| Quote #4
"What times we had. How I wish those dear days were back."
Mike’s questionably sarcastic wish that the war was back is telling. Can it be that the war gave him a sense of purpose that he’s now lacking?
| Quote #5
It was like certain dinners I remember from the war. There was much wine, an ignored tension, a feeling of things coming that you could not prevent happening. (13.57)
Obviously, the feeling of warfare (now psychological) carries over into this postwar period; now that the actual fighting is over, the battles are on the emotional level.
| Quote #6
Mike started toward him around the table. Cohn stood up and took off his glasses. He stood waiting, his face sallow, his hands fairly low, proudly and firmly waiting for the assault, ready to do battle for his lady love. (16.32)
Cohn, who never experienced the real horror of war, still clings to the romantic notion of chivalrous battle, a concept that World War I destroyed for everyone who participated in it.