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Erich Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front "I'm young, I'm twenty years old; nevertheless I still know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are put against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one more (263)." Powerful changes result from experiences that are horrifying. Paul Baumer, the protagonists of both Erich Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front utters these words representing the loss of his humanity as well as the reduction to a numbed animal, devoid of emotion. Paul's character originates from the novel as a young adult, out for an adventure, and excited to serve his country. He never realizes the terrible pressures which war imposes about soldiers, and in the conclusion of the novel the vacant shell resembling Paul stands because of this. Does Paul shed himself during the course of the war, however, he forfeit each of his 20 classmates who volunteered together with him, further emphasizing the horrible consequences of warfare. The heavy psychological demands of life in the trenches along with the unpleasant reality of warfare strip Paul of the humanity and leave him having a body devoid of all sentiment and feeling. Remarque presents Paul at the beginning of the book as a veteran. We never see his very first days in combat, but we do see comparable experiences in the conflicts of the replacement soldiers. Paul comments at the start on the keys to remaining alive in the trenches by learning the art of differentiating between the different kinds of shells from the sounds that they make. He can differentiate between gas cubes, trench mortars, and extended range artillery by stating, "That has been a twelve-inch, you can tell from the report. Today you'll hear the burst (52)." And imparts this crucial knowledge to the recruits. These actions exemplify Paul's character at the start of the novel. He cares about the other troops also utilizes his veteran's status for a source of knowledge for the volunteers. Paul has light humor in regards to a priest's life as well. This quote reveals Paul's carefree attitude toward the position, The soldier is on friendlier terms than other guys with his stomach and intestines. Three-quarters of his vocabulary is derived from such regions, and they give a romantic flavour to sayings of his best joy as well as of his deepest indignati...