FC: All Quiet on the Western Front Monomyth Cycle | Name: Christian Kelly Date: 11/8/11 Teacher: Mrs. Signorelli
1: Call To Adventure "All Quiet on the Western Front is a book that is neither an accusation nor a confession. It is least of all an adventure. For death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though escaped shells, were destroyed by the war" (Remarque page before 1). All Quiet on the Western Front is a story about Paul Baumer and his comrades who are all around 19- years of age. Leer, Himself, Muller, Kropp, and Kemmerich all enlist in the German Army of World War 1. The call occurs when Paul hears the continues patriotic lectures of his school teacher Kantorek. Day after day the schoolmaster would bombard the men with the question, "Why won't you join up, Comrades?"(Remarque 11). As Paul says "teachers always carry their feelings in their waistcoat pockets, and ([spit]) them out by the hour" (Remarque 11). They all quickly left for the district commandment office to show their patriotism. Joseph Behm was the one who hesitated but couldn't get over the unforgiving pressure and the fact that he would be ostracized if he was to not join.
2: Refusal of the Call In Paul's case their is no distinguished refusal of the call. Refusal of the call can also be encouragement by a supernatural force or an event that forces the character out of his home. This is largely related to The Call of Adventure but in Paul's circumstance his adaptation to the life of war is the refusal. Through the first two chapters we can tell Paul is a smart, caring, and happy person but the harshness of the war has forced him to change his attitude and accept a numbness full of misery. When Kemmerich is in the hospital slowing dying Paul barders with the doctor to give him morphine to reduce the pain (Remarque 17). This shows that Paul wanted the best for Kemmerich and wanted him to at least be out of pain in the last minutes of his life. War causes any person to accept more than they can handle. For this reason a soldiers feelings are just as dangerous as shelling or gunfire.
3: Supernatural Aid In All Quiet on the Western Front their is two supernatural aids the most recognizable is Katczinsky. He is the fatherly figure and the leader of second company. Even though, he is a noncommissioned officer he is a veteran of the battlefield. He knows many trades and is called the cobbler because of his "sixth sense" or ability to scrounge up supplies (Remarque 37). Paul and his comrades are shipped to a remote location that is pitiful, consisting of only bunk beds laid with wire netting. This poses a problem for the men in that they will not be able to rest much. Kat goes out of his way to find bundles of hay to make the environment more suitable. Kat's confidence is what leads to him being able to survive such harsh conditions and help reduce the suffering of his fellow soldiers. Another less noticeable supernatural aid is Himmelstoss. He is a petty officer that trains Paul and his company over the course of 10 weeks. The reason Himelstoss is an aid to Paul is because he increases Paul's mentality, and teaches him that war brings out the need for power and the worst in people. Himmelstoss bosses his recruits around and forces them to follow useless orders.
4: Crossing The First Threshold In all Quiet on the Western Front Paul sees quickly that war is nothing like his teacher fantasized about. They received a letter from Kantorek which the men perceived as being very ignorant, calling the men the "Iron Youth". This term iron youth relates to strength, courage, and how young the boys are. In reality the men do not feel as if they are 19 years or age but many years older. The men are split in their decision whether Kantorek treated them right or wrong. The first bombardment is what led to the crossing over from his home to the new world. Paul says "The first bombardment showed us our mistake, and under it the world as they had taught it to us broke in pieces." (Remarque13). It is war all together that separates Paul from his home. No one event constitutes to him having to adapt to being an animal or savage. Yet, when second company is headed back to their post from laying barbed wire they are hit by a bomb and have to scatter to a graveyard. This is when Paul gets the full picture of war. New recruits die one by one and even he barely survives.
5: The Road of Trials Paul's trials begin when he is notified that 80 out of the 150 men in company one and two are still living. He encounters hundreds of obstacles throughout the story but their are two main struggles. A main struggle Paul encounters is that he is unable to grasp and accept the fact that the soldiers are killing each other for no apparent reason. They are both human beings, torn from their families to fight in the same war. Some higher and more powerful being ordered them to kill and maim each other destroying their humanity. Another problem Paul faces is the face to face encounter with the French soldier. As Paul says "Comrade, I did not want to kill you. If you jumped in here again, I would not do it"(Remarque 223). Most of the killing in World War 1 was done from far away, and for this reason had such a degrading effect. Paul now has to come to realize the true meaning of killing a man, he is no longer a figure in the distance but a human being.
6: The Goddess In this book their is no human goddess, considering the men have only seen and interacted with three French women throughout 3 years. The goddess is the nature. It is a mans best friend, brother, and mother. Paul describes this relationship between man and nature in a sexual metaphoric way using descriptions such as "Holes", "Hollows", and men driving iron poles into the earth (Remarque 55). The earth catches the men when they drop to the ground to avoid a shell, it shelters them from great harm. In comparison nature to man is the same as child to woman. This comparison is significant in that it intells nature is everything to a solider.
