All Quiet on the Western Front
How we cite our quotes:
We had to recognize that our generation was more to be trusted than theirs. They surpassed us only in phrases and in cleverness. The first bombardment showed us our mistake, and under it the world as they had taught it to us broke into pieces. (1.63)
What does it mean to trust one generation more than another? Did the older generation lie to Paul and his peers? Who in this book belongs to the "older generation"?
I collect the things, untie Kemmerich's identification disc and take it away. The orderly asks about the pay-book. I say that it is probably in the Orderly room, and go. Behind me they are already hauling Franz onto the waterproof sheet. (2.57)
Paul's tone here is dismal, but journalistic. He reports on what he sees, but he doesn't tell us how he feels about what he is seeing. At first he refers to Kemmerich by his last name, and, a few sentences later, he refers to Kemmerich by his first name. Why do you suppose he does this?
That evening's work made us more or less content to leave next morning. And an old buffer was pleased to describe us as "young heroes." (3.82)
What the heck is a "buffer"? To whom or what is Paul referring? Do you consider him and his friends to be "young heroes" for having kicked Himmelstoss's butt?