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All Quiet on the Western Front Chapter SummaryBy: Jesse CodyAll Quiet on the Western Front is an anti-war novel from the opening chapters. Many critics of the novel in the early days after the publication of the novel blamed Remarque for writing for shock value. They did not want to believe his novel represented the truth about World War I. In many ways, such people were like Paul's schoolmaster, Kantorek. They wanted to cling to classical, romantic notions of war. However, Remarque wrote his novel specifically to shatter those idealistic illusions. Yes, he wrote to shock, but he also wrote to educate.The young teenage men who enlisted in the army on both sides often never recovered from their horrific experiences.
They returned home with shattered minds and shattered bodies to an impoverished, ravaged civilian population that often regarded them as unpleasant reminders of a war they wanted to forget. Many civilians were unable to believe that the soldiers suffered horrors far greater than what they had suffered. Many veterans could not talk about their experiences because they were so unspeakable. They were the victims, but they were also the killers. What had been done to them, they had done to others as well. There are a lot of reasons that the generation of men who entered their young adulthood during the war is called "the lost generation."The Great War seemed utterly senseless.
Countries slid unknowingly into a conflict they thought would end quickly. They thought the conflict would follow the classical concept of warfare. They were utterly wrong. There was a strict disjunction between the romance of fighting for honor and pride and the nasty, unbelievable wholesale butchery that actually happened. Hundreds and thousands of men died to win a few yards of land only to lose it again in another battle. Once the death toll neared unbelievable proportions, the war continued because civilians and soldiers demanded some justification for the slaughter and the suffering. The stalemate lasted over four years.It is difficult to estimate the scale of The Great War's casualties.
Many of the dead were never buried in marked graves. They lay and rotted in the trenches or in the No Man's Land between the trenches. Historians estimate that between nine and twelve million soldiers died in action. Others died from complications from wounds or from disease. Millions more lost arms, legs, or suffered from disfiguring facial wounds. Millions of civilians were killed or starved to death. Many suffered disfiguring wounds from being in the wrong place at the wrong time.Although World War II overshadows World War I, the first World War made the second possible. In some ways, the first war was worse than the second.
Before The Great War, no one had any idea what modern warfare meant. The Great War heralded a different kind of fighting. Soldiers rarely saw their enemies face to face when they died. The very distance made the killing easier. On both sides of the conflict, propaganda denied the humanity of the enemy, thus making the killing and maiming more acceptable. Both sides raced to find new, more horrific ways to kill and maim one another. People had a better idea of what to expect when the second war started.No one expected The Great War to be as terrible as it was.
Powerful men with their pride and their honor at stake chose to throw away the lives of millions rather than call an end to the stalemate of The Great War. All Quiet on the Western Front is a protest against the betrayal by older, powerful men of the younger, naive generation. Young men enlisted believing they were embarking on an exciting adventure to fight for glory and honor. They thought they would be home by Christmas.All Quiet on the Western Front - Chapters 1-2SummaryPaul and the other members of the Second Company are resting after being relieved from the front lines. When they went to the front, their company contained one hundred and fifty men. Only eighty returned. The quartermaster requested rations for a full company, but on the last day, they suffered a heavy attack.
The surviving men receive a double ration of food and tobacco.Paul, Leer, Muller, and Kropp are all nineteen years old. They are all from the same class in school, and they all enlisted voluntarily. Tjaden is the same age, but he is a locksmith. He eats voraciously, but remains thin as a rail. Haie Westhus, also the same age, is an enormously built peat-digger. Detering is a peasant with a wife at home.
Katczinksy is the unofficial leader of Paul's small group of comrades. He is a cunning man of forty years of age.Paul remembers that they were embarrassed to use the general latrines when they were recruits. Now, they are a pleasure. Every soldier is intimately acquainted with his stomach and intestines. "Latrine humor" offers the most succinct expression for joy, indignation, and anger. The men settle down to rest, smoke, and play cards. They do not talk about their narrow survival during their last trip to the front. Kemmerich, one of Paul's classmates and a member of the Second Company, is in the hospital with a thigh wound.Paul and his classmates' schoolmaster, Kantorek, urged them to enlist as volunteers to prove their patriotism.
