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The Film All Quiet on the Western Front

Autor:   •  May 14, 2013  •  Essay  •  786 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,402 Views

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The film All Quiet on the Western Front tells the story of a group of young adults who are talked into enlisting in the German army when World War I began by their enthusiastic teacher. They are very excited at first, but they later see that the war is not exactly what they had expected. In this film, the director Lewis Milestone shows what the war was actually like through the use of setting, characterization, and theme. This film is an excellent tool to help people understand what it was like for the soldiers and families of the people during World War I.

The story takes place mostly on the German and French front where the boys are fighting the French. It is not until they are here that they see what life as a soldier is truly like. They see bloodshed and death everywhere they turn, have little to no food at times, and are in just overall horrible conditions. They have to face things that no one should have to experience, especially men as young as them. Paul Baumer, the main character throughout the film, describes his experiences of the war while he is one leave by saying “We live in the trenches out there. We fight. We try not to be killed, but sometimes we are. That’s all.” At this time, he is back in the classroom where he originally decided to enlist in the army. In the short time that he is home, Paul comes home to a sick mother who at first thinks that she is dreaming that he is home. She lived in constant worry about if her young son was alive and healthy while he was away, and I assume she was not the only mother in that time to do so. It was a time when the soldiers were needed, but just because they were given a uniform and a gun did not mean that they were ready to take on all that war was going to put against them.

Through the characterization used in the film, it is easy to see how the different characters felt towards the war and its consequences. Paul Baumer is the protagonist along with being the main character. Paul’s own thoughts and feelings go against the way the war forces him to act and feel. Viewers can see that he was a very different, more caring and sensitive man before


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