In the movie “All Quiet on the Western Front” we see the boys almost innocent as
they sit in class. The teacher in this scene is pressuring the boys to go to war. He preaches
that it is their “duty” to fight. The teacher seems very pushy and strict. He is especially
strict with Paul, the main character in the movie. In this particular scene, Paul is drawing a
picture of a bird. In Paul’s family they are glad that he is going to war. His family prays for
him and they pray for the Kaiser, the ruler of Germany. We see here that this is ironic
because Paul’s family is praying for someone they have never met.
When Paul goes to see his friend in the hospital, another friend asks for the boots
he has. This shows that the boys are already changing.
When the boys go to the training camp they are still innocent. They meet Corporal
Himmelstoss. Corporal Himmelstoss is very mean to the boys and is very strict. After
completing the Training camp the boys go to war. When the boys get to the battlefield
they are told by Kat their leader, that what they learned in training camp they do not need
to know because, you don’t need to know how to march in war. The first day they are
there, Paul sees a horse getting killed. He is very mad about this because the horses are
innocent and they are not involved with the war. Paul is changed emotionally by this and
he is sad about it.
After the boys see the Kaiser they talk and don’t even know what they are fighting
for. One night in battle Paul killed a French soldier. Once he killed the solider he begins to
regret that he killed him. He looks at the pictures of the soldier’s family. Paul says that
“they could of been brothers”. Paul trys to save the soldier’s life but, cannot. Paul realizes
that he has killed another human. Paul feels remorse
In battle Albert, Paul, and Franz get wounded. Franz dies and Albert gets his leg
amputated. Albert becomes depressed and becomes suicidal. Franz becomes jealous that
Paul is getting better. Albert doesn’t want to return home with one leg so he try’s to kill
After a months of killing people Paul returns home and writes a letter to his mom.
In the letter he writes that he has changed. Paul writes “I am no longer what I once was”
he has changed. He no longer feels remorse for killing. He tells his mother that his home
and his family is on the battle field. Paul feels that he is disconnected from his family and
he is now a killing machine. Paul now feels like a robot. When Paul returns and visits his
teacher, the teacher is not upset at all that most of the boys are dead. Paul tells him that
they wanted to stay boys and not die rather then fight in the war.
Near the end of the movie Paul starts to smoke. Paul has changed in many ways.
War has effected him not only physically but, mentally. Paul is crazed with killing and
violence. At the end of the movie, when Paul dies he sees a bird and wants to draw it. The
bird could resemble because in the classroom when he first drew a picture of the bird he
was innocent but now when he is drawing a picture of the bird, Paul is cynical and enraged
with killing. This could tell us that the boys were too young to fight in the war and they
were forced to fight because of pressure of the others.
Category: Music and Movies