Joseph Behm did not want to go, but eventually he gave in to Kantorek's unrelenting pressure. He was one of the first to die, and his death was particularly horrible. With Behm's death, Paul and his classmates lost their innocent trust in figures of authority. Kantorek often writes letters to them filled with the empty phrases of patriotic fervor.They go to see Kemmerich, who is unaware that his leg has been amputated. Paul discerns from his sallow skin that Kemmerich will not live long. Muller wants Kemmerich's boots, but Paul subtly discourages him from pressing on the matter.
They will have to keep watch until Kemmerich passes on and take the boots before the orderlies steal them. Paul bribes an orderly with cigarettes to give Kemmerich some morphine for the pain.Paul and the other young men of his generation were cut off from life just as they had begun to love it. The older soldiers have jobs and families to which they can return after the war. They will forget the trenches and the death, but the young men have nothing definite to which they can set their sights. Their past lives are vague, unreal dreams.During the training, Paul and his classmates learned that classical patriotism requires the loss of individuality and personality, a sacrifice that civilians do not require of even the lowest class of servants. Corporal Himmelstoss, formerly a postman, trained Paul's platoon. He is a small, petty man who relentlessly humiliated his recruits, especially Paul, Tjaden, Westhus, and Kropp.
Eventually, Paul and the others learned to balk Himmelstoss's authority without outright defiance. Paul knows that the humiliation and the arbitrary discipline toughened him and his friends. Otherwise, the front lines would have made them go insane.Paul attends Kemmerich's death throes. He lies to his friend, and assures him that he will get well and return home. Kemmerich knows that his leg is gone, and Paul tries to cheer him with the advances in the construction of artificial limbs. Kemmerich tells Paul to give his boots to Muller.
Kemmerich begins to cry silently and refuses to respond to Paul's attempts at conversation. He dies within minutes, and Paul takes his boots to Muller. CommentaryBefore World War I, wars generally did not involve non- stop fighting over a period of years. Often, the armies were comprised of hired mercenaries, or professionals who fought seasonally. The opening of the novel portrays a very different picture. The soldiers are volunteers or conscripts. The army has become an expression of patriotic duty, not a career.
Paul and his classmates enlisted because their schoolmaster, Kantorek, pressured them to do their duty by their country. Outside the classroom, young men of their age faced ostracism and condemnation from society for being cowards if they did not join the war effort as volunteers. In England, able- bodied men of age faced similar pressure to join the army.World War I was an expression of nationalism, a form of political ideology that swept Europe during the nineteenth century. The citizen was expected to give unquestioning loyalty to the state. Unfortunately, the romantic ideals of the nineteenth century were at odds with the reality of modern trench warfare. Paul and classmates are the tragic victims of this disjunction between the idealism and the reality of The Great War.The opening chapters of the novel serve to introduce details about the reality of the war. Nearly half of the Second Company was killed or wounded during the last tour of duty on the front.
Paul reports this fact matter of factly in his narrative. He expresses no surprise. Therefore, such heavy, sudden casualties are very common on the front. The cook's main concern is not that seventy men have been injured or killed, but whether he should dole out the rations for a full company to the remaining survivors. This is also the primary concern of the soldiers. The message inherent in the opening scenes to the novel is that massive carnage is an everyday occurrence in trench warfare. Therefore, the participants are desensitized to the violence, death, and destruction around them.Kemmerich's death extends the criticism of romantic illusions about the war.
It also highlights the fact that soldiers faced a lot of dangers, not merely enemy fire. Muller describes Kemmerich's wound as a "blighty," a non- lethal wound that keeps the soldier out of combat for a while. Such wounds were considered a boon to receive because they mean a break from the miserable conditions of trench warfare. The sheer number of wounds placed a huge strain on the medical supplies. No country that entered The Great War was prepared for a prolonged conflict involving hundreds of thousands of injuries. Moreover, the conditions on the battlefield were unbelievably unsanitary.
And antibiotics had not yet been discovered. Therefore, slight wounds could easily become infected with lethal bacteria. Gangrene was a constant problem that led to the amputation of limbs after relatively light wounds. Millions of men were maimed for life in the war, and many lost more than one limb.Kemmerich's death is utterly senseless. He dies from a relatively light wound, and there is no glory in his death. It is merely ugly and pointless. His meaningless death shatters the romantic rhetoric in Kantorek's patriotic phrases.
