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Quotes

Quote #4

"In the army in peace time you've nothing to trouble about," he goes on, "your food's found everyday, or else you kick up a row; you've a bed, every week clean underwear like a perfect gent, you do your non-com.'s duty, you have a good suit of clothes; in the evening you're a free man and go off to the pub." (5.38)

What is Haie's life like at home? What alternative lifestyles does he have in peacetime? Do you think he really knows what it is like to be a non-commissioned officer in peacetime?

Quote #5

Detering is paring with his words. But on this subject he speaks. He looks at the sky and says only the one sentence: "I would go straight on with the harvesting." (5.50)

Can you imagine being at a place in your life where all you want to do is to go back to work? Detering's in great danger of losing his farm and home. How can a soldier endure the war with no home to dream about?

Quote #6

Their stillness is the reason why these memories of former times do not awaken desire so much as the sorrow – a strange, inapprehensible melancholy. Once we had such desires – but they return not. They are past, they belong to another world that is gone from us. (6.100)

This section makes us sad. The soldiers are losing their dreams and hopes, and their memories only make them more and more sad. But why? What are the "desires" that Paul refers to in this passage?

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