Study Guide

All Quiet on the Western Front Chapter 12

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Chapter 12

  • Paul notes that not many old-timers are left. Peace talks never really happen. He has fourteen days' rest from swallowing gas and he is contemplative. He is flooded by feelings – "greed of life, love of home, yearning of the blood, intoxication of deliverance" (12.4).
  • He knows that if he and his fellow soldiers return home now, there will be no glory, that he will be isolated and not understood.
  • He stands up bravely after this train of thought, as if now fully ready to face Death, to lose to it: "Let the months and years come, they bring me nothing more […] I am so alone, and so without hope that I can confront them without fear" (12.10).
  • The last paragraphs of the book are just a must-read:
  • [Paul] fell in October 1918, on a day that was so quiet and still on the whole front, that the army report confined itself to the single sentence: All quiet on the Western Front.

    He had fallen forward and lay on the earth as though sleeping. Turning him over one saw that he could not have suffered long; his face had an expression of calm, as though almost glad the end had come

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