Paul changes from being a sensitive young man with poetry in his soul who sees the beauty of poetry in life to being a young man who has lived through the horrors of war. He, and all his fellow soldiers, have watched their friends and fellow soldiers killed and maimed in war. He has killed a Frenchman enemy in the battle of war. He has changed to being haunted and tormented by brutal and heinous visions of war. In the end, he is killed by a stray bullet thus illustrating in his life in war and his death the brutality and absurdity of war.