Study Guide

Haie Westhus in All Quiet on the Western Front

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Haie Westhus

Haie represents an interesting demographic: the men whose civilian life is so hardscrabble that military service is a step up.

Okay, so Haie doesn't actually think that life during wartime is preferable to life without bullets whizzing by. But he does concede that the military has given him opportunities that he never had before. In fact, he's the only guy Paul knows who plans on sticking with the army after peace is declared:

"In the army in peace time you've nothing to trouble about," he goes on, "your food's found everyday, or else you kick up a row; you've a bed, every week clean underwear like a perfect gent, you do your non-com.'s duty, you have a good suit of clothes; in the evening you're a free man and go off to the pub." (5.38)

Unfortunately, Haie never makes it "off to the pub." He's struck in the back during an attack. In an uncharacteristic act of kindness, Himmelstoss carries him to the makeshift hospital where Haie soon dies, his lung having been exposed and damaged.

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