Character Analysis Leer


The first of Paul's class to experience intercourse, Leer lords his insider's knowledge over the other men by recounting his conquests. The leader in flirtation with local women, he locates their house and joins the group who swim the canal. Fearless of the possibility that the women may be courted by officers, he concludes that no one can read their regimental numbers in the twilight. Endowed with a gluttonous appetite, he pantomimes eating before actively romancing the blonde Frenchwoman. After growing a beard, Leer seems twice his age. During the worst of Germany's battering, he receives a wound that tears open his hip, quickly spilling his blood. Ironically, it is the same bullet that tears through Lt. Bertink's chin. Paul watches Leer collapse like an empty tube and wonders what use his mathematical skills were to him in the end.