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All quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque Notes Elements of Narrative Plot [Summary Chapter 1 Summary

and Analysis and Analysis] Paul Baumer, Katczinsky (Kat), Tjaden, Muller, and Kemmerich return from a bloody and deadly battle and they have lost more than half of their men (killed or injured) The soldiers are starving and the cook Ginger refuses to give out rations (dinner) for 150 soldiers instead of 80. The soldiers start fighting/yelling at him to give out all the rations. Pauls commander tells Ginger to give out all the rations Quote "Eighty men can't have what is meant for a hundred and fifty You might be generous for once. You haven't drawn food for eighty men. You've drawn it for the Second Company. Good. Let's have it then. We are the Second Company. All of Pauls friends are 19 and just came out of school they are in rotation with other battalions that are fighting the frontline in World War 1. Quote At the head of the queue of course were the hungriest--little Albert Kropp, the clearest thinker among us and therefore only a lancecorporal; Mller, who still carries his school textbooks with him, dreams of examinations, and during a bombardment mutters propositions in physics; Leer, who wears a full beard and has a preference for the girls from officers' brothels. . And as the fourth, myself, Paul. And four are nineteen years of age, and all four joined up from the same class as volunteers for the war. Tjaden, a skinny locksmith of our own age, the biggest eater of the company. Haie Westhus, of the same age, a peat-digger, who can easily hold a ration-loafin his hand and say: Guess what I've got in my fist; then Detering, a peasant, who thinks of nothing but his farm-yard and his wife; and finally Stanislaus Katczinsky, the leader of our group, shrewd, cunning, and hard-bitten, forty years of age, with a face of the soil, blue eyes, bent shoulders, and a remarkable nose for dirty weather, good food, and soft jobs. Mail arrives (which is common) and a letter is from Kantorek (Pauls and his friends school masters; person who encouraged them to enlist for the army) Josef Behm fought the propaganda, but was persuaded into enlisting. He died a horrific death. Quote Behm was one of the first to fall. He got hit in the eye during an attack, and we left him lying for dead. We couldn't bring him with us, because

we had to come back helter-skelter. In the afternoon suddenly we heard him call, and saw him crawling about in No Man's Land. He had only been knocked unconscious. Because he could not see, and was mad with pain, he failed to keep under cover, and so was shot down before anyone could go and fetch him in Paul and his soldiers (friends/classmates) feel let down/betrayed by Kantorek Quote But the first death we saw shattered this belief. We had to recognize that our generation was more to be trusted than theirs (Loss of Trust) They visit Kemmerich in the hospital (St. Joesphs). His watch his been stolen while being unconscious. He feels pain in his foot/thigh he doesnt know his leg/foot has been amputated. Paul and his fridns dont tell him. Muller brings Kemmerich stuff (which includes good boots, which Muller wants but Kemmerich doesnt let him). Quote "Death is working through from within. It already has command in the eyes" Paul remebers Kemmerich's mother crying when her son departed for the war, Kemmerich's felt embarrassed while Paul feels loving warmth (He has to write to his mother stating what happened). Kemmerich's fever (pain) gets worse. The men quicly get a nurse/doctor, Kropp yells, to take care of Kemmerichs pains quickly (with morphine injections) [The men know Kemmrich is dying] Another letter is receive from Kantorek's to his students/soliders, and calls them "The Iron Youth" Quote Iron Youth. Youth! We are none of us more than twenty years old. But young? Youth? That is long ago. We are old folk.

Chapter 2 Paul says the men that come to war are not the same when the comeback. "We have become a waste land. All the same, we are not often sad. Mullers got Kemmerichs boots Quote would rather go bare-foot over barbed wire than scheme how to get hold of them. But as it is the boots are quite inappropriate to Kemmerich's circumstances, whereas Mller can make good use of them. Kemmerich will die; it is immaterial who gets them. Why, then, should Mller not succeed to them? Paul flashbacks on the enlisting system, back then Quote We had no definite plans for our future. Our thoughts of a career and occupation were as yet of too unpractical a character to furnish any scheme of life

Paul contemplates QuoteAfter three weeks it was no longer incomprehensible to us that a braided postman should have more authority over us than had formerly our parents, our teachers, and the whole gamut of culture from Plato to Goethe. Kropp, Mller, Kemmerich, & Paul sent to Platoon 9, under the control of Corporal Himmelstoss(the postman). Corporal Himmelstoss had reputation of being very strict, mean, and hated to which he liked Quote He had the reputation of being the strictest disciplinarian in the camp, and was proud of it.(14) Himmelstoss abused his power Quote sHe had a special dislike of Kropp, Tjaden, Westhus, and me(14) because he sensed a quiet defiance Quote I have remade his bed fourteen times in one morning. Each time he had some fault to find and pulled it to pieces. I have kneaded a pair of prehistoric boots that were as hard as iron for twenty hourswith intervals of courseuntil they became as soft as butter and not even Himmelstoss could find anything more to do to them; under his orders I have scrubbed out the Corporals' Mess with a tooth-brush. Paul & Kropp played jokes on Himmelstoss: example drop a latrine bucket on his head, do drills extremely slowly to make Himmelstoss angry/crazy etc Paul knows theres other Himmelstosss but they had to be aggressive so they dont get sent to the front. Paul Quote certainly have gone mad. Only thus were we prepared for what awaited us. We did not break down, but adapted ourselves (16) Later, Paul is sitting next to Kemmerich's bed (he is dying). Kemmerich discovers that his leg has been amputated and not notices the reality of his situation(goes into depression) Paul tries to convince Kemmerich of the positives; gets to go home so he can be a forester (but he cant anymore since he has only one leg)(artificial leg) Kemmerich then gives his boots to Mller (indicating a sign of his death) Paul says, " His lips have fallen away, his mouth has become larger, his teeth stick out and look as though they were made of chalk. The flesh melts, the forehead bulges more prominently, the cheek-bones protrude. The skeleton is working itself through. The eyes are already sunken in. In a couple of hours it will be over" (17). Paul notices that no one in the St. Josephs hospital cares about his friend dying, any nurse, doctors, or orderlies care Quote"That is Franz Kemmerich, nineteen and a half years old, he doesn't want to die. Let him not die!"(17). Quote We must take him away at once, we want the bed. Outside they are lying on the floor."(18-19) Kemmerich dies while still crying due to his pain and contemplation

life (face still wet due to tears). Paul takes Kemmerich's belongings to bring it back to the others (identification disc and boots) Quote My limbs move supplely, I feel my joints strong, I breathe the air deeply. The night lives, I live. I feel a hunger, greater than comes from the belly alone. (19). Paul gives Muller the boots; they fit well.

Chapter 3 Paul already appears "old," or at least experienced, as new troops arrive. Kropp jokes, "Seen the infants?" (3.1) meaning the new recruits, who are two years younger than Paul and his pals. Kat jokes about the scarcity of decent food and promises an upgrade to current fare. Kat has traded string to the cook and offers them beef stew. He warns that this food is for barter purposes only next time they need to bring him a cigar. Paul goes on about Kat's "sixth sense" for knowing things Kat leads them to a burnt out shelter, but one with nice beds and cozies. Kat is just such a down to earth, everyday kind of guy, he seems to know where Mother Nature hides things. In another shelter, almost magically, Kat appears with warm bread to share with the troops. They cobble together a nice meal with horse flesh and bread (this is good eats on the Front). Paul notes that Kat's "masterpiece" was producing four boxes of lobsters once but that Kat's simple, earthy tastes would have preferred beef. Later, the troops are drilling "how to salute" on a sunny day because of Tjaden's bad behavior in failing to salute a superior. The troops joke about how vital it is to salute on the Front. More absurdities mount when Kat rhymes, "Give 'em all the same grub and all the same pay and the war would be over and done in a day" that is, uneven compensation between soldiers and officers is to blame for many of the war's issues. The author contrasts Kat with Kropp "who is a thinker" Kropp suggests that the War should be fought by the countries' generals. He feels that "the wrong people do the fighting." The group disses drilling and structure and the lunacy of the "skills" they were taught in boot camp. Those skills are useless to them now. They talk about games like "Change at Lhne" a weird dressing game where men scramble under beds. Suddenly, overhead, a German plane is shot down in an explosion this is not a game, this is war. Himmelstoss's demeanor is discussed they criticize Himmelstoss

and men like him small men who try to be big based on their fancy uniforms. Allegorically they describe how men behave more or less just like dogs. Man will do anything and everything that he can get away with. The fairness questions suddenly end when Tjaden excitedly announces that Himmelstoss is on his way he is coming to the Front (where the rules and regulations are way different than in boot camp, and having an officer's uniform won't save you from bullets). Tjaden especially dislikes Himmelstoss because of the way he "disciplines" bed-wetters. The men dream of ways to get back at Himmelstoss after the war. Kropp decides to enlist in the post office. Since he's more education than Himmelstoss, Kropp could be his superior. Out of nowhere, the men decide to jump Himmelstoss and whip him when he comes home semi-drunk from his nearby regular pub. They jump him one night and Tjaden takes particular delight in the whipping. Himmelstoss staggers away as the men run, undiscovered. Haie says, "Revenge is black-pudding," which, presumably means that revenge is good. Chapter 4 The men are sent on a mission to lay barbed wire at the front slow the approach of the enemies. Noisy trucks ferry them forward with the wire. They are joined by many other troops, each with their own particular missions. They pass noisy geese and all eyes turn to Kat for leadership in hunting and cooking them after a successful mission. Our narrator talks about the natural fog of the area blending with the gunpowder smoke and the exhaust of the motorcar engines. Paul outlines how they are "embraced" by the Front. It is not fear only newbies feel fear; Paul and gang have thick skin now. Kat believes that there will be a bombardment tonight he can identify the caliber of the guns a twelve-inch gun has a unique sound. Those large guns carry a long way they can reach bunkers. Kat knows it will be a long night. Suddenly three shells land near them. The earth feels like it's quaking. Under Kat's suggestion, the troops are certain that they will be bombed tonight and they steel themselves for it. Paul describes the Front as a mysterious whirlpool with a "vortex" sucking him in. He talks about the earth as friendly to a soldier who relies on it for movement, cover, and mapping. He says, "Earth! Earth! Earth!" (4.24), almost as if praying to it. This is as close as anything gets to a prayer in All Quiet on the Western

