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All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque-Barron's Booknotes
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FIRST PERSON WRITING

A. Select one of the following situations and become that person. Using "I," write out either your thoughts, or what you, as that person, would have written in your private diary. Be sure to use appropriate details from the novel, but also to make up additional ones suitable to the person and the situation.

1. You are Katczinsky. You have just been given a new group of recruits to take out on their first mission. You are looking at them and thinking about your own skills and luck and their chances of survival.

2. You are one of the three French girls. You are really hungry. You see the German soldiers swimming; they look like decent types. What are you thinking before you wave to them and start talking?

3. You are Himmelstoss, receiving a decoration from the Kaiser. You realize how very much you have learned. You are thinking with shame about how you treated the recruits and how things were at the front. You do not hold a grudge against Paul and his friends for beating you up.

4. You are Detering and you have had it. You are thinking about your life before the war and building up to your decision to desert.


B. Again, select one of the following situations and become the person indicated. Write the letter as that person would have written it, using his or her attitudes and ways of speaking.

1. You are Paul's sister. Write to him about the latest developments at home, now that your mother's cancer entirely confines her to bed and you have the responsibility for the household. What are your worries and concerns? How much are you willing to share or explain?

2. You are Paul. You still have Gerard Duval's wallet and the picture of his wife and child. No matter what Kat and Kropp said, you still feel a need to write to Madame (Mrs.) Duval and tell her how bravely her husband died. No one else can do it, but you want to do it kindly. Will you actually sign your name? will you tell her you were the one who killed him? Make these decisions and then write the letter.

3. You are Paul's company commander. Write to Paul's family to comfort them after Paul dies on such a quiet day, with rumors of a coming armistice filling the air.

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