All Quiet on the Western Front

Why did Remarque made Paul die on a day that was "All Quiet"? How does it relate to the title? Why does he not let him go home? What happened to the Second Company?


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Remarque injected the conclusion of the novel with a bit of irony when he had Paul die on a day that was "all quiet" rather than in the midst of violent battle. It relates to the title because in times of war, "all quiet" would mean that everything is dead, the battle is over. Paul died on a day when the men were basking in the stillness of silence, maybe he was caught off guard, but Remarque make us think about the fact that a soldier is never really safe. The front line remains a front line, even when there's a break in the action.

Remarque's decision to kill off Paul was based upon his desire to make a political statement through the death of his protagonist. Paul's death, because it came at a time of silence becomes even more senseless than had he been killed in the frenzy of battle. The author is making a statement here, a statement which condemns nationalism and the violence perpetrated in its name.

From Chapter 12 of the novel; Paul says, "It is autumn. There are not many of the old hands left. I am the last of the seven fellows from our class."

In Chapter 12, Paul is the only soldier to die (at least that we're apprise of). Thus, we see six of Paul's class survive him.