Front. He talks about animal instincts of fear and self-preservation guiding them amidst the shelling: "We reach the zone where the front begins and become on the instant human animals" (4.26). They arrive at the front and the motorcars that carried them there leave. Vast loneliness and independence flood them. They walk forward in moonlight, seeking their point area to begin laying the barbed wire as part of their mission. They pass shell holes described almost like scars on the earth a stark contrast to the earth as described in motherly terms just a few pages earlier. When they get within yards of the front they are given the order for "pipes and cigarettes out" because they are so close to the enemy, the smell of that smoke would give away their positions. Suddenly the sky lights up with bombs and fire the bombardment begins. They are being hit hard. Paul describes the bombardment almost as if it is alive, an evil animal, hissing. There are planes involved as well searchlights sweep the sky: "one of them pauses, and quivers a little. Immediately a second is beside him, a black insect is caught between them and tries to escape the airman. He hesitates, is blinded and falls" (4.40). The men unravel the barbed wire; Paul tears his hand. The process takes a few hours. His mates sleep a few hours, but it is too cold for Paul to sleep. Finally, he does fall asleep, but is awakened suddenly, terrifyingly, from new bombs and striped lights in the sky. Kat says, "Mighty fine fire-works if they weren't so dangerous" (4.45). One bomb lands very close to Kat and Paul, and Kat quickly puts out his pipe, noting how its glow creates a target for the bombers. The men crawl away under heavy fire, passing bodies. Some are dead; a few are alive and terrified. One new recruit is frozen, crying, childlike. To Paul he looks like the recently dead Kemmerich. The recruit shudders again and again under the loud bomb noises. Paul realizes the reason for the recruit's unwillingness to move he has gone to the bathroom in his pants. Paul makes it clear that he is not going to adopt the cruelties of Himmelstoss and the other authority figures, and just tells the recruit to go behind a bush and throw out his skivvies and not to feel ashamed. Paul continues walking back from the bombing he and Albert hear the screeching whinny of wounded horses. Detering, a loving farmer, is most bothered by the horses agonized

cries and begs out loud for somebody to "Shoot them! For God's sake! Shoot them!" (4.60) Kat explains that the medics must look after the men first so the horses must suffer. One horse's guts have been ripped out; the horse trips over his own guts, and keeps running. Detering raises his gun to put the horse out of its misery Kat asks, "Are you mad?" (4.64). Firing a gun would give away their position to the enemy and put the men in danger. Detering gives up and suffers the noises. And finally, when they are silenced, he asks, "Like to know what harm they've done." (4.71) Troop 9 gets ready to go back to barracks back from the Front; they wait for the motorcars. They come upon a mist-heavy area of bombed out craters Kat is quiet, which is not a good sign. Suddenly, everything seems to explode. Bombs everywhere. Trees shatter and splinter. Paul describes the darkness as having come to life and attacking them, driving them mad. The earth appears to be wounded, human-like, now raining dirt clods on the men from the bombs. One percussion cracks Paul on the skull and he is on edge of losing consciousness. He flings himself down on mother earth for protection, inside a hole made by a previous bomb. He half wakes up and feels an arm "a wounded man?" (4.87) he wonders but the man is dead; his body was presumably what Paul had landed on when he jumped into that bomb crater. And then he realizes that the body is part of many in the graveyard they have stumbled upon. The shelling gets stronger and Paul as our narrator capitalizes Death as a living character, lying in wait for the men. The men try to avoid it a gas bomb is dropped and they struggle for their masks. It takes Kat shaking Paul to make him realize he has to put on his mask quickly. Under the mask, Paul barely recognizes his closest friend Kat. Paul recalls the burnt-lung victims side by side in the hospital. He breathes in his vale cautiously. They crawl along the graveyard floor, looking for shelter, and come upon a loose coffin lid. The men open the heavy lid and throw out the body so that they can climb inside for protection from the bombs. The body is then blown up by a nearby bomb, "having died twice." Paul notes a random leg lying in a field; he can't find the body of

whoever owned it. Paul sees a newbie recruit walking around without a mask he hates his and tears it off. The shelling has stopped. The men lift a wounded soldier. His hip is covered with blood the man seems close to death and is bleeding from many places. Kat tries to bandage him and, as Paul comforts, he realizes that this is the new recruit that he had encountered earlier (the one who messed his pants). Kat tells the boy to stay there as the men prepare to get him a stretcher. The boy is in such bad shape, Kat suggests that they get a gun and finish him off mercifully. The narrator notes what little of life will be left to the youngster, even if he survives through enormous pain. Even Paul agrees that they should euthanize him, but they have to do it quickly. And then it is too late others arrive on the scene. They realize the boy will get the stretcher and will probably die a very painful and slow death. The narrator notes that their losses are less than expected only five killed and eight wounded. They go back silently to the motor cars so that they can go "home." It rains. They think about the dead who have fallen before them as they drive carefully through areas wired for defense. Chapter 5 Paul details how they kill lice. As it's warm outside, the men sit half naked and discuss Himmelstoss's return/appearance at the Front. Tjaden notes that the whipping of Himmelstoss was "the high-water mark of his life" (5.5). The men discuss what they would do if there were suddenly peace. Sadly, they have a hard time fathoming the notion of peacetime and, even when they can, they can't give serious answers to what they would do. The first set of answers are all pleasures of the flesh or gullet (sex or food). And then Haie says that he would stay in the army in a time of peace, the army is a reliable, decent job. And then there's the retirement pension (money!). Tjaden's goal is to cage and torture Himmelstoss. Sheesh. Detering just wants to go back to his life as a farmer but the discussion saddens him as he badly misses home and his horses. Himmelstoss walks up to the men. They do nothing, so he asks,

"Well?" (5.55). Nobody salutes. Himmelstoss is less volatile with the troops than he was at boot camp. The narrator notes, "He seems to have learned already that the front-line isn't a parade-ground" (5.56). Tjaden tells Himmelstoss that he's a dirty hound. They bark at each other a while, name-calling. Himmelstoss tells Tjaden to stand up and salute; Tjaden refuses to obey, even after being threatened with a court-martial. Himmelstoss stomps off. Kat intones that the penalty will be at least five days' "close arrest" (jail). Tjaden doesn't care he escapes and hides from Himmelstoss. The men continue their discussion of what they would do in a time of peace. They collectively decide that they would no longer listen to their clueless Fatherland-ideal-loving former teacher Kantorek. And they mock Kantorek's set of trivia questions they suffered through in school, noting how useless these are to the men in life and in the war. Kropp notes how hard it will be to ever go back to all of the stuff they learned in school "How can a man take all that stuff seriously when he's once been out here?" (5.108) The men have a hard time figuring out anything creative to do when the war is over other than return to their old jobs or do nothing at all. The vibe is that hope is dying here. Albert says, "The war has ruined us for everything" (5.120). Himmelstoss accosts the men in the camp judicial area, asking for Tjaden. The men tell him they don't know where Tjaden is. Paul underscores how low they've stooped: "That is our sole ambition: to knock the conceit out of a postman" (5.132). Tjaden disappears. Himmelstoss returns and demands respect. Kropp asks him if he's ever fought at the Front before, suggesting that Himmelstoss's love of rules and hierarchy is pretty useless and silly in such a brutal war, Kat thinks Kropp will get three days in jail for talking back to his superior, Himmelstoss. That evening, this case comes up for trial. At the trial the men explain the character of Himmelstoss, detailing his abuses. The magistrate asks the men why they didn't report Himmelstoss before, and they note the bad rep that tattle-tales have in the military. The magistrate understands and gives Tjaden and Kropp very light

