War And Its Costs World War One

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War And Its Costs: World War One Essay, Research Paper World War One was said to be “the war to end all wars,” little did the people know that that was going to be proven wrong 19 later. The perception of war was clearly misstated to new recruits. Both protagonists in both books thought the war was just a time to prove yourself and fight for your country, little did they know that the point of them being in the war was to teach them how to stay alive. Paul Baumer, the protagonist in “All Quiet on the Western Front,” got use to the war and his comrades better then Robert Ross, the protagonist in “The Wars,” did. The narrators of both books describe the war ground quite vividly and quite similarly. Receiving a misconception of war was exactly what Paul Baumer and

Robert Ross had received before enlisting into the army. 1Paul’s teacher lectured the students in Paul’s class about enlisting into the German army. He gives the students a long speech about how they shouldn’t be learning, they should be out in the trenches fighting for their country. What he fails to do is teach the students about the down side of fighting for your country. Once Paul enlists into the army and is out there on the front, Katczinsky tells him that in the war they are not fighting for their country, but fighting to stay alive. His teacher also failed to tell them of how they would feel when they killed another human being. When Paul landed in a trench and a soldier from the opposing side had fallen into the trench with him, Paul did not hesitate to stab the

man. After he had stayed in the trench with the half-dead soldier, Paul made promises to the soldier. 2“Comrade, I did not want to kill you … You were only an idea to me before, an abstraction that lived in my mind and called forth its appropriate response. It was that abstraction I stabbed … Forgive me, comrade. We always see it too late. Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us… that we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony—Forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy? If we threw away these rifles and this uniform you could be my brother just like Kat…” His teacher did not teach this sudden sympathy that Paul displays. Paul told Katczinsky what had happened and Katczinsky related to the matter by saying that

everyone goes through it their first time. Robert had gone through a different misconception of war. 3Robert’s sister Rowena was crippled so Robert always hung around with her to cheer her up; they were best friends. One day when Robert was out Rowena fell when she wasn’t being watched and died. This was the final draw and Robert decided that the last thing left for him to do was to leave his family and go to war. Robert enlisted into the army. Robert didn’t really know what he was doing, just that there was a war going on and he was going to be part of it. Unlike Paul, Robert wasn’t really taught anything about the war, he just figured it was away out of the real world. Throughout the entire book Paul shows a drastic change in his attitude towards his pre-enlistment

society as oppose to his fellow comrades in the army. At first Paul seems to take the advice of his teacher and parents by enlisting into the army. He described his teacher’s persuasion to get his students to enlist into the army by saying, 4“surrendering our individual personalities more completely then we would ever have believed possible even in the most obsequious errand boy. Saluting, eyes front … we had imagined that our task would be rather different from all this, but we discovered that we were being trained to be heroes, the way they train circus horses, and we quickly got used to it.” This proves that Paul got use to the army quite easily. At another point of the book, Paul notices that he cannot communicate with the people he grew up with. When Paul returns