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Quotes

Quote #1

I imagined leave would be different from this. Indeed, it was different a year ago. It is I of course that have changed in the interval. There lies a gulf between that time and today. At that time I still knew nothing about the war, we had been only in quiet sectors. But now I see that I have been crushed without knowing it. I find I do not belong here any more, it is a foreign world. (7.173)

How would Paul define "home?" What aspects of his home are the most difficult for him to face?

Quote #2

There were many other staff corporals, the majority of whom were more decent. But above all each of them wanted to keep his good job there at home as long as possible, and that he could do only by being strict with the recruits. (2.15)

No wonder all of the military leaders seem so unlikeable – all of the good ones, the uncorrupt ones, do everything they can to stay as far away from the Front and as close to their families as possible. The result is that the soldiers are exposed to lots of power-trippy authority figures.

Quote #3

On the right side of the meadow a large cannon latrine has been built, a well-planned and durable construction. But that is for the recruits who as yet have not learned how to make the most of whatever comes their way. We look for something better. Scattered about everywhere there are separate, individual boxes for the same purpose. They are square, neat boxes with wooden sides all round, and have unimpeachably satisfactory seats […] we move three together in a ring and sit down comfortably. For two hours we have been here without getting up. (1.38)

So the soldiers hang out on their mobile toilets together, out in the open. That's pretty awesome.

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