Chapter 8: Sympathy
Letter From Paul

Cunning & Courage

Soldier’s greatest qualities

 

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Much have I suffered, labored long and hard by now. 

~Odysseus - The Odyssey

 

War is a lottery, but there are ways to improve your odds. In All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, the main character, Paul, uses his skills to survive and not be destroyed from within. Being cunning as you fight and having the courage to push forward are the distinctions between people and soldiers. In Odyssey, it was said: “Take courage, my heart: you have been through worse than this. Be strong, saith my heart; I am a soldier; I have seen worse sights than this.” This is what a soldier must tell themself as they struggle to survive on the battlefield. However, blind courage will only take you into enemy gunfire. To survive war, a soldier must have cunning along with courage. Again, in the Odyssey it is said to Odysseus: “You're far the best at tactics, spinning yarns, and I am famous among the gods for wisdom, cunning wiles, too.” Not every soldier is a tactical commander, but the soldiers that are most likely to survive are cunning. People like Katczinsky from All Quiet on the Western Front, are able to keep a cool head and fight on with buckling in fear. Katczinsky is respected by all of his friends for being cunning and brave on the battlefield and when it comes to getting essential supplies. When staying alive is all that matters, find someone who is cunning and full of courage.

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