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All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front

by Erich Maria Remarque

Sacrifice Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

While they (the pontificating teachers and politicos) continued to write and talk, we saw the wounded and dying. While they taught that duty to one's country is the greatest thing, we already knew that death-throes are stronger. (1.49)

Who sacrificed here? It was the young men, the real people of Germany who gave of themselves for ideals espoused by people who did not actively fight.

Quote #2

The idea was low but not ill-conceived. Unfortunately it accomplished nothing because the first assumption was wrong: it was not laziness in either of them. Anyone who looked at their sallow skin could see that. The matter ended in one of them always sleeping on the floor, where he frequently caught cold. (3.62)

Even before they go to the front, soldiers sacrifice their health for the sake of duty. What does their "sallow skin" suggest? Why do you think Himmelstoss feels he needs to punish the men so harshly, rather than sending them to seek medical help?

Quote #3

We want to live at any price; so we cannot burden ourselves with feelings which, though they might be ornamented enough in peace time, would be out of place here. (7.6)

The soldiers give up their day-dreaming and their memories of home for the sake of preserving their lives. How would such dreams and memories interfere with their desire to preserve their lives?

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