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Quotes

Quote #4

When a man has seen so many dead he cannot understand any longer why there should be so much anguish over a single individual. So I say rather impatiently: "He died immediately. He felt absolutely nothing at all. His face was quite calm." (7.239)

Even though Paul has suffered through many of his compatriots' deaths, and even though he feels deeply every time he sees a dead body, the war has forced him to become hardened to feeling anything. Perhaps he grows impatient at this moment with Kemmerich's mother because he is in danger of being emotionally affected by her grief. If he begins to explore his sadness, he might never recover from it.

Quote #5

In the branches dead men are hanging. A naked soldier is squatting in the fork of a tree, he still has his helmet on, otherwise he is entirely unclad. There is only half of him sitting up there, the top half, the legs are missing. (9.66)

The soldiers do not just witness death as a result of gun or knife wounds. This is a new kind of war with technology so powerful that one weapon can kill many men at once. Death is redefined by this war.

Quote #6

Parting from my friend Albert Kropp was very hard. But a man gets used to that sort of thing in the army. (10.236)

Paul is constantly stashing his emotions away. Something tells us that his parting from Kropp is more than just "very hard." There's something very abrupt about the way Paul describes this parting, especially after how hard he fought to stick with Kropp.

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