All Quiet on the Western Front: An essay discussing the theme of comraderie.

Essay by a_beautifulmistakeHigh School, 11th gradeA+, February 2005

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

Throughout the dark and horrifying pictures of death and inhumanity, Erich Remarque scatters a profound brilliance, a redeeming quality, in one of the greatest war novels of all time, All Quiet on the Western Front. During this stirring novel, 20-year-old Paul Bäumer, a German soldier of World War I, was thrown into a frenzied world of blood and bombardment, flung pitilessly into the vile world of war. Nonetheless, the senseless battle in which Paul and his fellow soldiers struggled "had awakened in [them] the sense of comradeship" (Remarque, 274). This magnificent sense of brotherhood was sadly all that these hardened and valiant men had to keep them trudging ahead, all that they had to give them a reason to look forward to tomorrow. Between the often unseen heroes of battle lies an unfaltering devotion to each other, devotion stronger than these men themselves. Paul's cherished relationships saved him more than once throughout the novel.

In the face of fear, death, destruction and hopelessness, he turned to these faithful men, his comrades:

They are more to me than life, these voices, they are more than motherliness and more than fear; they are the strongest, most comforting thing there is anywhere: they are the voices of my comrades (212).

The most remarkable picture of comradeship created by Remarque is the intimate loyalty and understanding that the war had forged between Paul and Kat. As they sat together roasting a stolen goose, we are given our first glimpse into the extraordinary bond that these men, terribly forlorn, shared. Though they had not known each other for great lengths of time, they felt completely at ease with one another, "so intimate that [they] do not even speak" (94). While bringing up food to the trenches near the end of the novel, Kat was hit...