All Quiet On The Western Front
8th Grade English
Good can be found in even the most terrible places. In the book, all quiet on the western front, by Erich Maria Remarque, showed me that kindness and empathy can be found even in war. Even though it would seem like warfare would be the most heartless thing, this book shows otherwise. As well as this chapter being very horrific, it also had a repeated theme of empathy.
Throughout the book the theme of empathy comes up. It’s very surprising and eye catching when you notice it. After all they are all in constant warfare. There is multiple instances where Paul brings out the good in him. Such as when he kills the French soldier and feels bad about it. And he thinks this,
“My state is getting worse, I can no longer control my thoughts. What would his wife look like? Like the little brunette on the other side of the canal? Does she belong to me now? Perhaps by this act she becomes mine. I wish Kantorek were sitting here beside me. If my mother could see me”.
He obviously feels bad and there is a couple whole pages of dialogue during which he feels bad about what he did. And thinking about his family and how terrible murder was. He wanted to put him out of his misery but his morals stopped him. “If only I had not lost my revolver crawling about, I would shoot him. Stab him I cannot.” And on another occasion he was in camp and they were keeping Russian captives and they were all struggling to survive. Paul brought his rations and supplies to them and tried to help them even though he knows on the battlefield they would try and kill him. “And yet we would shoot at them again and they at us if they were free.”
Being aware that being in war you don’t lose all of your morals but just push them down deep inside you makes me feel less dread for warfare. An during these parts where Paul showed empathy for his enemy’s who would try to kill, yet he still helped
them and showed something like care for them.
The battlefield isn’t very friendly and it’s not soldiers best interest to feel empathy for their enemies, paul's overall morals made him take dangerous risks for the greater good.