All Quiet on the Western Front gives us a different perspective on World War I than our history books might allow. Through this novel we get to hear the thoughts of a German soldier in WWI, an enemy of the United States and its allied forces. We cannot help but sympathize with our "enemy," and we cannot help but ask ourselves what exactly an enemy is. Paul Bäumer, the narrator of this story, helps us to question reasons why countries go to war. Today, wars are fought in very different ways, but we can easily imagine a young man or woman like Paul exploring similar issues of identity, patriotism, mortality, and dreams.
Shmoop Editorial Team, "All Quiet on the Western Front," Shmoop University, Inc.
, 11 November 2008, http://www.shmoop.com/all-quiet-on-western-front/ (accessed September 2, 2014).