Instead of breaking down and crying he realized that he needs to appreciate

Instead of breaking down and crying he realized that

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opened for the first time. Instead of breaking down and crying, he realized that he needs to appreciate that he is still living. Such thoughts allowed him to see the beauty in the most simplest of things. To us, a tree is a tree, a flower is nice, the sun is too hot, for the soldiers everything they see outside of the battlefield is beautiful, it takes on a whole new meaning knowing that you may never be able to experience the sun’s rays on your skin again. Another example would be when Paul was on guard duty: “The parachute lights soar upwards-and I see a picture, a summer evening…tall rose trees that bloom… the parachute rockets shoot up and cast their pitiless light over the stony landscape, which is full of craters and frozen lights like a moon.” (82) At a time when Paul should be alert and ready, he is busy envisioning the battlefield as fireworks. A scene so ugly and tainted with bloodshed, he manages to find it beautiful and relate it to something he remembers from home. To a soldier, this battlefield is what they see every day and seeing the same horrifying background grows on a person. The novel concludes with Paul giving the readers one last glimpse of the war: “Here the trees show gay and golden, the berries of the rowan stand red among the leaves, country roads run white out to the sky line, and the canteens hum like beehives with rumours of peace.” (185) The setting sounds almost serene and even ethereal. Throughout the novel, Paul always manages to find the utmost beauty in nature, even in the midst of patrol, he will manage to stare at a battlefield and find beauty in the craters filled with body parts and sorrow. One of the few things wardid teach Paul was: beauty is all around you.
Will I ever see my family again? I wonder if mom ever got those earrings she wanted. When a soldier goes out to serve in the army, especially during wartime, those are just a few variations of thoughts the may arise. Leaving home to fight a war causes soldiers to reminisce about their civilian days, however, when given the opportunity to go home, Paul realizes he is more homesick for the front then he was for his home. Upon his arrival home, he realizes he misses his comrades more than the people he did back home. “What is leave?—A pause that only makes everything after it so much worse.” (116) One would expect Paul to be overjoyed at the fact that he is home, but in reality he finds nothing at home. Leave allows him more time to think, the more he thinks; the worse it is to react back on the front. At the front, his comrades understand him, they experience the same fears and terrors he does; they risk their lives for one another. “I find I do not belong here [at home] any more, it is a foreign world.” (110) Back at home, he is met with questions,upon questions asking what it is like at the front, yet nobody wants to hear the truth. Paul finds himself feeling irritation towards the people he once grew up with. “They are different men here, men I cannot properly understand, whom I envy and despise.” (110) On one hand he envies these

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