Books and Movies Reviews

All Quiet on the Western Front

After completely forgetting having read this book in high school, I settled down to start again.Little did I know this time around that I wouldn't be able to put the book down.Partially just because the book itself was interesting, yet mainly because my background knowledge from class made the novel so much more appealing. All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque gives thefirst hand experiences of World War I; living in the trenches at the front line, dealing with the hardships of war, and also substituting everyday life for the war and its aftermath. Although an easy piece to read, the novel is better supported by a clearer understanding beforehand of the war itself and exactly how and why it was brought about.
Very early on in the novel we learn of those in Paul's company. Paul Baumer himself is just 19 years old at the start of the war.He had entered under extreme pressure from Kantorek (their teacher) along with the rest of his classmates and enlisted.Stanislaus Katczinsky (known to the men as Kat) is a soldier in Paul's Company and becomes Paul's best friend in the army.He is forty years old at the start of the novel and has a wife and children back at home.Throughout the war, he proves to be the resourceful and inventive/creative man.Paul and Kat remain as best friends, exchanging home information when Kat is injured (and will soon be sent away) and carrying Kat to what he believed was safety only to find out that he had been hit by a splinter in the rear of the head and has died on the way. Paul finds himself nearly unable to go on at this point, ending his time with Kat and saying, "Do I walk? Have I feet still?…Then I know nothing more" (p245).
Paul's experiences throughout the war include some other men, both in his Company and on the outside.Corporal Himmelstoss was a training officer who lets power go to his brain and nearly tortures Paul and his …


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