Friends and Companions

November 3, 2009
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In a world full of danger and betrayal; friendship is a necessary tool to have in order to excel through each day of one’s life. One needs a friend or companion that he/she can depend on in order to make life an easier and enjoyable experience. A friend is needed in order to help get through everyday issues as well as to have someone to talk to. The books All Quiet on the Western Front and Night both contain examples of friendship and companionship throughout their pages. In Night Elie Wiesel has a few alliances over his journey through concentration camps. Each of his alliances were not necessarily friends, but nevertheless they still helped him persevere. Also, in the novel All Quiet on the Western Front Paul Baumer has his pals from back home in the army with him. This allows him to get through the war easier because he still has some sort of moral support in them. Also, in the story Kensuke’s Kingdom the main character, Michael, has an experience in witch he is forced to create a coalition with a fellow castaway, Kensuke. In each of these stories the author, Michael Morpurgo, portrays how every main character uses an association or some type of accordance in order to make their lives easier and chances of survival even greater. All in all this illustrates the true meaning of how friendship and companionship are truly necessary for survival.

There is no doubt that the book All Quiet on the Western Front exudes a common theme of friendship. For example, when Paul throws Kat on his shoulders to save him, he utters in thought, “Kat is not very heavy; so [he] take[s] him up on [his] back and starts
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off to the dressing station with him” (Remarque 287). This shows the bond between Kat and Paul by Paul putting his life on the line for Kat. Awkwardly, it turns out that Kat actually acts as a shield for Paul and prolongs his life even further. Paul not only has a friend in his comrades, but also in his mom. Such as when he is allowed a short leave and returns home. For example, as Paul approaches his mom he whispers “I [went] into her room [gave] her my hand and said as calmly as I [could], here I am, mother” (Remarque 158). Each of these provides an example of a friendship or alliance with a person. An extraordinary piece in the book is when Albert is describing their lives thus far. He ponders in thought to Paul “The war has ruined us for everything” (Remarque 87). This illustrates how even though they still remain together, the war really did ruin all of their lives.

Secondly, the memoir Night also contains many ideas of solidarity and benevolence. For instance, Elie makes an alliance with the girl at the metro. While talking to her, the girl recollects “’Yes’…, ‘wait… I do remember…’” (Wiesel 53). This girl serves as more than just a familiar face for Elie; it serves as a way to talk and communicate with others that are in similar circumstances as he is. Furthermore, when Elie is being strangled by someone, he receives some help by his father. Elie’s father yells “‘Come,come quickly! Someone is strangling my son!’”(Wiesel 102).This shows how the bond between those two is powerful because of how Elie’s father came to the rescue even in his terrible condition. One of the more interesting parts in the book is the relationship between Elie and his doctor’s consolidating words. While being reassured by his doctor, Elie thinks ‘‘Every one of his words [are] healing and every glance of his carrie[s] a message of hope” (Wiesel 79). This shows the positive relationship between the two as Elie never feels like he is in danger as long as the doctor is by his side. Every
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soldier would probably wish to be as fortunate as Elie in that condition while receiving that much care.
Moving along the line, the book Kensuke’s Kingdom is pretty much a book based on making coalitions with other people. Specifically, the main character, Michael, was stung by a group of jellyfish and another islander named Kensuke comes to the rescue.
After Michael regains his conscious and focus, Kensuke looks at him and simply states “‘My name Kensuke, you better now’” (Morpurgo 97). Consequently, one would perceive that Kensuke and Michael would become friends, and that is exactly what happened. Later in the book, a situation presents itself where it really tests the true strength of Michael and Kensuke’s alliance. Michael’s parents are coming back by their island to search for him but Kensuke refuses to go along. Kensuke explains “‘I am too old for that new world you tell me about. It is very exciting world, but it is not my world. My world was Japan, long time ago. And now my world is here. I think about it for long time…’” (Morpurgo 158). This tests their bond by forcing Michael to do what’s right even though the reason why he is still alive is because of Kensuke. All in all, Michael survived entirely thanks to Kensuke and their close affiliation.

Overall, friendship is not the only thing needed for survival, but it is a key component. It really can help improve one’s overall morality in dire situations such as being in a war or stuck on an island. As a result of creating a union, one would feel a sense of togetherness to propel their bodies through almost the most extreme scenarios. In some cases, it is not possible to create a unity with someone. Therefore, always be on the lookout to have an affiliation with new people because one day, they could be the key to someone’s survival.





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