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Alternate ending for "All Quiet on the Western Front" ideas.I have to do a project on...

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katiejov | Elementary School Teacher | Honors

Posted May 31, 2011 at 4:43 AM via web

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Alternate ending for "All Quiet on the Western Front" ideas.

I have to do a project on "All Quiet on the Western Front" and I have to write an alternate ending, any ideas?

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alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted May 31, 2011 at 6:18 AM (Answer #2)

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I think your basic choices will be-- do you want to do an ending that is similar to the original ending, or do you want to take it in a radically different direction. If you choose the latter, consider the ending centers around Paul's survival. The biggest way to make a radical change in the book's ending would be to have Paul die in the final pages. He would have a chance to reflect on his death, what it all meant, and what it means for the future. The statement the book makes would be very different, and you can delve into exactly why.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 1, 2011 at 12:51 AM (Answer #3)

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I agree with #2. An alternate ending will have to see Paul surviving the war. Obviously, this would change the entire novel and its message, so you would need to think about what kind of message such an alternative ending would give. Do you want the novel to give a message of hope overall, or one of cynical despair and detachment? The fate of Paul will tie in very closely to this decision.

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katiejov | Elementary School Teacher | Honors

Posted June 1, 2011 at 4:14 AM (Answer #4)

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I think your basic choices will be-- do you want to do an ending that is similar to the original ending, or do you want to take it in a radically different direction. If you choose the latter, consider the ending centers around Paul's survival. The biggest way to make a radical change in the book's ending would be to have Paul die in the final pages. He would have a chance to reflect on his death, what it all meant, and what it means for the future. The statement the book makes would be very different, and you can delve into exactly why.

Sorry! i forgot the ending has to have Paul still dying.

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 3, 2011 at 3:01 AM (Answer #5)

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If Paul must still die in your alternate ending, then your options are a little more limited as to where you could go with this.  Ultimately, it is going to be how he dies that changes.  The title of the book is essentially based on the day of Paul's death.  An alternate ending in which he does not die on what was reported to be one of the calmest days of the war could change the very title of the book.

I always thought Paul's death was a tragic anti-climax of sorts.  In a way, it is most just pitiable.  He does not die doing anything particularly heroic, he death is hardly warranted (as in, he is not in the throws of battle), and in a way, it was almost necessary for him to die after every single one of his comrades was killed.  Perhaps in your ending, Paul dies to save Kat, rather than the other way around.  Perhaps he is injured and dies in the hospital like many men did.  Perhaps on his deathbed he has an opportunity to talk to or write to someone about all of the things he experienced, or didn't have a chance to say.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 7, 2011 at 5:21 AM (Answer #6)

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With the theme being the senseless tragedy of war, Remarque's ending is so fitting; the death of one more soldier is of no consequence:  "All quiet on the Western Front."  So, to maintain verisimilitude you need to remain within the motif of the existential meaninglessness of Paul's life.  Perhaps, then, you can have people walk by and observe the dead soldier on a park bench, for instance.  They could be like the people in his town whom Paul encountered on his leave from the war, speculating that his life as a soldier had been glorified. Try to imitate one of the styles of writing that Remarque employs. 

Paul thought, "I will rest on this bench here under this tree.  Here at least there is some peace."

He was, indeed, tired, he thought.  He remembered those long hours in the trenches, sleepless hours.  But, now, at least he could sleep."

[Here, then, the strangers walk up and discover Paul Baumer, a man, they wonder, who may be a veteran.  They speculate about him and what has caused his death.] 

 

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 29, 2011 at 2:26 AM (Answer #7)

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If Paul is going to die, you could change the way he dies.  Does he die a senseless death, or does he go out in a blaze of glory?  I have always been saddened when soldiers come home and die in car accidents or muggings.  You survive the whole war, only to die at home.

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