The Comradeship Of War Essay, Research Paper
The Comradeship of War
War can destroy a young man mentally and physically. One might say that nothing good comes out of war, but in Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front, there is one positive characteristic: comradeship. Paul and his friends give Himmelstoss a beating in which he deserves due to his training tactics. This starts the brotherhood of this tiny group. As explosions and gunfire sound off a young recruit in his first battle is gun-shy and seeks reassurance in Paul’s chest and arms, and Paul gently tells him that he will get used to it. The relationship between Paul and Kat is only found during war, in which nothing can break them apart. The comradeship between soldiers at war is what keeps them alive, that being the only good quality to come out of war.
During training Paul and his schoolmates come across Colonel Himmelstoss who teaches them the survival skills needed in the front. During training Himmelstoss tortures the recruits but is indirectly teaching them to become hard, pitiless, vicious, and tough soldiers. Although the training seems senseless and cruel to Paul and his classmates, it prepares them for life at the front. The training regimen awakens a sense of esprit de corps the group spirit shared by those in the same group. Paul’s battle with Himmelstoss shows a brighter side of warfare, which is comradeship that develops in death-defying situations. The value for comradeship is appreciated more in the field when the men depend on each other to survive.
Between missions Paul and Kat take a moment to teach the young recruits. Kat’s experience will teach the recruits to recognize the type and size of shells by the sound. As incoming artillery begins, soldiers cry out and run for cover. A young recruit finds himself in Paul’s chest while Paul is trying to calm him from crying and shaking. The comradeship between the recruit and Paul shows how soldiers take care of each other. Without any hesitation at all Paul consoles the recruit as if he was his own son. Fellow comrades have an automatic brotherhood when there lives depend one another.
Kat, the leader of the pack is also a father figure to Paul. One night Paul says to Kat, “We don’t talk much, but I believe we have a more complete communion with one another than even lovers have.”
This shows us how war can bring men together in peace. During the roasting of the goose Kat’s voice brings Paul peace and reassurance. Toward the end of the book Kat is killed, and for Paul it is such a horrible loss. The only thing helping Paul survive was the brotherhood of his friends. With Kat dead that is no longer possible. Paul has nothing to live for anymore, he has seen death in his face and he can no longer bear it. As Kat is being taken away the orderly asks Paul if they are related and Paul says twice, “No, we are not related.” Paul must say no, even though Kat was his hero, his father, and his life.
Through thick and thin, battle and rest, horror and hopelessness, these men held each other up and had each other’s back. Paul’s losses don’t discourage him to try and keep a close relationship with the ones he still has. War is not pretty nor is it fun but a tragedy in which many people die just so others can live. All for one and one for all the pack stands together being the only thing they have left is each other. The war brought them together but it also split them up. Not blood related but closer than relatives they are brothers.