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Paul Baumer joined the Great War as an innocent young nineteen year old boy. He was too inexperienced to understand the impacts that war had on the soldiers, especially himself. The Great War forced Baumer to face the new reality that death is now a frequent and driving force in his life, and that each human life is no longer revered and adored. He learns this lesson when his close friend, Kemmerich dies a slow and painful death in his arms. The only way he is able to show his emotions is by saying “I become faint, all at once I cannot do any more. I won’t revile any more, it is senseless, I could drop down and never rise up again” (Remarque 32). The death of Kemmerich dealt an emotional and physical blow to Baumer. This gives Baumer a new perspective into the Great War, that hidden cost not described when enlisting such as death come with every war, which can affects each and every soldier in different ways. Death is becoming a common event in Baumer’s life and he is accepting it without question. However, Baumer started to experience problems such as emotional numbing after this tragic event which is an early sign of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, it made him suppress his feelings of sadness and anger ultimately altering how he sees reality and destroying his feelings and relationships towards the other soldiers around him. Robert Ross was seen as a gentle, loving and caring person. However, after the death of his sister Rowena, he became unable to cope with all the situations taking place around him and he had to adapt and change his view on reality. The easiest way for him to do this, enlist in the war. This put stress on the already tense relationship he had with his mother since she believed he was the one to blame for Rowena’s death. Robert’s mother kept on pushing and abusing Robert mentally by making critical and hateful remarks towards him about the death of Rowena. This eventually let to Robert’s mother saying “Funny, she said, how most people fall down and nothing happens. Some people bruise like apples. But most people – nothing! Yes. While others die “(Findley 23). This led to Robert enlisting for the Great War so he could try to escape the memory of Rowena dying and extinguish the guilt and pity he had for himself. Beginning the early development of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that has intensified the internal and external conflicts he has been having with himself about the death of Rowena, his mother and enlisting for the Great War. In war, men like Paul and Robert have to change how they see reality and adapt to their new way of life. However, it comes at a cost and often leads to the repeated exposure of events much like these and injuries that have a significant on the deterioration of both Robert and Paul’s mental states.

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