sentences, even apologizing for having to give them any. Himmelstoss is put in his place. On the ride back "home," Kat and Paul find geese Paul grabs one that puts up a tough fight. A bulldog comes to their rescue, but a chin choker prevents him from biting Paul. Paul thinks about shooting the dog. He's afraid to move, but finally he has the energy to do so and zips out of there with a dead goose, ready for roasting. Above, they can hear another air raid and bombs and guns. They cook the goose together in the middle of the night. They have a bonding moment as they realize that they were total strangers not long ago. They finish cooking the goose, eat, smoke, and then take a generous portion in a bag back to Tjaden, the biggest eater in the group. Chapter 6 With rumors of an attack coming, the men return to the Front, passing a bombed schoolhouse with rows of brand new coffins stacked high beside it. The men darkly note that those coffins are ready in preparation for the upcoming battle. The first night is quiet, eerie Kat notes that the English are bringing enhanced guns and new, better French technology. Troop 9 is in low spirits. Their own guns are wearing out this last day their own guns wounded two of their own men. Paul says, "The Front is a cage in which we must await fearfully whatever may happen. We lie under the network of arching shells and live in suspense of uncertainty. Over us Chance hovers" (6.10). The men's attention turns to rats, which are over-running the camp and the trenches. They steal food and scamper over soldiers' faces while they are sleeping. Detering leads an extermination project. They use bread as bait and then attack the gathering rats with shovels the rats have killed cats and dogs in the camp. Killing rats occupies their time for days before the attack. And then the enemy sends over gas one night. But there is no attack; they would normally expect one to follow the gas. Rumors of a huge attack intensify; the men just wait and play games. The attack begins by waking the men in the middle of the night. Heavy fire. Lots of noise. Bombs. Our narrator paints the land as being torn to shreds as recruits in sheer terror vomit their fear. The new recruits are scared, but the old hands (like Troop 9) are seasoned to the ways of war.

The bombs come closer, violent enough so that their trench is now almost destroyed with only eighteen inches of cover left. In the heat of the battle, Tjaden notes that this night food will be brought to them and the others believe he is right. The newbies are calmed by the news that, if food can be delivered, then the battle is not so bad. Two offensives are made with the soldiers returning back to base twice. The men are running out of food perhaps all of it didn't make it to the Front. They start into their food reserves to quell hunger. The waiting at night is terrible. Tjaden regrets the bread they wasted trapping the rats he would gladly eat those pieces now, as well as the pieces the rats gnawed. The men marvel that they have had no casualties yet in this offensive. With pressure mounting, one of the new recruits snaps and has a fit. He tries to leave the safe zone and escape his claustrophobia outside (where he will surely be shot to death). He cannot help himself and the men beat him, literally, to his senses to save his life. This confrontation makes the atmosphere worse, more repressive. And then a bomb strikes the dugout. One of the recruits starts butting his head against the wall. Night comes again, and from their dugout, Troop 9 can see the enemy coming again, noting how few are stopped by the wire they laid. Gruesome imagery accompanies the rush shot off arms dangle in the barbed wire fences. Kropp and Haie throw hand grenades at exact yardages trying to drive wedges in the enemy's assault. Paul notes how he and his fellow men have become wild beasts, dancing with Death. The forward trenches have been abandoned Troop 9's enemy is clearly winning. But the enemy is suffering many casualties; they did not seem to count on such fierce, animalistic resistance. At noon, the men reach another set of trenches. Their machine guns open and fend off a counter-attack that came very close to hand-tohand combat. They win this little battle. Paul desperately wants to head home, far from the Front, but he can't instead he is forced to plunge into the horror of battle. He notes that if he were not on auto-pilot mode, he would not be able to do this. He notes the way the earth seems to be tearing away under his feet and his having lost feeling on many levels. Paul refers to himself for the first time as being dead. (Check out

Chapter Six, paragraph 101.) This new offensive of Troop 9's is successful and the enemy is on the run. Paul refers to a machine gun as barking, but it is silenced by a bomb. The battle heat dissipates as positions stabilize, and the men grow increasingly hungry. They eat corned beef and jam in a kind of food orgy, even through it is in sparse amounts. Paul waxes poetic about the silence, which is now the minority sound in his mind. He refers to himself repeatedly as either dead or a ghost as Death becomes almost a companion. Paul says, "We are forlorn like children, and experienced like old men, we are crude and sorrowful and superficial I believe we are lost" (6.105). Paul describes a series of attacks and counter-attacks where no progress is made and bodies pile up. He focuses on the wounded more than the dead they have a hard time bringing in bodies. Many of them have to be left in no man's land to suffer, and the men hear their cries, sometimes for days as they die slowly under the elements. Paul wonders over one man's three-day death: if he is thinking of his wife, his kids, and if their memory is what gives him strength to continue fighting to live. The men think they hear the name "Elise" being called out. Paul tells us, "The days are hot and the dead lie unburied" (6.117). Haie collects lovely French silk parachutes and parachute rings he is determined to give them to his girlfriend. There are so many, he will have a hard time carrying all of them. The others collect the chutes themselves they will make nice dresses. Paul observes the battle planes, which they don't mind. Those planes drop volume bombs aimlessly; what Paul and his men fear are the observation planes who are then followed by much more precise trench bombings shortly thereafter. Meanwhile, they continue to stack the dead, now three bodies high, in a big hole. The shelling begins again aggressively. Many recruits are dead and dying they die at a much higher rate than old-timers like Paul. While the men know they need reinforcements, Paul complains that the new recruits often give them more trouble than they are worth. Over time, they arrive with less and less training, not knowing to duck shrapnel and clinging together rather than being separated for bombing raids.

The new recruits fall in a ratio of 5 or 10 to 1 of the more experienced soldiers. A surprise gas attack takes many of them in one shot, as they don't learn to panic fast enough. They "choke to death with hemorrhages and suffocation" (6.139). Running through the trenches, Paul bangs into Himmelstoss. They are supposed to be in an offensive, but Himmelstoss cowers with a small scratch, pretending to be wounded. Paul is furious and literally throws him out of the trenches. The back and forth of pointless battle begins to dissolve time for Paul, who can't remember if it was days, weeks, or months of this set of battles. Paul finds solace in mentoring new recruits, training their eyes and ears for signs of danger. The recruits listen hard and then under the heat of real battle do everything wrong. Under this onslaught Haie Westhus is wounded in the back, piercing a lung. He knows he is going to die. Paul describes the brutality: "We see men living with their skulls blown open; we see soldiers run with their two feet cut off, they stagger on their splintered stumps into the next shell-hole; *+ we see men without mouths, jaws, faces; we find one man who has held the artery of his arm in his teeth for two hours in order not to bleed to death. The sun goes down, night comes, the shells whine, life is at an end" (6.158). And then Paul notes with odd pride that for all of that gore, they have held their little plot of land against a seemingly overwhelming enemy. The men are relieved. They ride the motor cars back to home base. The company commander calls "Second Company!" (6.164) for Paul's group. He calls again, essentially asking, "Is that all?" (6.166). Many were killed in this battle. Second Company, after starting at 150, is now down to 32 men. And that is the last sentence of the chapter: "Thirty-two men" (6.169). Chapter 7 Paul's Company needs to regroup. The men loaf around even Himmelstoss has mellowed. The men have gained a bit of respect for him for his having helped bring in Haie Westhus after Haie was so badly injured. Himmelstoss announces that he is taking over for an injured cook and brings the men sweets. Paul notes that now they have the two things a soldier needs for contentment: good food and good rest. Paul reflects on habit as being a definition of change, not repetition in its classical sense. One day in mortar fire, another day foraging for

food, another day in transit. He muses on their turning into animals to survive the Front, wanting to live at any price, and he lists all of the men he knew who could not pay that price. Paul waxes about the frailties of life, that "Life is short." A poster of a beautiful girl gets the soldiers' attention. While swimming on their break, the soldiers see a few French women who look hungry. The men cat-call but the women don't speak German and they don't appear to be all that interested in the boys until Tjaden holds up a large piece of army bread, at which point the women wave over the men hungrily. As it is forbidden to cross the river guards would shoot them if caught they have to figure out a clever way to cross and to visit the ladies. They make the international sign for sleep and it becomes clear that they will come visit later that night. The men now appear to the reader as boys, awkward, nervous, fidgety, even hopeful. They sweat over what foods, cigarettes, and so on they will bring the women. The men stuff their clothes in their water-tight boots and swim naked across the river. They worry that there are other military officers with the ladies and if there are, they decide to run away. The door opens and they are welcomed. The women unwrap the food and eat ravenously. The men understand few French words, and fold themselves into a good old-fashioned love session. Paul is the only one who appears conflicted, unable to fully enjoy this moment as his desires are painted as "strangely compounded of yearning and misery." He notes how different this intimate gathering feels as compared to the officers' brothels; here the intimacy is private, quiet, and soft. The men reconvene to swim back across the river, noting that the experience was worth more than their army-loaf price of admission. As they leave, they duck as another soldier approaches the house where the French ladies live it's Tjaden! Paul is called to the Orderly Room (magistrate) in the morning, where he is given a pass to go on vacation for a total of seventeen days. He buys drinks for his friends and bemoans that on the way home he will be sent to a training camp next to a Russian prison camp for a few weeks, meaning that he will be out of Front circulation for six weeks. Paul rides the train home.

