Sometimes in life

Sometimes in life, people go through different situations that impact an individual emotionally and physically. In All Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, Paul Bäumer, the narrator, and protagonist is nineteen years old, fresh out of high school and is fighting on the Western front in World War I, along with some of his comrades from school. Paul and his comrades joined the Army voluntarily because of their school teacher, Kantorek, that spoke of the nationalism and honorability of it. After weeks of pain and harsh life on the front, Paul and his comrades realize the unintentional lies about the war, and they are physically and emotionally distraught. Paul’s time on the Front has ruined himself psychologically and he is no longer the same person mentally; This is proven when Paul can no longer remember his love for reading and writing that he once had before the war, and when he mentions not being able to picture life after the war.
Paul was a reader, and a writer before battling on the front lines of World War I. At the beginning of chapter II, Paul is thinking about life before the war. Paul states “It is strange to think that at home in the drawer of my writing table there lies the beginning of a play called ‘Saul’ and a bundle of poems. Many an evening I have worked over them – we all did something of the kind – but that has become so unreal to me I cannot comprehend it any more” (Remarque 19). Life on the front has taken a toll on Paul. The war has caused Paul to distant himself with who he once was. Paul learns to disconnect himself from his emotions in order for his survival. He now relies on his “animal instincts” to survive. That’s why it is “unreal” to Paul that he used to write poems and plays, because he is far away from that guy.
Once Paul joined the war, he had lost his youthhood. Paul had been through the experiences of a “man.” Now since Paul is now a “man,” Paul cannot imagine life after the war. In chapter II, Paul is talking about what the older soldiers have to go back to compared to the young ones. Paul says that they have a wife, kids, and a life to go back to, where they young soldiers do not. Paul says “We young men of twenty, however, have only our parents, and some, perhaps, a girl – that is not much, for at our age the influence of parents is at its weakest and girls have not yet got a hold over us.” Paul says that the young soldiers have nothing to return to. He cannot imagine life after the war, and quite frankly to him there is no life after the war. The only thing he has done in his adult life has been fighting as a soldier. The war has caused Paul to believe that there is no escaping bitter brutality of war.
People that battle in wars are not only affected physically but mentally as well. Paul’s time on the front mentally ruined him and his mind was no longer the same. Paul’s death at the end of the novel was one really full of relief. His facial expression was “calm.” The sad reality of war is that there is no escape. The only true way to escape is death.