All Quiet on the Western Front

Comment on the theme of comradery in the story.

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The first word of the novel is "We," and Paul's typically first-person singular narration ("I") frequently slips into the first-person plural voice. The one good thing that has emerged from the war, he often contends, is the comradeship between the soldiers. Disciplinarian training intent on breaking down the soldiers' individuality, and the horrors of war, bond the men in ways civilians cannot comprehend. They do everything together, from eating to using the latrines; even dead bodies in battle are used as cover for the living. Sexuality plays an important role in their all-male camaraderie; they go on amorous adventures for women (the Frenchwomen episode) or help others have sex (as when they arrange the conjugal visit for Lewandowski in the hospital). Their intimacy is also tinged with homoeroticism (Paul's fondness for Kat as they cook a goose together goes beyond mere friendship).