His journey is a transition from scarred broken earth to picturesque farms and carefully manicured homes. Paul finds his home and creaks up the stairs. He is greeted by his loving sister, Erna, who finds him crying. It's because he's surrounded by the safety of his childhood home, which forms such a contrast to the hellish world of the Front. He finds his mother in bed, sick with cancer. The source of his mother's illness is internal, rather than being scarred from the outside like that of his young friends, bombed in trenches. Paul feels her love, even though his family is not very openly affectionate. The fact that Paul's mother calls him her "dear boy" (7.125) is a much bigger deal, he notes, than it would be in another family. Paul offers Edam cheese and they connect over food. His mother asks suddenly, "Was it very bad out there?" (7.134) and Paul can only lie. He minimizes stories his mother has heard from other mothers who, in turn, have heard how terrible life is at the Front. But it is her absolute lack of understanding that distances him, his realization that he could not even possibly explain a moment of what life is really like at the Front. Paul reports to the District Commandant and walks through his old village. Order and safety and quiet are pervasive here. As a result, Paul is stunned when he passes a Major and forgets to salute. The Major, clearly not someone who has spent any time in real battle at the Front, makes him march as punishment. Paul is furious, but rather than cause an even bigger fuss, obeys the Major, who then softens up when he feels he is being shown respect. He is clearly another flavor of Himmelstoss. Paul returns home and puts on one of his old suits he has grown in the army and that suit is tight. He looks strange to himself in the mirror. His mother likes him better in civilian clothes, but his father would prefer he remain in military garb so he can be paraded to be shown off to his father's friends. This is Paul's father another example of the shallow authority figures thoroughly derided in this book. Paul refuses the parading. Paul sits in a beer-garden, watching the leaves fall. He is struck by his alienation from it. He can not relax into it, can not be a part of it, and can only observe little details and elements, but he's emotionally distant. Paul's father appears further as a lout, asking salacious questions about the edges of the Front, gory details which dehumanize the very real human beings who died for "ideals."

Paul runs into his old teacher, who skates over how truly terrible things are at the Front with "Terrible, terrible, eh?" and other light treatments of events which demand respect. Paul makes the mistake of accepting a cigar and now must stay as long as it is lit, so he smokes it as fast as he can, like a chimney, to be able to move on and be left alone. As he inhales, he listens to the others gathered there talk about the war like it is a sport, and he is repulsed. Paul begins to regret having come home for leave. He muses that he thought he was in foreign lands at the Front, but this feels even more foreign to him. He longs to be alone the men here don't hold a candle to the raw and honest humanity which Kat, Albert, Mller, and Tjaden express. He misses them. Paul sits in his room. He reviews posters he'd hung in his youth, newspaper clippings that once meant something to him, classical books and plays that seek ideals that seem laughably wasteful in the face of the war. He longs for the feelings of innocence he had as a child, recalling how thrilled he felt reading those literary works, how he cannot ignore enough things now to climb back down to that cozy ignorance that he once lived inside. Paul realizes that he must soon go to see Kemmerich's mother. He wants to put it off as long as possible. But as he sits alone in his room, it too seems to turn on him and he is alienated by the feelings the room conjures in him. He cannot escape his surroundings because they have pervaded his interior. In almost desperation, he pulls out a book and tries to read, but the words are just words; they are not telling stories. When he can no longer handle the quiet, he leaves. On his walk, Paul visits Mittelstaedt in the army barracks. Mittelstaedt gives him the news that his old teacher Kantorek, the defender of Fatherland ideals, has been called up to the Front. Paul is delighted that Kantorek will see what he has been espousing and defending to nave, easily-influenced students. Paul wants to remind him of his pushing Joseph Behm to enlist and that Joseph is now dead because of him. Paul and Mittelstaedt walk to the field grounds where they see Kantorek looking ridiculous, marching in a dramatically oversized uniform. Mittelstaedt stops Kantorek and chides him militarily for his ludicrous appearance. Mittelstaedt puts Kantorek through embarrassing drill practices, the best of which was a Himmelstoss trick where the company leader would be twenty paces ahead of the company, then, when the

company reversed direction, the leader would have to run fast to get to the lead again, only to have direction changed again. Mittelstaedt unloads academic phrases at Kantorek as if they will help his difficult labors now. Paul asks if Kantorek has reported Mittelstaedt's somewhat abusive behavior, but is informed that the commander has a dislike for schoolteachers and also notes that Mittelstaedt is dating his daughter. Mittelstaedt has nothing but contempt for Kantorek either. Paul muses on the term "leave" (vacation). He counts his days, hours, time, increasingly anxious to get back to the Front it is as if the Front is now his real home. Paul leaves, with four days' vacation left, to see Kemmerich's mother. The narrator notes that he cannot write it down. Perhaps her grief was so striking, he could not drink it in, stream it onto the page. The quaking sobbing woman asks Paul, "Then why are you alive and he is dead?" Paul has no answer. She asks how he died. Paul lies that he was shot through the heart and died immediately. She does not believe him; he spends great pains convincing her of the short suffering of her son. He has no ethical qualms about lying to her and agrees to swear it on anything sacred she would put in front of him. He leaves and she gives him a picture of her son to remember him by, as if Paul needed it. His last evening at home, Paul goes to bed early in a quiet home. He questions whether he will ever lie in this feather bed again. His mother comes in and watches him; he knows she is worried, but he doesn't want to talk about what he is about to do. Almost comically compared to what he has already been through, she warns him about those women in France, to be careful And almost as a prayer, we see his inner pleadings to his mother, asking her to let him return to his innocence, his youth, and just be her son and be happy and whole and fulfilled by the world of his little home, his little village. Paul cannot do that and he relies on basic things like warmth and the promise of food to comfort him, as he must leave early in the morning. He is sorry he ever came 'home' for leave he recalls softness and love and kindness here through her and he knows that he must let these feelings go if he is to be a soldier, a survivor of the Front. Chapter 8 Paul is sent back to the base where he did his basic training with Himmelstoss and Tjaden, but he knows almost nobody there now.

He mechanically goes through his refresher military drill training and spends his evenings reading. He notes the beauty of the surrounding wood and the colors as nature changes seasons. Next to camp is a large Russian prison camp, filled with prisoners who seem nervous and fearful of the soldiers. They pick over garbage tins for food and seem to barely stay alive. Paul is struck to see "these enemies of ours" who look so much like him, like the rural Germans who make up the backbone of the country. They beg for things to eat and shiver in silence. Some of the Germans are friendly; some treat the prisoners as sport, kicking them every now and then to see if they will fall over. The prisoners come to the fence each night to make trades, usually things like boots for bread a common trade, as their boots are good and the German boots are bad. But many of the Russians have already bartered away most of their clothing for food and now have little left. They have tried to manufacture pitiful pieces of clothing or bands made of gun shells to barter for food. They don't get much for these goods even though they have "taken immense pains to make them." Paul feels their pain; through all of the harshness of his Front life thus far, he has remained soft inside. Paul is often put on guard over the Russians. They rarely speak and use only a few words when they do. They are listless, sick with dysentery, and sullen. "Their life is obscure and guiltless" (8.10). This thinking frightens Paul these thoughts will soften Paul at the Front where he must view the world as friends versus enemies, and fight with aggression and cold delivery. Paul does, however, give the Russians cigarettes; they bow to him in thanks. Days pass and it seems that each day another Russian dies. Paul guards the burials. He hears their hymns and this makes him feel closer to them. On the last Sunday before going back to the Front, Paul's father and sister visit him in his barracks. Those hours are torture for him, with nothing to speak about. The best topic they can come up with is his mother's illness they know it is cancer. His father's focus is not knowing how much the operation will cost, and Paul keenly observes that the poor are afraid to ask prices in advance for fear of alienating the surgeon; the wealthy ask as a matter of course. That evening Paul intends to give the cakes his mother made for him to the Russians, but then he realizes that she probably spent many pain-filled hours preparing them, so he only gives the Russians two.

