Answer- Paul is a character in the book All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul shows many character traits but one stands out. Throughout the book, Paul shows compassion to nearly everyone he meets. In Chapter 8, Paul says, “I know nothing about them (Russian Prisoners) except that they are prisoners…Their life is obscure and guiltless.” Later in the chapter, the author writes that, “I take out my cigarettes, break each one in half and give them to the Russians.” This shows that Paul feels compassion for the prisoners by the way he talks about them and the way he helps them by giving them his cigarettes for free. Paul shows a lot of character traits, but compassion is definitely one of those character traits.
Answer- War has an effect on Paul in a major way. The war kills Paul mentally before it kills him physically. In chapter 12, Paul says, “Had we returned home in 1916, out of the suffering and strength of our experience, we might have unleashed a storm. Now if we go back we will be weary, broken, burnt out, rootless, and without hope. We will not be able to find our way anymore.” This says that because of the war, Paul has lost all will to basically live. This is shown through the way he describes the feeling’s he will experience when he returns. Paul was killed physically due to the war he fought in, but before he was physically killed, Paul was already mentatlly and spiritually dead.
Answer-There are many themes in the book All Quiet on the Western Front, but one theme overlies the others. The main theme for this book is the brutality and horror that is war in general. This book portrays war as it truly is. This is shown throughout the book where soldiers are imprisoned into the army against their will and end up giving their lives. In chapter 12, Paul says, “There are not many old hands left. I am the last of the seven fellows from my class.” Paul is the last survivor from his class. War is extremely brutal, but seeing all of Paul’s friends die, some in his arms, for a cause they don’t really believe in shows the horror that is war. War is not a pleasant thing, the novel truly shows how brutal and hostile war can be for people caught in the middle of it all.
Answer- Nationalism has been around for as long as there have been nations, there will always be nationalism in the world, and this story is no exception. Nationalism is shown throughout the whole novel but especially when recruiting people to fight. In chapter one, Paul says, “Kantorek had been our schoolmaster…I can see him now, as he used to glare at us through his spectacles and say in a moving voice: Won’t you join up comrades.” Paul also says, “There were thousands of Kantoreks, all of whom were convinced they were acting for the best.” This shows that people in power were using their position to incite nationalism within the teens. This lead to many people joining the cause for war. Nationalism was used to incite teens to go fight for their country.
Answer- Himmelstoss’s character changes majorly after he experiences battle on the front lines in the trenches. Before his experience on the front lines Himmelstoss abuses his power and is hated. Himmelstoss is hated so much it leads to his own men attacking him. After experiencing the front lines, Himmelstoss is much nicer to his troops. In chapter 7, Paul says, “After a couple days Himmelstoss comes up to us…and wants to get on good terms with us…I saw how he brought Haie Westhus in when he was hit in the back.” This shows how much Himmelstoss changed due to his warfare in the trenches of the front line. Himmelstoss went from a man who abused his power and was hated to a man who used his power to help his troops and was respected by his peers.
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