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Human Instinct And Survival Essay

725 words - 3 pages

Human Instinct and Survival
Humans go to great lengths in order to survive. Mankind can be selfish, vicious, and even animalistic just to stay alive. All of these traits, unwanted in normal civilized life, become necessary when trying to endure certain conditions. When the human psyche is put into a survival situation, it represses human morality, and goes into an instinctual immoral and violent state necessary for survival.
In incredibly stressful situations, human’s instinctive state is needed to help a person survive. In other words, the emotions that people develop are too much of a burden. To rid themselves of this burden helps one stay alive. This is because one’s instinct validates ...view middle of the document...

This is shown as Paul considers the attributes he and the other troupes lacked, but have gained from fighting. “We became hard, suspicious, pitiless, vicious, tough-and that was good” (22). The new characteristics were brought upon them by simply going through training. He acknowledges that by embracing the side of him that is merciless, he now has a chance of surviving.
Some may say that people should hold onto their emotions in a time of struggle. As this side of the argument may seem on the surface to be true, through reason one can see it is not. Looking at war and its horrific consequences, it is obvious this instinct must be embraced. The reader sees this specifically while Paul marches to the front, reflecting on the actions of his fellow soldiers. “…suddenly [a soldier] throws himself down on the ground and a storm of fragments flies harmlessly over him...had he not abandoned himself to the impulse he would now be a heap of mangled flesh.” (44). This soldier dodges a grenade, although he has no recollection of his action. If not for...

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