A true hero is hard to come by. If you asked to name every hero you know, there’d probably be more “uhhhs” and “hmmms” than actual heroes. To really answer this question we need make the definition of a hero, clear. A true hero is one who self sacrifices and the first to lend a helping hand and the last to take it away, if even then. You keep thinking; Maybe MLK or Batman comes to mind but no one for sure really stands out in your mind. After reading All Quiet on The Western Front, two people instantly jump to mind. Of the few heroes in All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul and Kat are the most notable because of their leadership and responsibility.
As Paul progresses through war, his skin becomes thick, he begins to look more and more like a leader. He treats new comrades with respect and encouragement. After surviving an enemy bombardment, Paul attempts to comfort a startled newbie. (P.60) “That’s no disgrace ... Many’s the man before you has had his pants full after the first bombardment. Go behind that tree and take your underpants off.” Paul treats the frightened soldier as a friend and tells him everything is alright, he even tells him to take his dirty pants off so the rest of his embarrassing experience is somewhat bearable. Paul has been in this boy’s shoes before, Paul speaks from his heart, and he knows exactly what to say to make the soldier not feel out of place. He makes such an effort to comfort this boy because he wish’s someone had treated and cared for him as he is doing now. He understands how crappy war can be at such a young age and doesn’t want it to be as tough as it was for him. Another scene where Paul takes charge and plays a companion role is when he is trying to save his fellow squad member from the enemy gas. “I swipe at him with the satchel, he doesn’t see—once again,—once again… I reach the man, his satchel on the side nearest me, I seize the mask, pull it over his head, he understands now” (P.65). Paul risks his life by standing...
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