All Quiet on the Western Front: How entering war at an early age can change a person.

Essay by lylasbabyJunior High, 9th grade May 2005

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Paul Baumer is the protagonist in All Quiet on the Western Front written by Erich Maria Remarque. Paul changes his values throughout the novel as a result of having to adapt in order to survive. As Baumer struggles to survive the war, he transforms as shown by his thoughts, actions, and the conversations that he contributes in.

One way that Paul changes is that his patriotism towards his country about war decreases. Paul is sitting with his men around a fire picking off lice and comparing them before throwing them in the fire. Muller starts to ask others what they would do if and when the war is over. After dwelling on the topic for a while they realized the younger men do not know how to do anything but fight. They joined the war at such a young age that they did not get a chance to explore anything else.

"'The war has ruined us for everything.'" At the beginning of the novel he is excited about defending his country and destroying the enemy, but after having interaction with soldiers from the opposing side he realizes that they are all the same. They are just soldiers fighting for their countries and eager to get home. Paul's experience in combat changes his thoughts of war. Because of this, he gains the ability to reflect on the events that happen. His own ideas of war changes when he first witnesses the ugly truth of war. Paul's first experience in combat reveals to him that everything he was taught as a young recruit are lies. This causes him to make his own conclusions and thoughts about the war. As the war goes on, Paul realizes more and more about the reality of the situation that he is in.

Paul loses his...



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