All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

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What does Paul Baümer think of the enemy in All Quiet on the Western Front?  How do these thoughts evolve?

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Shayna Schuster eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In many ways, All Quiet on the Western Front is a story of disillusionment, both for Paul Bäumer and the reader. It's been suggested by some that the reason why there tends to be a break between big wars is that the population could forget the terrors of the last one and be excited about the next. In that way, every war repeats the same endless cycle of misery from glee and righteousness to weary resignation and horror.

Paul Bäumer walks that path like most young men who've been caught up in a conflict they don't fully grasp. He joins the army right after World War I begins, foolhardy and full of certainty. He is urged to fight by his patriotic teacher, who Paul later realizes is just a fanatic who sends young boys off to war while he never sees the brutality of trench warfare.

At that point, Paul still sees the enemy as the enemy....

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teachertaylor eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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rickyr14 | Student

are there any more reasons why Paul starts to see the enemy as human other than the stabbing of the Frenchman and the encounters with the Russian prisoners?

 

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