Chapter 9 Paul travels back to the Front, asking about Kat and Albert, but nobody has heard of or from them. He reports to the Orderly Room and is asked about his leave; the sergeant-major knows the vibe of misery that Paul felt. Mller, Tjaden, Kat, and Kropp enter and the group is reunited by Paul's mother's cakes and jams, which are actually good since they're not military issue. Paul is informed that they are likely heading into Russia where there is apparently little fighting going on. The men polish and prepare for the journey. The Kaiser himself appears to send them off all of them are puffed and shiny. Paul notes that the Kaiser looks much smaller in real life than he does in pictures. The Kaiser distributes various Iron Crosses and the group, then marches off. Tjaden is struck that the Kaiser looks more or less like an ordinary man, and they discuss the belief that the Kaiser puts his pants on one leg at a time, just like they do. Albert then brings in the question of the one word "No" versus "Yes" in entering the war. The irony and ambiguity of the reason all of these people are dying is brought forward: "We are here to protect our fatherland. And the French are over there to protect their fatherland. Now, who's in the right?" (9.50) The discussion turns to how the war started one country offends another. Tjaden notes that he personally does not feel offended by France. The men talk about the real people who live in the warring countries; they are blacksmiths and shoemakers and laborersnot the politicos and wealth aggregators who are fighting this war ideologically and not with their own blood. The war glory of generals enters the conversation, and it becomes clear that there is no single uniting force behind the various wills. The men are bummed out by the fact that they must now return their lovely uniforms and go back to their old green drabs, as the uniforms were there just for the Kaiser's inspection. Instead of going straight to Russia, the men march through a forest where bodies are dangling from trees and brush. Several are naked, their clothes literally blown off of their bodies by the concussion of bombs. Other body parts lay in pieces, literally littering the forest floor. The men determine to report these bodies, many with fresh-dripping blood, to the next stretcher station. A patrol is sent to discover the current enemy position, and Paul

volunteers to go on it, in part to reconnect with the Front he has been gone from for seven weeks now. Machine gun fire makes Paul conscious of keeping down. A bomb lands near him, but it has not yet gone off. Paul is paralyzed in fear in the dark, his whereabouts purposefully unknown. Images of Russian prisoners run through his head and he sweats. He clings to the earth like a monkey clinging to its mother or a tree, waiting. He ducks to the sound of more missiles going off and then rationalizes that he "has only one life to lose" and blames his leave for his current softness. He raises himself and begins to slowly pull himself out of the small shell hole he has been cowering in. He hears voices and recognizes what he believes is Kat, talking and walking along. He is filled with warmth. Paul glides over the edge and snakes his way along, but rockets continue to hail around him, peppered with accompanying bullets. He is disoriented and realizes that crawling in the right direction is now a matter of life and death. A shell crashes and Paul finds himself in the middle of a large bombardment. Suddenly there is a flash and a clamor and, to his shock, a French soldier jumps into the shell hole in which Paul was crawling. Instinctively, Paul pulls out his dagger and, in savage animalistic fury, he stabs the Frenchman as showers of machine gun rattle around him. Paul pulls back and hears a gurgling it is the man, mercilessly still living. Paul feels his heart pounding, ready to spring on him again. But the man is dying. Paul can see him only faintly. Almost frozen, Paul stares at him in the trench. The bullets continue around him. Hours pass and morning light comes, but the man is still not dead he moves. The man is lying there with his hand on his chest he tries to raise his head and Paul feels empathy for the man, lying there with the enemy, waiting for death, suffering. Paul drops to his knees, suddenly feeling powerless over the man (Death is the ruler here) and tries to unbutton the man's vest, give him water, save him. The man tries instinctively to defend himself, but he cannot resist. The man groans and all Paul can do is wait. It takes hours. It's noon and Paul feels like his hunger is eating him. He fetches water for himself and gives some to the dying man. This is the first man Paul will have killed with his bare hands; the other men in this troop have already had their first kill, but this was painful for Paul and nothing like what he expected.

The dying man's every gasp tears through Paul's heart, stabbing him with an invisible dagger. Paul would give much to let this man stay alive. By about 3pm, though, the man is finally dead. Paul breathes freely again, but, for the first time truly studies the man's face and all that is implied by his person. He thinks about the man's wife, who will never know how exactly her husband was killed. Paul's emotional state gets worse he wants to know all about this man, his family, his children, what he can do now. He confesses to the corpse, "Comrade, I did not want to kill you *+ you were only an idea to me before, an abstraction *+ that called forth its appropriate response. It was that abstraction I stabbed. But now I see you are a man like me" (9.145). Paul begs forgiveness and offers twenty years off his life if the corpse will come to life. (Note that Paul doesn't plea to God here.) Finally, things are quiet on the Front. And calming down, Paul promises to write the man's wife. He takes the man's wallet, opens it, and learns about the man who has a wife and a little girl he will never see again. And Paul learns the man he killed was a printer named Gerard Duval. The day passes by and Paul calms down. Paul is exhausted and hungry and beginning to tremble with fear and fatigue. He knows he must creep back to camp, but is worried that his own comrades will mistake him for the enemy and shoot him. He calls out and there is silence. Nobody replies. Paul crawls out of the shell hole in which he made his first kill and, by luck, Paul sees something move in the wire that they laid previously. It is Kat and Albert, who have come out with a stretcher to look for him. They are shocked that he is not wounded. Paul does not mention Gerard that night. He feeds himself and sleeps. In the morning, he cannot hold it in any longer. His friends comfort him; Albert tells him he did the right thing. And Paul tells them that he doesn't understand what happened. Chapter 10 Paul believes he has been given a good job guarding a supply dump that is not yet empty. They are given a green light to eat from the supply tent and barter whatever is in it. Kat, Albert, Mller, Tjaden, and Detering are all there. They choose a concrete cellar to live in it's well protected with concrete walls, floor beds, and furnishings. Using their supply stores, they begin a mini industry of trade, eating, and sleeping. Almost magically, they find two baby suckling pigs they capture and kill them and make a hodgepodge, sumptuous meal for all of them.

Even guests come to the celebration, where they have uncovered a piano. The party stops suddenly when they realize that the enemy balloons have spotted smoke from their chimney and shelling begins, bombs suddenly dropping closer and closer to them. The roast is finally cooked when the bombs reach their grounds and begin to hit the building. The Saxon guests have stopped singing at the piano and the party has suddenly sobered up. The group realizes that they must escape the building, but not before Kat takes the suckling pigs with him; Paul grabs the other foodstuffs. They hide out back in their concrete cellar and take five hours to eat the full meal, throwing pig bones out the door. Unfortunately, the baby pig was not cooked deep enough and the men feel a war brewing inside their stomachs. The shells have all but destroyed the supply depot. For almost three weeks, the men loaf around, eat, smoke, and play. Paul reflects that "the town gradually vanishes under the shells and we lead a charmed life" (10.21). A week later, they are given orders to go back to the Front. As they travel in the Front direction, they are sent to evacuate a village where children clinging to their mother's hands silently pass. The village is silent until it is evacuated. The narrator notes that the French do not fire on villages occupied by civilians but as soon as the evacuation is done, the village is shelled heavily and brought to ruin. In the rain of those shells, suddenly Albert cries out he has been shot in the knee and falls in a ditch. Paul helps drag him away, fighting Albert's wishes to lie down and try and recover in the shell hole. They bind each other's wounds Paul was injured a bit, presumably by shrapnel, and he is bleeding. They crawl to a passing ambulance, take a tetanus needle from a lieutenant, load up, and hope for a ticket home. Darkly, Albert says that if they have to amputate his leg, he will commit suicide; he won't go through life a cripple. That night, they are taken to surgery (which Paul calls "the chopping block"). Paul has no trust in the surgeons and is determined not to receive chloroform (to knock him out so he doesn't feel the pain), even if he has to "crack their skulls." The surgeon pokes in and around Paul's wounds and he feels himself wincing in pain, maybe blacking out. He moves, forcing the orderlies to hold his arms down. The surgeon finally announces that Paul will have to have chloroform. At that moment, Paul stops moving and promises to keep still, that the cackling doctor will not have to chloroform him. Paul swears that

he will die before the surgeon will do such a thing. Paul squeezes hard on the grips until the surgeon finds and removes the shrapnel and throws it in a bucket, puts in him a plaster cast, and tells him he will be heading home. Paul bribes a guard with two cigars and the commitment is made to get Paul on the same train as Albert, heading back to home base in the morning. The men regret not being able to bring the red leather chairs and other booty they found in the supply store they were guarding. They are weak from the surgery, but on the train back to the hospital they find "snow white linen" for their bedding. The men are still muddy from the battlefield, though their nurse (who is a nun) tells them not to worry about it they will wash the sheets after. The train to home base begins to move. At night, Paul cannot sleep he needs to pee. He clambers out of bed the top bunk and crashes to the floor. A sister comes in and Albert tells her that Paul needs to go to the bathroom. Hugely embarrassed, Paul is given a bottle and, in a day or two, along with everyone else in the cabin, he is used to the process of relieving himself this way. The train travels slowly and the dead are unloaded at each stop. Paul wants to stick with Albert and knows he will be let off in Cologne Paul needs to look sicker than he is. Suddenly Paul fakes pain and the nun takes his temperature. He squeezes the mercury to 101.6 and gets to remain with Albert. At Catholic Hospital, they are in a large room together. The sisters are praying loudly and this prayer keeps waking up the men. They ask multiple times for them to close the door or pray more quietly. One sister says that prayer "is better than sleep" but the men aren't buying it. Finally Paul throws a bottle out the door toward the prayers (symbolism!) and it bursts into a thousand pieces. The prayer stops and an inspector angrily asks who threw the bottle. Josef Hamacher speaks up before Paul can say anything and takes the blame for the bottle. Paul is shocked when the inspector just nods and departs. Josef explains that he has a shooting license presumably he's a valuable sharpshooter and so he is "untouchable." In Josef's midst, Paul realizes that he "can risk anything." Eight men sit in a room recovering with Paul. One man is in very bad pain and calls out. Paul finally must ring the bell for a night nurse/sister who does not come. They ring again and nothing happens. The man's bandage is wet, the room is dark, and the men helpless as they wonder if the sister has fallen asleep. Josef asks if they should perhaps smash another bottle, but finally the