There is no honor in warfare. Moreover, there is no room for refined notions of honor. Muller needs Kemmerich's boots. It is not that he or any of the other survivors is not affected, but they cannot dwell on sentimental grief. Life on the front is dangerous, ugly, dirty, and miserable. The soldiers do not have adequate food and clothing, so the day to day matters of survival take precedence over sentimentality. They cannot afford to do otherwise.
If they dwelled on every friend's death, they would invite madness.All Quiet on the Western Front - Chapter 3SummaryMore than twenty of the reinforcements for the Second Company are new recruits. They are all around seventeen years old. Kat gives one of the new recruits some beans he acquired by bribing the company's cook. He warns the boy to bring tobacco next time as payment for the food. Kat's ability to scrounge extra food and provisions amazes Paul. Kat is a cobbler by trade, but he has an uncanny knack for all manner of things.Kat believes that if every soldier got the same food and the same pay, the war would end quickly. Kropp proposes that the declaration of wars should be conducted like a festival.
He wishes the generals and national leaders would battle one another with clubs in an open arena. The country with the last surviving man wins the war.Paul and his friends remember the recruits' barracks with longing now. Even Himmelstoss's petty humiliations seem idyllic in comparison to the actual practice of war. They muse that Himmelstoss must have been different as a postman. They wonder why he is such a bully as a drill sergeant. Kat replies that Himmelstoss is like a lot of other men. He remarks that even a dog trained to eat potatoes will snap at meat given the opportunity.
Men are the same when they are given the opportunity to have a little authority. Every man is a beast underneath all his manners and customs. The army is based on one man having more power over another man. Kat thinks the problem is that they have too much power. Civilians are not permitted to torment others the way men torment one another in the army. The irony of the drills is that they do not exist on the front line. They exist a few miles behind it. Tjaden arrives and excitedly reports that Himmelstoss is coming to the front.Tjaden has a grudge against Himmelstoss.
Tjaden is a bed wetter, and Himmelstoss set out to break him of his "lazy" habit. He found another bed wetter, Kindervater, and forced them to sleep in the same bunk bed. Every night, they traded places. The one on the bottom was drenched by the other's urine during the night. The problem was not laziness, but bad health, so the ploy did not work. Often, the man assigned to the bottom slept on the floor, frequently catching a cold.Haie, Paul, Kropp, and Tjaden had their revenge on Himmelstoss once.
They lay in wait for him one night on his return from his favorite pub. They threw a bed cover over his head, and Haie punched him senseless. They stripped him of his pants and took turns lashing him with a whip, muffling his shouts with a pillow. Afterwards, they slipped away, and Himmelstoss never who gave him the beating. CommentaryPaul and his friends conclude that the army and warfare function on an imbalance of power. Those with more authority enjoy the luxuries of greater power. Kat concludes that if everyone received the same pay and the same food, the war would end quickly.
However, not everyone suffers equally. Common soldiers receive such inadequate food and clothing that they must steal to survive.The difference in amenities between common soldiers and officers, between lesser officers and greater officers, facilitates the prolongation of the war. If they all suffered equally, then they would identify more completely with one another through their experiences. However, they do not fraternize with one another. One of the purposes of maintaining the imbalance of power and suffering in an army is to create a situation in which one man can order another to perform an action that may cost his life. This is the ultimate form of authority of one man over another. Moreover, the intense bonds between common soldiers make them more willing to sacrifice life and limb to save their comrades. Without this structure of power in modern armies, modern warfare could not exist.Kropp proposes that the leaders who declared war should have to battle one another and suffer the consequences for their decisions. The imbalance between nations and their leaders sparks a conflict between them.
The expression of this conflict arises from an imbalance of power between leaders of nations and their citizens. Leaders can draft men for their armies and send them into armed conflict. Within the army itself, the imbalance of power between the common soldier and the officers further facilitates the armed conflict's prolongation. From the top level of power down to the bottom, there are increasing degrees of suffering and decreasing degrees of luxuries.Therefore, the imbalance of power allows very powerful leaders to declare war without suffering the worst consequences of their decisions. The common soldier must live with misery of the trenches and the psychological horror of actual combat. However, Kat attributes an instinctive desire for power and authority to man. He compares man to a dog in his desire for authority. As a civilian, Himmelstoss was a simple postman, and he snapped at the opportunity to enjoy authority over others as a Corporal in training camp.The irony of the army is that all the pomp and circumstance mean nothing on the front line.
