explain why the character or individual willingly accepted this change.

Paul Baumer is a young German soldier fighting in World War 1, and is the protagonist in Erich Maria Remarque’s novel “All Quiet on the Western Front”. Paul’s once innocent and naive personality from the beginning of his recruitment, can be seen progressively becoming drastically altered due to the immense amount of violence and traumatic experiences he was faced with. The trauma that Paul had experienced during his time on the front is what helped sculpt the text as a whole, as it depicts the true horror of how “disposable” human life became during the war, and how little mercy was being shown to the men risking and sacrificing their lives at the front.

The beginning of the text depicts Paul Baumer, who is eighteen at the time, and his fellow classmates who are all coerced into enlisting into the war by their teacher known as Kantorek, who goes on to romanticize the war and lectures on how choosing to enlist into the war is the most honourable and heroic act one can do for their own country. Paul and his classmates at the time are young and naive, causing them to see the war as an excuse to leave their hometown and go on a supposedly exciting “adventure”, in which all of them are unaware will lead to each of their deaths.

Paul Baumer is depicted to be an optimistic and naive teen in search of purpose and adventure in his life, but the war gradually ended up becoming seemingly the only purpose of his life, Paul states the following quote which perfectly describes his generation which was lost at war: “We are not youth any longer. We don’t want to take the world by storm. We are fleeing. We fly from ourselves. From our life. We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces.” This quote provides an understanding that Paul and most likely the rest of the soldiers, have developed and accepted the mentality that going back to living a “normal” life is no longer possible. Paul and the rest of the soldiers eventually become numb to the extreme gory violence in which they constantly is being bombarded with, and most begin to resort to using dissociation as a coping mechanism and a way to subconsciously protect their sanity from the sheer amount of gore and violence that they are essentially engulfed in.

The slow yet evident gradual change to Paul’s personality and his classmates, from when they first enlisted all the way to each of their final moments, helps to showcase and set the tone of the mercilessness of war. Paul went from a compassionate and empathetic school boy who was a budding artist, to an inherently numb soldier who has become disconnected from all the characteristics that essentially make someone “human”. These changes to Paul’s mentality become increasingly evident due to his exposure to the severe violence at the front.

All Quiet on the Western Front is an allegory for the pointless slaughter and violence which stems from the act of war, which forces anyone who is surrounded by it to succumb to its apathy. All Quiet on the Western front provides an insight into how war decayed each soldier’s mind and how caused them to accept that no matter what they do, they could not escape the violence, horror and trauma of war, and how their experiences will follow them for life.

Kiā ora and welcome to Studyit.
An interesting question to choose with this novel.
In your response it is helpful to establish clearly in the introduction the way you are going to respond to both parts of the question. Use the actual words in the questions to make it really clear to the marker where you are going. In this case they are ‘change’ and ‘willingly accepted’ So you need to establish just what the change is you are talking about. You suggest it is the change in his circumstances - going to war - but then you need to look at how he ‘accepted change’. Did he just have to endure? Was it really hard adjusting? Did he reconcile his thoughts about the situation or was he miserable the whole time? You can see how important it is that you set it all up clearly.
You move onto this with “Paul and most likely the rest of the soldiers, have developed and accepted the mentality that going back to living a “normal” life is no longer possible. " So they have coped with the change and accepted there is little they can do other than disassociate. But you don’t really get anywhere into the notion of 'willingly accepting the change” which is the second part of the question.
You clearly know the novel well and the evdience you give is great - how about choosing another question and using the details you have here, write another essay following more closely the question.
You could try this one.
Describe a situation that changed a character in a text.
Explain how this change helped us understand an important idea.
Look forward to reading it.
:grinning: