• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A Study Of Paul Baumer In "All Quiet On The Western Front"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A Study Of Paul Baumer In "All Quiet On The Western Front" All Quiet On The Western Front is a novel which gives an account of a generation destroyed by war, even of those who did not take part in the fighting itself. The novel is written in a first-person view through the eyes of a German named Paul Baumer. Paul Baumer is a sensitive twenty-year-old who has written poems and a play (entitled Saul). Baumer reaches adulthood during three years service as a soldier in the Second Company of the German army in the First World War. His loss of innocence during this period is the focus of the author's anti-war sentiment. Baumer must learn to sway with violent forces in order to remain firmly in reality and to survive the buffeting that besets the German camp. ...read more.

Middle

Helpless before the relentless war machine, like the rats he and the others kill, he runs from cover to cover, protecting himself from and avenging himself on the faceless enemy he encounters. Whilst on a mission, he comes face to face with a French soldier named Gerard Duval. He initially does what he can to protect himself, but as Duval is lying in front of him, he is overcome by an enormous feeling of guilt. He tends to Duval during his final moments by loosening his tunic and bandaging the wound. When the man dies, he searches Duval's body for identification. As soon as he discovers the French soldier's name, Baumer addresses the corpse, and begs forgiveness. Bullets pin him into the crater from around him and he eventually calms himself down by talking to himself. ...read more.

Conclusion

Later, when recovering in the Catholic hospital, he comments that: "I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow." This shows how the youth of this era were destroyed by the war, and that those who lived were permanently scarred. He concludes that he has prepared himself for the business of killing and wonders, "What will happen afterwards?" By the end of the novel, just before he dies, he is reduced to the bare bones of survival. The novel ends immediately the death of Baumer occurs, which gives the reader a great sense of finality and a shock of how sharp the ending of life can be in war. His last words, "I am so alone", summarise the treachery of war, an insidious malaise that obliterates all ties with life, leaving an empty, dehumanised shell with no will to live. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. "Poems and stories; official accounts. Which of these give a more accurate picture of ...

    All their eyes were streaming, and hurting in a way that sin never hurts. This account was given by Kingsley Martin in 1918; Martin treated wounded soldiers on the front line. The source is an account of his experiences of dealing with mustard gas victims.

  2. All Quiet on the Western Front' is a Powerful Anti-War Novel. Identify Some ...

    The lice are simply thrown into this little pan. Crack! and they're done for.' Rats were a major problem within the living quarters. The rats eat the soldier's food and are everywhere: 'Through the entrance rushes in a swarm of fleeing rats that try to storm the walls.'

  1. "All Quiet on the Western Front".

    When the dirt and smoke clears, only his hands are left gripping the wire. Paul Baumer turns and cringes in horror. The terror of death infests the minds of the soldiers and brought about horrible images of death and destruction until they broke down into pieces.

  2. Idealism and Pragmatism

    can't do anything about the bloody war, the rhyming couplets create a repetitive rhythm to create an image of a desperate women battling against her doubts whilst continuing to honour the war. In the phrase 'Rain is slipping, dripping down the street;' pathetic fallacy is used to set a dark,

  1. All Quiet On The Western Front.

    It gives us a first person perspective into the life of the soldier Paul Baumer. A very realistic view I might add. This novel starts out very strangely indeed. In the first couple of paragraphs, we become relaxed by the words and are left totally unprepared and unprotected for the horror that is to come.

  2. Birdsong and All Quiet on the Western Front.

    He and his friends become separated by death. Gradually, one friend dies after another till only he himself is left. This book is an account of his life during the war. Both books highlight the extreme stresses that war imposes on its participants willing or otherwise.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work