| Quote #1
But on the last day an astonishing number of English field guns opened up on us with high-explosive, drumming ceaselessly on our position, so that we suffered heavily and came back only eighty strong. (1.4)
About 10 million soldiers died over the course of World War I, the most expensive war the world had yet known. Check out Shmoop History: "World War I" for more information. World War I was the first war in which machine guns were used. At times, we feel like it is easy to forget that our narrator fought for Germany, the side against which Americans fought.
| Quote #2
Katczinsky is right when he says it would not be such a bad war if only one could get a little more sleep. In the line we have next to none, and fourteen days is a long time at one stretch. (1.5)
How do these soldiers keep sane and how do they maintain their energy without sleep and with very little food? Do you agree with Kat that the war wouldn't be so bad if the soldiers were able to sleep more?
| Quote #3
The soldier is on friendlier terms than other men with his stomach and intestines. Three-quarters of his vocabulary is derived from these regions, and they give an intimate flavor to expressions of his greatest joy as well as of his deepest indignation. (1.42)
Our narrator speaks so politely about fart jokes! We almost have to read this part three times in order to understand what he's talking about. Why do you think soldiers are "on friendlier terms" with their intestines?