All the marching, bed-making, bowing and scraping cease to exist in actual combat. The drill has more to do with the ability of a few men to luxuriate in the pleasure of demanding the submission of another. Himmelstoss's use of authority to order recruits to march, salute, and bow has nothing to do with combat. It is only one of the perks of his greater position of power.Moreover, when Paul and his friends talk about enemies, they do not speak of the soldiers on the other side. Instead, they view fellow country-men as the origin of their pointless suffering. They blame the petty power- hungry men like Himmelstoss and powerful leaders on their own side. The implication behind their discussion of the origins of the war and the structure of the army is that the common soldiers on the other side are victims like they are.
Oddly enough, however, those other men are the ones they must kill in combat.All Quiet on the Western Front - Chapter 4SummaryThe Second Company is assigned to the task of laying wire at the front. Everyone crowds into trucks. The drivers do not risk using light, so the trucks often lurch when they hit deep holes in the road. No one minds that they are often nearly thrown from them. A broken bone means they will not have to fight until it mends again. They pass a house, and Paul detects the cackle of geese. He and Kat agree to make a surreptitious visit later.The sound of gunfire and shells fills the air.
The veteran fighters are not gripped with fear like the new recruits. Kat explains to the recruits how to distinguish which guns are firing by listening to the blasts. He announces that he senses there will be a bombardment later in the night. The English batteries have begun firing an hour earlier than usual. The experienced soldiers change "imperceptibly." In the roar of guns and the whistling of shells, their senses sharpen.Paul regards the front as a "mysterious whirlpool." Already, he feels its pull. For the soldier, the earth takes on a new significance.
He buries his body in it for shelter. It receives him every time he throws himself down in a fold, furrow, or hollow. Often, it takes him in forever. At the front, a man's ancient animal instincts awaken. They are a saving grace for many men who obey them without hesitation. Often, a man drops to the ground just in time to avoid a shell he did not even hear coming. On the front, men transform from soldiers to "human animals."The soldiers carry wire and iron rods to the front.
Shortly before they arrive, they extinguish cigarettes and pipes. After they lay the wire, they try to sleep until the trucks arrive to drive them back. Kat's prediction about the bombardment is correct. Everyone scrambles for cover while the shells land around them. Paul attempts to replace a terrified recruit's helmet on his head, but the boy cuddles under his arm. Paul places it on his behind to protect it from shell fragments. After the shelling lessens, the recruit comes to and notices with embarrassment that he has defecated in his pants. Paul explains that many soldiers experience this problem at first.
He instructs the boy to remove his underpants and throw them away.They hear the wrenching sounds of wounded horses. Detering is particularly horrified because he is a farmer and he loves horses. After the wounded men are gathered, those in charge of the job shoot the wounded animals. Detering declares with disgust that using horses in war is the "vilest baseness."As the trucks drive them back, Kat becomes restless. A flurry of bombs lands around them. The men take cover in a nearby graveyard. Paul crawls under an uncovered coffin for protection. Kat shakes him from behind to tell him to put his gas mask on.
After he dons his mask, Paul helps a new recruit don his mask. Afterwards, he dives into a hole left by an exploding shell. Shells seldom hit the same place twice. Kat and Kropp join him. Paul takes a breath on the valve, hoping that the mask is air tight. Sometimes they are not, and the victims die, coughing up blood clots from their burned lungs.Later, Paul climbs out and notes that one man not wearing his mask does not collapse. He tears his mask off and gulps fresh air.
The shelling has stopped. Paul notices a recruit lying on the ground with his thigh a mass of flesh and bone splinters at the joint. It is the recruit who defecated in his pants earlier. Kat and Paul know that he will not survive his wounds. Kat whispers that it will be more merciful to end his life with a gunshot before the agony of his wound begins to torment him. They are not able to complete their plan because other people are emerging from their holes. CommentaryDuring The Great War, laying barbed wire was one of the most unpopular jobs on both sides.
It was also an extremely dangerous job. After a period of massive bombing, soldiers had to return and lay wire where it had been blown away. The job had to be conducted at night, and the darker it was, the better. If they were to lay the wire in daylight, they would be picked off by snipers or bombed promptly by the other side.Even the drivers of the trucks transporting the Second Company to the front dare not turn on their headlights for fear of attracting attention. Soldiers could easily suffer a fatal accident during such moments because the roads are so treacherous. The work itself is heavy and unpleasant, and it is made all the more difficult by the darkness.
