Paul Baumer is the character that gives us front row seats to the show. He’s the one that gives us the information for all the characters that he meets. He’s the one who describes the war as if you were sitting right beside him in the trench. Paul can be that guy that could kick back and relax and have a beer and cigar with you or he can be a type of leader that puts you right into the action and end up saving your life. That’s why Paul could be considered a well developed character instead of a one dimensional character. Throughout the book Remarque made Paul the type of character that flat out reports to the audience what is happening.
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For example when Paul and Albert are in the hospital together after getting injured from an attack, he will describe what is happening to him and also the others around him that are being sent to the dying room. This is an example of a well developed character because Remarque did not make Paul that type of narrator that only tells what the others are saying and doing or just telling the setting and the moods of the story. Remarque made it so it seems like Paul is the guy that everybody wants to be around even though he is just trying to live another day. Remarque also shows that Paul can be a well developed character when he runs into the trench and sees the man dying fall into the trench with him. Paul goes from scared to death to being a helping man when he tries to save the fallen soldier from death. If Paul was a one dimensional character than none of this wouldn’t happen because Paul risked his life and volunteered for the job that Kat sent him out to do.
Also, some soldiers write diaries to their family or friends but instead of Remarque making Paul just a normal one dimensional soldiers he has Paul just tells us how he lost his friend instead of writing about it. Remarque also makes Paul a type of leader between his friend group also. If you noticed there really isn’t much tension or fighting between the young men as they’ve been with each other for a very long time starting with the beginning of high school. Paul is not a one dimensional character in any way.
Also, Paul isn’t the type of guy like Tjaden that has no respect for the authority running the war, Paul is the type of guy that will have respect for them once they are in front of him, but when they leave Paul and his friends will make fun the authority saying how short and mean they are. That is a type of person that isn’t one sided or just flat out boring. That’s what makes Paul such a great character because he is well rounded, he has a great personality, and he makes a great leader helping the new recruits stay alive in their time being called up.
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