If You Judge People You Have No
Time To Love Them.
People can only understand someone if you feel them in yourself, but empathy in chapter eight of All Quiet On The Western Front shows Paul the differences him and his enemy. Empathy shows Paul that the real enemy is the officers that tell the soldiers what to do like there just pawns in a chess game. This is because Paul and his enemy are really the same just normal men turned into beasts that are commanded to fight. This chapter has showed me that even the soldiers who have seen things unimaginable still can have feelings for others. Paul finds the Russians in a prison along side there camp. He sees there faces and feels sorry for them and feels sympathy almost as if he was in the cage.
“I take out my cigarettes, break each one in half and give them to the Russians. They bow to me and then light the cigarettes. Now red points glow in every face. They comfort me; it looks as though there were little windows in dark village cottages saying that behind them are rooms full of peace.”
Paul finds peace in helping the Russians. He gives them some of his food and cigarettes because he realizes that they are in similar circumstances to him and he feels empathy for what they are going through. The horror of war has changed the way Paul thinks about his life outside of war and on the front. It has changed the way he thinks about people. Thinking about others is not a skill you want to have while at war because next time he is faced with a decision between fighting and running he might run instead. Having feelings for other is one of the only things keeping Paul human. Empathy is necessary for a good life and I am interested to see where it takes Paul.