The soldier does not even have the protection of the trenches and a lit cigarette, or flash of light from an exploding shell, is enough to give away their position to the enemy.Even though the darkness is the soldier's chief protection, it also gives rise to the psychological torment of not being able to see the enemy. A soldier can never be sure a sniper does not have a gun trained on him. He can never be sure that a flash of light has not given his position away. The only thing on which he can rely is pure animal instinct, throwing himself to the earth when he senses danger. Paul's description of the soldier's relationship with the earth is full of the metaphors of sexual acts and the child's relationship with its mother. The earth is a dense symbol representing all the archetypal human relations: desire, love, need, and even death.
It is shelter that saves his life as well as the final resting place for his dead body.Paul's description of the experienced soldier's reaction to the front strips the romanticism out of the war experience. He does not speak of the honor and glory of fighting for one's country. The soldier does not really fight for his country on the front. He fights for his life. He relies on animal instinct to save him from bullets and bombs, and he concentrates on acquiring food, clothing, and shelter, not on some abstract ideal of patriotic duty to the fatherland.The recruit's first trip to the front is a test of fire. If he cannot immediately shed his illusions about the war, and the useless elaborate drills of the training camp, he either goes mad or dies.
His training camp can do nothing to prepare him for the front. The real training begins with gaining experience on the front. He must learn to cope with constant fear, uncertainty, bombardment, and violence by becoming a "human animal."World War I soldiers had to face the possibility of new weapons for which they are not prepared. Poison gas was one of those weapons in The Great War. Germany was the first side to use poison gas in the war. The leaders of Germany claimed that France had used chemical weapons first, so they felt justified in breaking the terms of the Hague Convention. The soldiers on the other side were utterly unprepared for the chlorine gas that crept towards their trenches.
England and her allies quickly developed gas masks for it, but only after a number of painful, agonizing deaths.Afterwards, chemists on both sides researched furiously to find various gases and methods of delivery. Often the winds blew the gas back into their own trenches. By the end of the war, mustard gas, chlorine gas, and phosgene were being used. The effects on the victim were utterly unbelievable. Some fell where they lay and turned black. Mustard gas was odorless, and it did not take effect for twelve hours. Huge blisters rose on the victim's skin, and he often suffered blindness.
Chlorine gas destroyed the respiratory systems of many victims. Those who received a lethal dose not strong enough to kill them faced a slow, agonizing death, coughing up blood clots from their damaged lungs while gasping for breath.In the early days of poison gas, there was a delay between its introduction and the development of a mask to protect soldiers against it. Before then, they could do nothing other than flee the poisonous cloud. Snipers from the other side could pick them off as they fled the trenches. Because gas was a new weapon, soldiers learned how to avoid injury and death only through experience. Masks were only part of this endeavor.
They learned that gas lingered in the shell holes and trenches longer only after seeing others make the mistake of removing their masks too soon.All Quiet on the Western Front - Chapter 5SummaryEvery soldier on the front is constantly infested with lice. Tjaden, tired of killing them separately, scrapes them off his skin with a wire into a boot-polish tin. He kills them by heating the tin with a flame. His lice have red cross on their heads, and he jokes that he got the at a hospital where they attended to the surgeon- general. Himmelstoss has arrived, proving the rumor true. He was observed excessively tormenting some recruits and sent to the front as punishment. Muller begins asking everyone what they would do if the war ended suddenly.
Albert says the war will not end, but Muller persists. Kat mentions his wife and children. The younger men mention women and getting drunk. Haie says he would become a non-combat army man since digging peat is such a terrible occupation. Tjaden states that he would concentrate on getting revenge on Himmelstoss. Detering would return to manage his farm.Himmelstoss approaches their group. Their lack of recognition of his authority disconcerts him.
He orders Tjaden to stand, but Tjaden moons him in response. Tjaden rushes off to hide before Himmelstoss returns with the authorities. Muller continues with his questions. They calculate that there are only twelve men left out of the twenty from their class who joined the army. Seven are dead, and four are wounded. One went insane.
They recite questions Kantorek shot at them in school. All of their schooling seems pointless now. They wonder how they will get used to civilian jobs since they never had any before they went to war. Paul cannot even imagine anything. Albert concludes that the war has destroyed everything for them. They are not impetuous youths any more, but men perpetually on the run. They cannot believe in anything except the war.Himmelstoss returns with the sergeant-major. Paul and the other refuse to tell him where Tjaden is.
