Essay on All Quiet on the Western Front

Submitted By jeverhart12
Words: 953
Pages: 4

All Quiet on the Western Front In the war novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Remarque uses first person point of view to describe and introduce the hardships that soldiers endure in war. Remarque shows the extents the soldiers are willing go in order to have pleasure and leisure during the war. He uses the main characters, Kat and Paul, to show how the two go to great extents to ease the hardships of war. Erich Remarque uses the literary element of the first person point of view to show the reader a perspective of the hardships that are endured and suffered through by the soldiers. The main character is Paul, a young man who recently enlisted for war. He has created a group of friends that either came from the same area or become close friends through adventures on the front line. The other key character to the story is Kat, who is like a father figure to Paul. They become very close as they have near death experiences on the front line, especially in the grave yard. Remarque uses a lot of diction and tone when Paul is talking to Kat, such as, “Aeroplanes drone; the tack-tack of machineguns breaks out. But no light that could be observed shows us. We sit opposite one another, Kat and I, two soldiers in shabby coats, cooking a goose in the middle of the night… we have more complete communication with one another than even lovers have.” These two men have a companionship that not many others have, there is a theme of brotherhood between these two (94). These men have to deal with shortage of rations, unhealthy food, lack of quality shelters, lack of quality equipment, and to make it even worse the men have to deal with the very mean and evil drill sergeant. This drill sergeant, Himmelstoss, makes their lives a living disaster, forcing two men who both wet their bed to sleep in a bunk together. Another character in the book Tjaden. He is a very laughable and joyful character with the diction and tone that he brings to the book. Yet as Himmelstoss is being so cruel to him, a dark side comes out of him in a very abrupt way. “Himmelstoss seemed a little elevated; he was singing. His belt buckle gleamed. He came on unsuspectingly. We seized the bed-cover, made a quick leap, threw it over his head from behind and pulled it round him… the indefatigable Tjaden. In the end we had to drag him away to get our turn.”(39) This shows a theme of revenge, a tone of sourness and hatred, and the diction of evilness. The men are very daring and perilous when they attempt to obtain comforts and pleasures. They go to very long and audacious extents to obtain an extra ration or an extra pair of socks. Some of the outgoings are not described but you can tell that something hazardous happened. Such as in the beginning of the book when Kat leaves for a short period of time, he then returns with a pan, salt, and a large chunk of quality meat. The men all fry the meat up and eat it together and enjoy a great meal! Another instance is when the men have to protect a storage shed in a town that has been deserted and is a ghost town. The men are able to find a pig and cooking supplies to create a feast for themselves. Paul is cooking pancakes, it’s his favorite food, “I stay to finish my last four pancakes; twice I have to drop to the floor; --- after all, it means four pancakes more, and