unigo_skin
Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Quotes

Quote #1

The wisest were just the poor and simple people. They knew the war to be a misfortune, whereas people who were better off were beside themselves with joy, though they should have been much better able to judge what the consequences would be. (1.58)

People with more money have access to more information, so why, our narrator asks, are they so joyful about this war? Paul perhaps suggests that people who are less well off know how hard it is to survive in the world without the help of a war. What examples of money do we see in this novel?

Quote #2

Under the skin the life no longer pulses, it has already pressed out to the boundaries of the body. Death is working through from within. It already has command in the eyes. Here lies our comrade, Kemmerich, who a little while ago was roasting horse-flesh with us and squatting in the shell-holes. He it is still and yet it is not he any longer. (1.72)

Paul personifies death in this moment, making it seem like an all-powerful being that wins over a body. Paul has seen and witnessed so much death in his young life that he knows very certainly that his friend is dying.

Quote #3

But the shelling is stronger than everything. It wipes out the sensibilities, I merely crawl still deeper in the coffin, it should protect me, and especially as Death himself lies in it too. (4.88)

Again, Paul personifies death, even choosing to capitalize it. In a way Paul survives by hiding behind death.

Advertisement
Advertisement
back to top