The sergeant- major solves the problem by declaring that Tjaden must report to the Orderly Room within ten minutes. They resolve to torment Himmelstoss every moment they get. Himmelstoss returns later to demand they tell him where Tjaden is. Kropp remarks sardonically that men will rush to obey his orders on the front while they are being killed and maimed by the dozens. Himmelstoss storms off.Later that evening, Kropp and Tjaden undergo trial for insubordination. Paul and the other relate the bed- wetting incident, and the presiding lieutenant gives Tjaden and Kropp light punishments.
He lectures Himmelstoss about his behavior. Tjaden receives three days open arrest, and Kropp gets one. Paul and the others visit them and play cards where they are enclosed by a wire netting, the confines of open arrest.Kat and Paul bribe a driver of a munitions wagon with two cigarettes to take them to the house where the geese are kept. Paul climbs over the fence and enters the shed to find two geese. He grabs both and slams their heads against the wall, hoping to avoid a commotion. The maneuver does not work, and they cackle and fight with him furiously before he manages to escape with one goose in hand.
Kat kills it quickly, and they retreat to an unused lean-to to cook it. They have to eat it quickly before the theft is discovered. They keep the feathers to make pillows. Paul feels an intimate closeness with Kat as they roast the goose. They eat their fill take the rest to Tjaden and Kropp. CommentaryThe rate of infestation by lice in the trenches was close to one hundred percent during World War I. De-lousing was completely pointless, since a man was infested again within hours.
The de-lousing techniques rarely killed the eggs on his body and clothing. Besides the continual discomfort of itching and scratching, the lice were a source of typhus and Trench Fever. Trench Fever was rarely fatal, but it often removed a soldier from combat. If the soldier did not receive medical leave, it weakened him and thus made him even more vulnerable. Soldiers often removed clothing only to see it teeming with swarming lice. It seems that the cloth moved of its own will.The sanitary conditions in the trenches were terrible.
Soldiers rarely had an opportunity to bathe, so they learned various methods of de-lousing themselves for temporary relief. Picking them one by one and bursting them between finger nails was too tedious and it was a losing battle because there were so many. They learned to use candles and wire to scrape them off in large numbers, and it took no small amount of skill and practice to avoid burning themselves.Muller's persistent questioning about his friends' post- war plans reveals why the young generation of men who enlisted right out of school is termed "the lost generation." Older men who had pre-war jobs and families regard the war as an interruption in their lives that will eventually end. They had concrete identities and functions within society. Younger men like Paul and his classmates had no such concrete identities. They entered the war when they were on the threshold of their adult lives.
None of them have definite answers to Muller's questions.Many of the lost generation regarded the war as something that could not possibily end because they could not imagine anything else. They gained their identities as soldiers. Their experiences of the war were so shattering that many could not imagine functioning in a peacetime environment. Haie gives the most definite post-war plans, but even his answer involves remaining in the army. He still cannot imagine himself as anything but a soldier. Paul and his younger comrades cannot imagine functioning in civilian jobs after what they have seen and done. Their curt answers to Muller's questions betray a certain anxiety about the end of the war.
It is almost as if they fear the end of the war as much as they fear the war itself. Thinking and planning for the future requires concrete forms of hope. The horror of trench warfare does not allow them to have hope other than the desire to survive. They have no experiences as adults that do not involve a day to day fight for survival and sanity.Paul and his younger comrades' only definite plan for the future is to exact revenge against Himmelstoss. Tjaden even defines his post-war plans in terms of avenging himself against Himmelstoss. Paul ironically notes that their only goal is to "knock the conceit out of the postman." Their army experiences have infiltrated their thinking to such an extent that these experiences form the basis for their only goals. School, learning, and their education seem completely useless now. Kantorek used to strike fear into their hearts, but now he seems ridiculous and superfluous to their existence. The petty humiliations of Himmelstoss loom much larger in their minds.Moreover, peacetime social relations can never approach the intimacy or intensity of a soldier's bonds with other soldiers.
Paul marvels at the flood of emotion he experiences while roasting the stolen goose with Kat. He and Kat would never have known one another in peacetime, but the war brought their lives together in a crucible of horror. Their shared suffering makes peacetime concerns and friendships pale ....
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