door opens and she is surprised to see the man in such pain. She binds him quickly and, as the man now looks close to death, the sister attends often. The sisters attend sporadically as Paul recovers. He notes that the man in pain is taken away, ashen, to The Dead Room where nobody seems to return from. Josef explains that The Dead or Dying Room is conveniently placed next to the morgue. The moved man's bed is re-occupied by another visitor who, himself, is taken away to the Dying Room a few days later. And then another. Another man, Peter, has a fever that spikes and they roll him toward the Dying Room. When he realizes where he is headed he tries to jump off the trolley. Feebly, he is pushed back down and they explain that they are just taking him to the bandaging ward. He swears to the other men in the room that he shall return Josef intones that, "Many a man has said that. Once a man is in there, he never comes through" (10.196). Paul vomits two days after his operation. His bones are broken badly and won't grow together. Two new soldiers arrive they have "flat feet" and the sadistic surgeon looks forward to operating on them. Josef explains that they are science experiments for the surgeon that those operated on end up with club feet. Josef details the damage the surgeons have done and encourages the new arrivals to fight any effort of the surgeons to "fix their flat feet." Two young fellows are lectured by the surgeon long enough so that they give in. They accept the "club foot surgery" out of personal weakness against being able to just say no. They return with bandaged feet, asleep. Albert is in bad shape after his leg is amputated. He swears suicide the first chance he gets. Two blind men are brought into the room; one of them also tries to kill himself as fast as he can, so aggressively that the sisters won't feed him with a knife anywhere nearby. The Death Room is filling up with more dying wounded. Shockingly, one day the door flies open and a healthy Peter returns to Paul's room seemingly recovered, a survivor of the Dead Room. Even Josef admits this is the first time he'd seen this happen. Gradually, a few men begin to stand. Paul gets crutches and walks down rows, seeing spine and head wounds, double amputations, jaw wounds, gas cases, nose, ear, and neck wounds, wounds in joints, testicles, intestines. He notes that, "Here a man realizes for the first time in how many places a man can get hit" (10.209). Tetanus and other infections take lives.

The shattered bodies pile up. Paul waxes philosophically about how little he knows or feels beyond killing and being killed. After a few weeks of recovery, Paul attends physical therapy for his arm and leg. Albert's amputated stump has healed well but he is silent, dark. Paul gets convalescent leave. His mother is much worse than when he saw her last time. Paul is sent to the base and then back to the Front again. Chapter 11 Paul waxes about death coming faster, easier, and more terribly now at this stage of the war. The desperate clinging to life gets more intense men eat faster, more violently and more urgently, as if sucking in every last second before the death that they know will come to them, hits. He relates their low resources and frailties to that of "a polar expedition." Paul notes how fragile their army has become, how much damage each shell is now able to do to them versus what it was like a year ago. He details Detering's story he went crazy, stealing a cherry blossom to take home. Then he went AWOL (Absent Without Official Leave), was captured, court-martialed, and never heard from again. Paul tells of other deaths and injuries. Their front line is no longer "iron" it is now elastic, with many enemy able to slip through. Berger is wounded dies in gruesome fashion. He was sympathetic to a messenger dog that was shot. He wanted to run and euthanize the suffering dog, but the other men warned him not to as it's too dangerous. Berger didn't listen; he ran to shoot the dog, and was shot in the pelvis in the process. The medic that rescued him took a bullet in the cheek. Mller is killed with a bullet in the stomach, suffering 30 minutes in huge pain while highly conscious. Before death, he handed Paul his affects. They bury him, but Paul knows that the resting place will soon be disturbed as masses of fresh American and British recruits arrive in droves across the line. The troop is emaciated, starving, and sick. Their food is so polluted with germs that they all just learn to live with perpetual dysentery (which causes diarrhea) "It is not much sense pulling up one's trousers again" (11.33). Their artillery is fired out and worn, their horses dead. Kat intones, "Germany ought to be empty soon." Morale has turned to misery and Paul talks of giving up hope soon. The men lose faith is lost in all authority figures, even in doctors to render fair, human appraisals of the human condition.

The final stages of the war are symbolized by the newfound tank effort "The attacking lines of the enemy infantry are men like ourselves; but these tanks are machines, their caterpillars run on as endless as the war *+ they roll without feeling" (11.41). In this sense, the machine has won. Dehumanization is almost complete. Paul's comment is "Shells, gas clouds, and flotillas of tanks shattering, starvation, death. Dysentery, influenza, typhus murder, burning, death. Trenches, hospitals, the common grave there are no other possibilities" (11.42-4). Commander Bertinck dies at the hands of flame-throwers, bravely fighting his way out of a trench, shooting at the enemy through the flames. Even shot, he continues to fire at them. The hit flamethrower sinks and Bertinck's flames engulf him. Leer dies with a bullet to the chest and "like an emptying tube, after a couple of minutes he collapses" (11.48). Paul narrates, "What use is it to him now that he was such a good mathematician at school?" Months pass through the summer of 1918 as Paul watches his army slowly annihilated, every man knowing that Germany is losing the war. But the generals still push the men to fight. Paul repeats three times, as if in a kind of odd prayer, "Summer of 1918," with various descriptive flowery language. He is sensing the demise of the war, of hope, of himself. Tons of airplanes now dominate battle. For every German, there are five American and British planes. For every hungry, wretched German are five American fresh faces. Food, hope, clothing, guns all share the same mismatches. One day Kat falls, shot in the shin. Paul panics, trying to comfort him but then realizes that the wound is not so bad. Kat is light and Paul determines to carry him to safety. Under enormous labor, Paul slings him over his shoulder and carries him for what seems to be miles. They talk as they go, blood dripping from Kat's wounds to the ground in front of Paul as he runs and sweats. They rest a few times along the way, feeling their strength dwindle, reflecting on past glories of goose-stealing and Paul's first newbie recruit wound, now three years ago. Paul anguishes at the notion of Kat being "taken from him," the crushing loneliness of that feeling. They muse about reconvening during peacetime, what they could do together after the war. Paul can't fathom not seeing him again if Kat is sent home from the war. Paul uses that fear to give him strength to carry Kat the rest of the way to the triage area. He falls, setting Kat down. The orderly looks at

Paul, panting, and says blankly, "You might have spared yourself that [effort]" (11.87). Paul is confused says that he has just been hit in the shin. The orderly says, "That as well." Paul steps backward and realizes that somewhere along the way on this last run, Kat was shot in the head and is dead. Paul stands slowly. The orderly gives him Kat's things. Paul can't feel his feet, his emotions seeming to fade away into the drivel of army regulations that categorize this death mechanically. He narrates, "Then I know nothing more."

Chapter 12 Paul notes that not many old-timers are left. Peace talks never really happen. He has fourteen days' rest from swallowing gas and he is contemplative. He is flooded by feelings "greed of life, love of home, yearning of the blood, intoxication of deliverance" (12.4). He knows that if he and his fellow soldiers return home now, there will be no glory, that he will be isolated and not understood. He stands up bravely after this train of thought, as if now fully ready to face Death, to lose to it: "Let the months and years come, they bring me nothing more *+ I am so alone, and so without hope that I can confront them without fear" (12.10). The last paragraphs of the book are just a must-read: [Paul] fell in October 1918, on a day that was so quiet and still on the whole front, that the army report confined itself to the single sentence: All quiet on the Western Front. He had fallen forward and lay on the earth as though sleeping. Turning him over one saw that he could not have suffered long; his face had an expression of calm, as though almost glad the end had come. The Western Front during World War I It would be hard to conceive of a more bleak and miserable existence than that of a soldier on the front lines of a brutal early 20th-century-style war, fighting for the losing team. The setting in All Quiet on the Western Front is almost entirely in and around the battlefield of the war. For our hero and narrator, Paul, almost nothing else exists. Paul and his compatriots move back and forth from camps to the front lines. The camps often involve a good deal more of comfort and ease, though the sounds of war are always prevalent. In these camps the soldiers form rituals, such as placing their wooden toilet-boxes in a circle out in the open air so that they might chat away while taking care of other business. For Paul and his friends, time spent in the camps usually means finding and stealing some


