Paul Baumer & “The Lost Generation” in All Quiet on the Western Front
Writing Prompt: Paul Baumer is an iconic figure of “The Lost Generation” which was a term used to describe a generation of young men, like Paul, who served during World War I and found themselves shattered and disillusioned in the aftermath of the war. This “Lost Generation” of young men who had been nurtured by ideas of patriotism, honor, glory, and patriotic duty returned home to fiercely rage against much of what had been taught to them as they attempted to voice their disillusionment. For this essay on All Quiet on the Western Front discuss the ways in which Paul embodies the sentiments of the lost generation as you trace his character development from a wide-eyed nineteen year old dreamer to a shattered, disillusioned young man. Use evidence from the book to demonstrate how Paul went from enthusiastically listening to his teachers’ and his elders’ notions of patriotism and loyalty only to quickly realize how wrong they were as soon as he reached the frontlines. You may also discuss other characters in the novel as they too became destroyed by the war and lost their youth. Comment on the bitterness, frustration, and anger that Paul and his comrades experienced after losing comrades and realizing that nothing glorious comes from war.
Essay Requirements: Your paper must be TWO pages minimum- TYPED and double spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman font. Use varied examples from the novel and the article on PTSD. Analyze!
STRUCTURE: Include FIVE paragraphs: 1 introduction paragraph, 3 body paragraphs, 1 conclusion paragraph
TRANSITIONS: Each paragraph must use transitions in the beginning and in the middle to guide me from one point to the next in your paper.
TOPIC SENTENCE: Each paragraph must start with a TOPIC SENTENCE that states the THEME of your paragraph or the MAIN IDEA. Do not start a paragraph with an example from the book or a quotation.
Example: At the start of the novel, Paul was a young, innocent schoolboy with hopes for the future.
NOT A TOPIC SENTENCE: Paul gets angry when his teacher uses propaganda to encourage the boys to join the war effort. (Don’t start with plot- Keep it general)
Introduction Paragraph: Follow the following format:
(1-2 sentences) General attention-getter or statement about the concept of losing one’s youth, feeling lost in life after a hardship or tragedy, etc.
(2 sentences) Then mention the author’s name, Title of the Novel, and brief information about the plot in several sentences
(2 sentences) Next, start to address the writing prompt and put it into your own words using Paul’s character and the plot of the book to form your essential main argument/main idea.
(1-2 sentences) Thesis statement: State your main point and prove how/why it is true.
Thesis Example: Throughout the novel, it is evident that Paul has become a shattered, disillusioned young man from all of his experiences on the battlefield and the loss of so many innocent, young lives.
QUOTES: Use a minimum of THREE quotes from the novel in your paper, using proper citations and TIQA format. Remember not to “quote drop” at the beginning of a sentence or in the paragraph itself. Make it flow seamlessly.
Ex: Paul’s disillusionment can be felt in the line, “But we do not forget. It’s all rot that they put in the war-news about the good humour of the troops…” (Remarque 140). It is clear that Paul resents the ignorant people who would rather believe that the soldiers are happily being taken care of than accept the harsh reality of war.
SUPPORT FROM ARTICLE: Use either the article on Post-Traumatic Stress or another outside source that you find online to refer to in your paper. * You must mention the author’s name and article’s title and information from the article at least ONCE in your paper. You can even quote a line from the article if it is relevant in your paper. If you use a quote, cite as follows: “Quote” (Goodpaster)
Link to the article: Webpage: History of PTSD: http://historyofptsd.wordpress.com/world-war-i/