All Quiet on the Western Front Summary & Reading Response

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All Quiet on the Western Front is a historical fiction novel written by German author Erich Maria Remarque in the late 1920s. It is narrated by Paul Baumer, a young man who joined the army voluntarily after listening a patriotic speech from his teacher, Kantorek. Paul shared his experiences and stories during the time he fought in the German army on the French front in World War I.

Paul Baumer is a nineteen years old high school student. He and several of his friends from school were encouraged by their teacher, Kantorek to join the army. The teacher told them that fighting in war is their duties, and they should feel honorable for protecting their country. So Paul and his classmates: Albert Kropp, Muller, and Leer went to the war. They were sent to the frontline after ten weeks of basic military training. All of them served under Second Company, where they met Tjaden, Haie Westhus, Detering, and Stanislaus Katczinsky. Albert Kropp is an intelligent thinker; Muller carries textbooks with him and studies hard; Leer is very interested in women. Tjaden is a locksmith and biggest eater in the company; Haie Westhus is a peat-digger with tall and strong body; Detering is a peasant who only thinks his farm and his wife; Stanislaus katczinsky is the leader of their small group and Paul’s closest friend. In Chapter One, there were original one hundred and fifty men in Paul’s company, but only eighty of them returned from the front. After seeing soldiers getting wounded and killed, Paul and his friends started to doubt is war really glorious like their teacher described? “We were all at once terribly alone; and alone we must see it through” (Remarque 12). Paul expresses how his generation feels cut off from the older generation. “From our life, we were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces” (Remarque 88). They were innocent young teenagers with their hopes and devotion for their country. But the war just turned them into...
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