All Quiet on the Western Front is a compelling novel. It's unique in that it offers the western world an opportunity to view World War 2 from a Germans eyes. The purpose of the novel is to show an ordinary German soldiers" perspective on war and not to make a moral judgement on the ethics of war. What makes this novel even more so unique is that the author, Erich Maria Remarque, was a German Veteran of the war himself. In this essay, the following issues that the novel brings up will be discussed from the point of view of the main character Paul Baumer in respective order: Routines, the Horrors of war and its effects, and Realistic Descriptions.
Routines played a major part in this novel. They were frequently described and they came in all forms. Some of the most common of these were routines such as toilet habits, smoking, getting food, spare time activities, and flirting. When the soldiers" toilet habits were described, it was described in such a manner that it was made to seem that the toilets were a social "hangout" for the soldiers. They all sat there for hours on end talking with each other about such things as their dreams, hopes, hobbies, past experiences, etc. The soldiers regarded the toilets as the most relaxing place on the whole front. Smoking was also a highly regarded habit. As time passed, it was obvious that smoking was no longer a habit but cigarettes and cigars had become a form of currency. The soldiers always payed for goods and services (favours) in cigars and cigarettes. However, the most significant habit that the soldiers made obvious was the somewhat "skill" in gathering food for himself and his comrades. In one scene, it shows how Paul Baumer and his best friend Katczinsky put on a great show of team work to capture 2 live turkeys and turn them into a mighty feast for themselves and all their other close friends. This is just one of many shows of the food-gathering skills that the soldiers naturally acquire.