geese to roast or playing cards or chatting about the meaninglessness of this war. Trench life is abysmal. The constant pounding of bombs can last for days, thundering in the soldiers' ears. Crusty, moldy bread forms the only source of nutrition, and water is scarce. It is not uncommon for soldiers to go mad, confined to these tiny dugouts while all hell breaks loose above them. And then there are the rats. Oh the rats. Brazen, starving rats who will crawl on your face at night in the hopes of gnawing on a piece of molding bread that you are hiding in your pillow for breakfast. Sometimes, the rats get so hungry that they attack the trenches by the hundreds. The soldiers have to kill them, just as they have to kill the enemy soldiers. Trench life is blood and mud and noise, assaulting all five senses. Paul's home is heaven compared to trench life. He visits home on leave and is sent home to convalesce. His old bedroom is quiet, soft, warm, personal, and comforting. There, he finds a comfortable bed with real bedding, books the likes of which he hasn't seen in months, food (rationed though it may be), and quiet. However, Paul now feels out of place at home and grows to miss his "family" of soldiers, even in spite of the amenities and comforts and beer of his hometown. We also get to explore a number of hospital settings in this novel. Each time we are excited for our protagonist to finally reach a safe place, and each time we are disappointed by what he finds in these hospitals. They are not safe, welcoming, or warm operations. Whether it's a make-shift hospital near the front lines, a spotless train-hospital staffed by Red Cross nurses, or a fancy Catholic hospital, Paul finds similar things in each: incompetent nurses, unfeeling orderlies, greedy attendants, and surgeons with odd fetishes. Even the process of recovery becomes a dangerous game one has to play, and everyone must look out for himself. The most peaceful and vibrant setting is a makeshift home that Paul and his friends fashion out of a basement in an abandoned town. They are sent to guard a supply dump, and they are able to live off of the supplies they find. They pull luxurious bedding and furniture from the empty houses in town and create a tiny but opulent paradise in their basement. They cook a feast of suckling pig, carrots, peas, cauliflower, and potato cakes; they drink cognac, rum, and coffee; and they smokes cigars and cigarettes. They tease one another and live in great comfort for a little while. This basement is the closest thing to a paradise or to a dream realized that the soldiers find. Here, they are far from enemy lines, and they have the one thing that they love the most (food) in abundance. Do you think this "paradise" is really a paradise, or is there something a little strange about it? Would you consider this

particular setting to be peaceful? Characterization Major Themes The Horror of War The overriding theme of All Quiet on the Western Front is the terrible brutality of war, which informs every scene in the novel. Whereas war novels before All Quiet on the Western Front tended to romanticize what war was like, emphasizing ideas such as glory, honor, patriotic duty, and adventure, All Quiet on the Western Front sets out to portray war as it was actually experienced, replacing the romantic picture of glory and heroism with a decidedly unromantic vision of fear, meaninglessness, and butchery. In many ways, World War I demanded this depiction more than any war before itit completely altered mankinds conception of military conflict with its catastrophic levels of carnage and violence, its battles that lasted for months, and its gruesome new technological advancements (e.g., machine guns, poison gas, trenches) that made killing easier and more impersonal than ever before. Remarques novel dramatizes these aspects of World War I and portrays the mind-numbing terror and savagery of war with a relentless focus on the physical and psychological damage that it occasions. At the end of the novel, almost every major character is dead, epitomizing the wars devastating effect on the generation of young men who were forced to fight it. The Effect of War on the Soldier Because All Quiet on the Western Front is set among soldiers fighting on the front, one of its main focuses is the ruinous effect that war has on the soldiers who fight it. These men are subject to constant physical danger, as they could literally be blown to pieces at any moment. This intense physical threat also serves as an unceasing attack on the nerves, forcing soldiers to cope with primal, instinctive fear during every waking moment. Additionally, the soldiers are forced to live in appalling conditionsin filthy, waterlogged ditches full of rats and decaying corpses and infested with lice. They frequently go without food and sleep, adequate clothing, or sufficient medical care. They are forced, moreover, to deal with the frequent, sudden deaths of their close friends and comrades, often in close proximity and in extremely violent fashion. Remarque portrays the overall effect of these conditions as a crippling overload of panic and despair. The only way for soldiers to survive is to disconnect themselves from their feelings, suppressing their emotions and accepting the conditions of their lives. In Remarques view, this emotional disconnection has a hugely destructive impact on a soldiers humanity; Paul, for instance, becomes unable to imagine a future without the war and unable to remember how he felt in the past. He also loses his ability to speak to his family. Soldiers no longer pause to mourn fallen friends and comrades; when Kemmerich is on his deathbed, at the beginning of the novel, the most pressing question among his friends

is who will inherit his boots. Among the living soldiers, however, Remarque portrays intense bonds of loyalty and friendship that spring up as a result of the shared experience of war. These feelings are the only romanticized element of the novel and are virtually the only emotions that preserve the soldiers fundamental humanity. Comradeship Throughout all the horrifying pictures of death and inhumanity, Remarque does scatter a redeeming quality: comradeship. When Paul and his friends waylay Himmelstoss and beat on him, we laugh because he deserves it and they are only giving him his due. As time goes by, however, the pictures of camaraderie relieve the terrible descriptions of front line assaults and death, and they provide a bright light in a place of such terrible darkness. A young recruit becomes gun-shy in his first battle when a rocket fires and explosions begin. He creeps over to Paul and buries his head in Paul's chest and arms, and Paul kindly, gently, tells him that he will get used to it (Chapter 4). Perhaps the two most amazing scenes of humanity and caring can be found in the story of the goose roasting and the battle where his comrades' voices cause Paul to regain his nerve. In Chapter 5, Paul and Kat have captured a goose and are roasting it late at night. Paul says, "We don't talk much, but I believe we have a more complete communion with one another than even lovers have. We are two men, two minute sparks of life; outside is the night and the circle of death." As he watches Kat roasting the goose and hears his voice, it brings Paul peace and reassurance. Over and over again, in scenes of battle and scenes of rest, we see the comradeship of this tiny group of men. Even though Paul counts their losses at various points, he always considers their close relationship and attempts to keep them together to help each other. In Chapter 9, when Paul is alone in the trench, he loses his nerve and his direction and is afraid he will die. Instead, he hears the voices of his friends: "I belong to them and they to me; we all share the same fear and the same life; we are nearer than lovers, in a simpler, a harder way; I could bury my face in them in these voices, these words that have saved me and will stand by me." There is a grace here, in the face of all sorrow and hopelessness, a grace that occurs when men realize their humanity and their reliance on others. Through thick and thin, battle and rest, horror and hopelessness, these men hold each other up. Finally, Paul has only Kat and he loses even this friend and father-figure in Chapter 11. Kat's death is so overwhelming and so final that we do not hear Paul's reaction; we only see him break down in the face of it. There is such final irony in the medic's question about whether they are related. This man, this hero, this father, this life has been closer to Paul than his own blood relatives and yet Paul must say, "No, we are not related." It is the final stunning blow before Paul must go on alone. Man's Inhumanity to Man Paul and his friends become so inured to death and horror all around them

that the inhumanity and atrocities of war become part of everyday life. Here is where Remarque is at his greatest: in his description of the true horror and paralyzing fear at the front. He describes the atrocities, the terrible consequences of weapons of mass destruction, and how soldiers become hardened to death and its onslaught of sensory perceptions during battle. Atrocities are simply a part of the inhumane business of war. In Chapter 6, Paul and his men come across soldiers whose noses are cut off and eyes poked out with their own saw bayonets. Their mouths and noses are stuffed with sawdust so they suffocate. This constant view of death causes the soldiers to fight back like insensible animals. They use spades to cleave faces in two and jab bayonets into the backs of any enemy who is too slow to get away. Their callousness is contrasted with the reaction of the new recruits who sob, tremble, and give in to front-line madness described over and over again in scenes of the front. Remarque vividly recounts the horror of constant death as Paul comes upon scenes of destruction. In Chapter 6, he sees a Frenchman who dies under German fire. The man's body collapses, hands suspended, and then his body drops away with only the stumps of arms and hands hanging in the wire and the rest of his body on the ground. They later come upon a scene with dead bodies whose bellies are swollen like balloons. "They hiss, belch, and make movements. The gases in them make noises." The smell of blood and putrefaction is overwhelming and causes many of Paul's company to be nauseated and retch. The assault on the senses is overwhelming. They later pile the dead in a shell hole with "three layers so far." This horrifying picture is grimly elaborated on in Chapter 9 when they pass through a forest where there are bodies of victims of trench mortars. It is a "forest of the dead." Parts of naked bodies are hanging in trees, and Paul brutally describes pieces of arms here and half of a naked body there. Friendship The one element that retains its positive value in the novel is friendship between the comrades. A difference in generation developed, and ties between the young soldiers solidified. Carl Zuckmayer, a playwright and friend of Remarque, writes in A Part of Myself, "The heroic gestures of the volunteers was barred to Erich Maria Remarque and his age group; they had to sweat out their normal time in school and then be unwillingly drafted, drilled, and harassed, and they went into the field without illusions, for they had some inkling of the horrors that awaited them there. For us the brief training period was a strenuous but also an amusing transition, a great joke, much as if we were playing parts in a highly realistic military comedy." Brutality of war

Remarque writes in the epigraph that his book will describe the men who were "destroyed by the war," and after that All Quiet on the Western Front is a nearly ceaseless exploration of the destructive properties of The Great War. Included are two detailed chapters about fighting at the front and in the trenches (Chapters Four and Six). Remarque smashes whatever romantic preconceptions the reader may have about combat in his descriptions of ratinfestation, starvation, nerve attacks, shell-shock, and inclement weather--to say nothing for actual combat and the deadly zone of no-man's-land between enemy trenches. The reader is also introduced to all the new forms of assault World War I developed--tanks, airplanes, machine guns, more accurate artillery bombardment, and poisonous gas. The consequences of war are given due consideration--Paul watches friends die, sees dislocated body parts, and tours a hospital of the wounded. Each time Paul counts the thinning ranks of his company, we are reminded that all the fighting is only over a small piece of land--a few hundred yards or less--and that, very soon, the fighting will renew over whatever was gained or lost. Point of View First Person (Main) and Third-Person Objective All quiet on the Westen Front is told from the perspective of the protagonist (Paul)[First Person Narration] The perception is limited since we only experience his feelings, his thoughts and opinions that he has about the secondary characters within the story *Kat, Tajden, Kemmrich, Himmeltoss etc+ Uses I or We indicating First Person Narration Paul explains situations about his life experience, while trying to survive in this brutal war. He explains his pain when telling the stories of the war [gore/violence] Repetition of how pointless war is and constantly describing the inhumanity of war The final two paragraphs are in Third-Person (Objective) narration making it dramatic and creating emphasis on Pauls death. Quote He fell in October 1918, on a day that was so quiet and still on the whole front, that the army report confined itself to the single sentence: All quiet on the Western Front. He had fallen forward and lay on the earth as though sleeping. Turning him over one saw that he could not have suffered long; his face had an expression of calm, as though almost glad the end had come.


