"I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know no thing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow...." said by Paul Baumer during his time at war in All Quiet on the Western Front. This quote represents how the war changed Paul's view and attitude toward life. Paul, a once hopeful, sensitive boy, enlisted into the war right out of school, faced traumatizing experiences that changed him into a lonely man who saw life in a bitter, pessimistic way.
In All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul comes into the war as a young and optimistic boy. The war is a fresh start for Paul and he holds many traits that eventually diminish through out the book. Entering the war after being convinced by a schoolmaster, Paul is positive and content. His elation is shown when he says, "Here it is beautiful. These are wonderfully carefree hours. Over us is the blue sky. On the horizon float the bright yellow, sunlit observation-balloons, and the many little white clouds of the anti-aircraft shells." Along with his positivism and happiness, Paul is also trusting. He demonstrates his trust for the elder soldiers in charge by saying, "We often made fun of them and played jokes on them, but in our hearts we trusted them. The idea of authority, which they represented, was associated in our minds with a greater insight and a more humane wisdom." In the early times of the war Paul is also immature. He demonstrates an act of immaturity by dumping a latrine-bucket on Himmelstoss along with other practical jokes. The war has not been deep yet and Paul, a boy who feels happiness, enthusiasm, and positivism, has yet to experience the harsh, life-changing factors of the war.
While the war progresses, many factors and events cause Paul to become a different person then he started out as. The everyday struggles to survive in the war are causing Paul to become bitter and lost. A main factor that has resulted in Paul changing is the overall violence and...
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