7: Apotheosis The apotheosis occurs when Paul is sent to a training camp to learn more about being a soldier. This camp is adjacent to a Russian prisoner camp. Paul watches as the population of the Russians slowly declines day by day due to the spread of disease and shortage of food. It is astonishing to Paul that any of them are living, the only supply of food they are living off is the little scraps of potato peel left in the garbage (Remarque 190). Some of the German soldiers in the camp have no remorse for the Russians they kick them over when they beg for food. However with the exception of Paul and many others(Remarque 190). The German soldiers that kick the Russians over forget that they are fighting the war under the same reason and that both sides butcher, torture, and kill each other just because someone told them to. He struggles to communicate with the prisoners but he does this through the sweet sound of a violin. Paul sees the brotherhood and comradeship between the Russians, and is able to compare it to him and his buds. Paul's belief is based solely off what he has endured during the war, both the men are fighting in the same war for the same reason. This realization leads to the conclusion that no person is right or wrong. This encounter with Russian Prisoners emphasizes the ideals of Nationalism. All of second company realizes that this war is doing nothing to benefit anyone, many soldiers have been murdered due to a choice made by power-hungry leaders.
8: Refusal of the Return As the men eat, and kill lice Muller asks everyone "what they would do if the war ended suddenly?"(Remarque 77). All have definite answers of what they would want to do once the war was over, but deep down they know adapting back to civilian society will be a struggle. Haie gives the most clear explanation of what all the men would like to do however, his plan even involves remaining in the army. On the other hand Paul is quite unsure what he would do when he got out. When he is visited by his father and sister in the camp they talk about nothing but his mothers illness. Paul can think of nothing else to say because the war has has installed a whole new mindset in him. The pain and suffering of the war has made him numb to his feelings of fear for his mother. His feelings about his mother cannot become overwhelming or their is a chance of going insane (Remarque 196). Paul has been deprived of the rest of his teenage years, he doesn't know how how to live a life by having fun since the only thing he knows is the struggle for survival. Their is no possible way to resume where he left off in his normal life, his past has been destroyed by war. No one in his family will understand the experiences he has endured.
9: Master of Two Worlds Paul comes to realize that the trenches and the battlefield don't have to be his only home. He is sent on leave in the last 2 pages of the book for swallowing poison gas. He sits in his garden where the only feelings that consume him are that of greed of life, love of home, yearning for the blood, and intoxication of the deliverance. Yet, no aims (Remarque 294). The suffering of the war still exists inside him and will never leave, he describes that the future generations will never know what him and his fallen comrades endured (Remarque 294). Paul sums up the whole book in a few lines saying "It cannot be that it has gone, the yearning that made our blood quiet, the unknown, the perplexing, the oncoming things, the thousand faces of the future, the melodies from dreams and from books, the whispers and divinations of women; it cannot be that this has vanished in bombardment, in despair, in brothels." (Remarque294-295). The master of two Worlds is basically Paul's healing process from the effects of war. A comparison can be made between Paul's mother and the war. Paul's mother's cancer is the only thing on his family's mind and seems to get worse by the minute, as war is the only thing on a soldiers life forever and kill them mentally just as cancer does physically.
10: Works Cited for Book: (Remarque page before 1) (Remarque 11) (Remarque 13) (Remarque 17) (Remarque 37) (Remarque 55) (Remarque 77) (Remarque190) Remarque190) (Remarque 196) (Remarque 223) (Remarque 294)
11: Citations for Images: All Quiet on the Western Front Cover. n.d. . All Quiet on the Western Front. Web. 15 November. 2011. http://www.google.com/imgres?q=all+quiet+on+the+western+front&um=1&hl=en&sa=N&rlz=1R2GGLR_enUS331&biw=1152&bih=573&tbm=isch&tbnid=K8WyXx5Y9tdwFM:&imgrefurl=http://www.teachwithmovies.org/guides/all-quiet-on-the-western-front.html&docid=D7GAgnrzhN1wHM&imgurl=http://www.teachwithmovies.org/guides/all-quiet-on-western-front-DVD-cover.jpg&w=312&h=475&ei=yx7DTubhHcOEtgej0OzCDQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=352&sig=118173739351657874758&page=1&tbnh=178&tbnw=117&start=0&ndsp=12&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:0&tx=78&ty=63 Joe McMillan. American Flag. 2003. FOTW Flags of the World Website. United States of America. Web. 15 November. 2011. Gerald Peterson and Sam Kimpton. Corned beef. 2001. World War Two Ration TEchnologies. US Canned Corned beef. web. 11 November. 2011.
12: Nature and Forest. n.d. Wikipedia. Hopetoun Falls. Web. 15 November. 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hopetoun_falls.jpg Russian POW's. n.d. Dipity. Flickr Prisoner. Web. 15 November. 2011. http://www.dipity.com/tickr/Flickr_prisoner/ Coloring book image of house. n.d. Wordpress and Plaintext.org. Point the World Super Coloring. Web. 15 November. 2011.http://www.supercoloring.com/pages/small-house-in-the-village/ Mohamed Ibrahim. Peace sign. 2009. Clker.com. peace sign clip art. Web. 11 November. 2011.