|Age Range(s)||Teenager (13-19), Young Adult (20-35)|
|Type of monologue / Character is||Angry, Scolding, Persuasive, Descriptive, Frustrated, Reminiscing life story/Telling a story|
|Genre||Action, Historical, Drama, War|
|Description||Paul Baumer's speech on the harsh reality of war|
|Location||1 hour and 54 minutes into the movie|
All Quiet on the Western Front is about a group of young German soldier who fight in WWI. This monologue comes towards the end of the film and is delivered by Paul Balmer (Lew Ayres), one of the soldiers who has survived and is visiting his family on leave after being wounded. Here he is visiting his professor Kantorek (Arnold Lucy), who in the beginning of the film had convinced most of the kids in his class to enlist and fight for their country. When asked by the professor to tell the class what it was like during the war, he flips out and tells them about the harsh realities of the war....
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|PAUL BAUMER: "I can't tell you anything you don't know. We live in the trenches out there. We fight. We try not to be killed. Sometimes we are. That's all... I've been there! I know what it's like.... I heard you in here reciting that same old stuff, making more iron men, more young heroes. You still think it's beautiful and sweet to die for your country, don't you? Well, we used to think you knew. The first bombardment taught us better. It's dirty and painful to die for your country. When it comes to dying for your country, it's better not to die at all. There are millions out there dying for their country, and what good is it?...You asked me to tell them how much they're needed out there. He tells you, 'Go out and die.' Oh, but if you'll pardon me, it's easier to say 'go out and die' than it is to do it....And it's easier to say it than to watch it happen....There's no use talking like this. You won't know what I mean. Only, it's been a long while since we enlisted out of this classroom. So long, I thought maybe the whole world had learned by this time. Only now, they're sending babies, and they won't last a week. I shouldn't have come on leave. Up at the front, you're alive or you're dead and that's all. And you can't fool anybody about that very long. And up there, we know we're lost and done for, whether we're dead or alive. Three years we've had of it. Four years. And every day a year, and every night a century. And our bodies are earth. And our thoughts are clay. And we sleep and eat with death. And we're done for, because you can't live that way and keep anything inside you. I shouldn't have come on leave. I'll go back tomorrow. I've got four days more, but I can't stand it here. I'll go back tomorrow."|