All Quiet on the Western Front
by Erich Maria Remarque
All Quiet on the Western Front Home Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
And men will not understand us – for the generation that grew up before us, though it has passed these years with us here, already had a home and a calling; now it will return to its old occupations, and the war will be forgotten – and the generation that has grown up after us will be strange to us and push us aside. We will be superfluous even to ourselves, we will grow older, a few will adapt themselves, some others will merely submit, and most will be bewildered; – the years will pass by and in the end we shall fall into ruin. (12.6)
Why will the next generation "push" Paul's generation aside? Is he referring to the way in which his generation pushed aside those older? These young men who came of age fighting in such a horrible war have no lives to return to. The war was their first real life experience – they know nothing else.