Main Literary Devices

Character vs. Self Character vs. Character Character vs. Nature Character vs. Humor "Then [the sergeant major] steams off with Himmelstoss in his wake." "My arms have grown wings and I'm almost afraid of going up into the sky, as though I held a couple of captive balloons in my fists." Personification "The wind plays with our hair; it plays with our words and thoughts." "Darknesses blacker than the night rush on us with giant strides, over us and away." "Over us Chance hovers." Euphemism "At the same time he ventilates his backside." "All at once he remembers his school days and finishes hastily: 'He wants to leave the room, sister.'" Imagery "To no man does the earth mean so much as to the soldier. When he presses himself down upon her long and powerfully, when he buries his face and his limbs deep in her from the fear of death by shell-fire, then she is his only friend, his brother, his mother; he stifles his terror and his cries in her silence and her security; she shelters him and releases him for ten seconds to live, to run, ten seconds of life; receives him again and often forever." "The front is a cage in which we must await fearfully whatever may happen." "I recognize the characteristic outline of the Dolbenberg, a jagged comb, springing up precipitously from the limits of the forests." Repetition "Earth! Earth! Earth!" "Dawn approaches without anything happening only the everlasting, nerve-wracking roll behind the enemy lines, trains, trains, lorries, lorries; but what are they concentrating?" Antithesis "A man dreams of a miracle and wakes up to loaves of bread." "It is as though formerly we were coins of different provinces; and now we are melted down, and all bear the same stamp." Parallel construction "My feet begin to move forward in my boots, I go quicker, I run." "The wood vanishes, it is pounded, crushed, torn to pieces." "No longer do we lie helpless, waiting on the scaffold, we can destroy and kill, to save ourselves, to save ourselves and to be revenged." Simile "Like a big, soft jelly-fish, [gas] floats into our shell-hole and lolls there

obscenely." "He had collapsed like a rotten tree." Metaphor "When Kat stands in front of the hut and says: 'There'll be a bombardment,' that is merely his own opinion; but if he says it here, then the sentence has the sharpness of a bayonet in the moonlight, it cuts clean through the thought, it thrusts nearer and speaks to this unknown thing that is awakened in us, a dark meaning 'There'll be a bombardment.'" "Immediately a second [searchlight] is beside him, a black insect is caught between them and tries to escape the airman." "I don't know whether it is morning or evening, I lie in the pale cradle of the twilight, and listen for soft words which will come, soft and near am I crying?" Liturgical prose "Our being, almost utterly carried away by the fury of the storm, streams back through our hands from thee, and we, thy redeemed ones, bury ourselves in thee, and through the long minutes in a mute agony of hope bite into thee with our lips!" "The evening benediction begins." Apostrophe ". . . dark, musty platoon huts, with the iron bedsteads, the chequered bedding, the lockers and the stools! Even you can become the object of desire." "Ah! Mother, Mother! You still think I am a child why can I not put my head in your lap and weep?" Allusion "The gun emplacements are camouflaged with bushes against aerial observation, and look like a kind of military Feast of the Tabernacles." "The guns and the wagons float past the dim background of the moonlit landscape, the riders in their steel helmets resemble knights of a forgotten time; it is strangely beautiful and arresting." Hyperbole "They are more to me than life, these voices, they are more than motherliness and more than fear; they are the strongest, most comforting things there is anywhere: they are the voices of my comrades." "In the evening we are hauled on to the chopping-block." Rhetorical question "Why have I always to be strong and self-controlled?" "If one wants to appraise it, it is at once heroic and banal but who wants to do that?" break Aphorism "No soldier outlives a thousand chances." ". . . terror can be endured so long as a man simply ducks but it kills, if a

man thinks about it." Symbolism "The national feeling of the tommy resolves itself into this here he is." "I pass over the bridge, I look right and left; the water is as full of weeds as ever." Foreshadowing "'I can sleep enough later,' she says. . . . Her face is a white gleam in the darkness." "On the landing I stumble over my pack, which lies there already made up because I have to leave early in the morning." Doggerel "Give 'em all the same grub and all the same pay." "And the war would be over and done in a day." Short utterances "It is not fear." "Thirty-two men." "Life is short." Cause and effect "Our faces are neither paler nor more flushed than usual; they are not more tense nor more flabby and yet they are changed." "They have taken us farther back than usual to a field depot so that we can be re-organized." Irony "The shells begin to hiss like safety-valves heavy fire . . . ." ". . . a high double wall of yellow, unpolished, brand-new coffins. They still smell of resin, and pine, and the forest." Appositive "Thus momentarily we have the two things a soldier needs for contentment: good food and rest.' "I have killed the printer, Grard Duval." Caesura "It is all a matter of habit even the front-line." "The days, the weeks, the years out here shall come back again, and our dead comrades shall then stand up again and march with us, our heads shall be clear, we shall have a purpose, and so we shall march, our dead comrades beside us, the year at the Front behind us against whom, against whom?" "Pen-holders, a shell as a paper-weight, the ink-well here nothing is changed." Onomatopoeia "The man gurgles." ". . . smash through the johnnies and then there will be peace." "'Heathen,' she chirps but shuts the door all the same." Alliteration "The satisfaction of months shines in his dull pig's eyes as he spits out: 'Dirty

hound!'" "What would become of us if everything that happens out there were quite clear to us?" Euphony "Now red points glow in every face. They comfort me: it looks as though there were little windows in dark village cottages saying that behind them are rooms full of peace." "Outside the window the wind blows and the chestnut trees rustle." Cacophony "But first you have to give the Froggies a good hiding." "The storm lashes us, out of the confusion of grey and yellow the hail of splinters whips forth the child-like cries of the wounded, and in the night shattered life groans painfully into silence." Slang "And now get on with it, you old blubber-sticker, and don't you miscount either." "You get off scot free, of course." "That cooked his goose." "Kat has lost all his fun since we have been here, which is bad, for Kat is an old front-hog, and can smell what is coming." Symbolism Kemmerichs Boots All Quiet on the Western Front doesnt employ a great deal of symbolism, but one important symbol in the novel is Kemmerichs boots. Kemmerichs high, supple boots are passed from soldier to soldier as each owner dies in sequence. Kemmerich himself took them from the corpse of a dead airman, and as Kemmerich lies on his own deathbed, Mller immediately begins maneuvering to receive the boots. Paul brings them to Mller after Kemmerich dies and inherits them himself when Mller is shot to death later in the novel. In this way, the boots represent the cheapness of human life in the war. A good pair of boots is more valuableand more durablethan a human life. The question of who will inherit them continually overshadows their owners deaths. The boots also symbolize the necessary pragmatism that a soldier must have. One cannot yield to ones emotions amid the devastation of the war; rather, one must block out grief and despair like a machine. Critical Approach Essential Questions

1. Remarque's novel presents nature in many moods and for many purposes. Discuss Remarque's use of nature throughout the novel, using examples when possible. 2. This World War I novel is a story of powerful bonding among men. Using

examples from the book, explain how Remarque develops his idea of comradeship in the face of battle. 3. Study the few places where women enter Remarque's novel. What role do they play in his book? 4. From the very title of the novel through the grim ending, Remarque uses irony. Using several examples from the myriad choices, explain his use of irony in the novel. 5. Discuss Remarque's extensive use of simile, particularly in comparing the battlefield with nature. 6. The progress of the war can be seen though the author's descriptions of the few comforts of the front. Paul and his friends are constantly occupied with the search for food, shelter, and the creature comforts. How can the reader follow the progress of the war through their search? 7. Was Paul's death at the end of the novel a blessing or a tragedy? Take a stand and defend your opinion based on the incidents of the novel. 8. Using specific examples from the novel, show how Remarque's descriptions of life at the front seem to reduce humans to animals. http://www.shmoop.com/all-quiet-on-western-front/narrator-point-of-view.html http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/allquiet/ http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/all-quiet-on-the-western-front/booksummary.html

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