According to Dictionary.com, the definition of the word one dimensional is having no depth or scope. Paul Baumer, the narrator of All Quiet on the Western Front can be considered to be a one dimensional character. Although the narrator of the book is the one who describes the feelings of the book, actually Paul is more of a one dimensional character throughout the book. Throughout the book Paul does not describe his enemies in war as his actually enemies. Instead Paul describes his friends more than the people fighting on the other side. On page 226, Paul says “I think no more of the dead man, he is of no consequence to me now.” Then Paul continues to describe the area around him. This shows that Paul has little to no emotions about what just happened with the dead man. This shows that Paul has no depth as a narrator. Paul also shows rarely any emotion or excitement during the book. An example of this is when Paul says “He is dead”(Remarque 218). This is showing the lack of emotion that Paul is experiencing right now in the book.
The war has practically ruined these soldiers which is shown in the way Paul is describing things. This is a connection to my thesis because usually a character like the narrator is supposed to really elaborate on situations that are important, but what Remarque does is make Paul a emotionless character which shows he is one dimensional. Paul is also a character that focuses on one thing. An example of this is when Paul goes on a leave for a certain amount of time, and all he can think about is when he will be going back. On page 185 Paul explains “I have to leave early in the morning.” Instead of just going to sleep and getting a good night rets, Paul sits up all night, clutching his pillow, thinking about tomorrow. Also, on page 53, Kat says that “There’ll be a bombardement, I tell you.” The paul goes into a lecture talking about how the soldiers faces are not pale or flushed.
Paul also describes what is going on around them in the war like how they can hear a bullet go past them or the sounds of explosives in the background. This is showing how often Paul would be focused on one thing instead of worrying about multiple things at once. This shows the lack of depth that Paul has as a narrator. This connects to my thesis because it demonstrates how Paul can describe the feelings around him but he can’t actually get out of the one dimensional state of mind. In conclusion, Paul can be focused on one thing, not describing the enemy lines as soldiers would, and how little emotion Paul has as a narrator. This goes to show that Paul is not a well developed character, instead Paul can be considered as a one dimensional soldier turned into a narrator.