If he does not go through a civilizing experience at that time in his life he will not be a civilized man. What do you think I want? We don't want to take the world by storm. This is no parade ground. Up at the front you're alive or you're dead and that's all. We are not youth any longer. Paris itself was a modern city that seemed islanded in the past, and there were island countries, like Mexico, where Americans could feel that they had escaped from everything that oppressed them in a business civilization.
And this is only one hospital, a single station; there are hundreds of thousands in Germany, hundreds of thousands in France, hundreds of thousands in Russia. At first they were ''astonished, then embittered, and finally indifferent. She will read it, and in it he will be speaking to her. . And I cooked for 150! We've lost any desire to conquer the world. When it comes to dying for your country it's better not to die at all! Paul's flat tone throughout the novel emphasizes this numbness: he often passes off a friend's death as if it is a common occurrence--which it is.
The causes of war are always falsely represented; its honour is dishonest and its glory meretricious, but the challenge to spiritual endurance, the intense sharpening of all the senses, the vitalising consciousness of common peril for a common end, remain to allure those boys and girls who have just reached the age when love and friendship and adventure call more persistently than at any later time. How can democracy, as we understand it today, with its iron repression of the free spirit, its monotonous standardisation of everything, learn to cherish an intellectual aristocracy without which any nation runs the risk of becoming a civilisation of the commonplace and the second-rate? Still, it is hard to see the one-dimensional Kantorek as anything other than the object of accusation. A hospital alone shows what war is. And that is why they let us down so badly. The first bomb, the first explosion, burst in our hearts.
I was a soldier, and now I am nothing but an agony for myself, for my mother, for everything that is so comfortless and without end. It must be all lies and of no account when the culture of a thousand years could not prevent this stream of blood being poured out, these torture chambers in their hundreds of thousands. They eat mass-prepared food together as if out of troughs and use the outdoor latrines together. And up there we know we're lost and done for whether we're dead or alive. We believe in such things no longer, we believe in the war.
It claimed millions of lives and cripped bodies and destinies of even more people. This is a psychological condition in which one experiences fear, nervousness, and other symptoms long after a traumatic event has ended like war, for instance. Three years we've had of it, four years! Never before had humans seen death and destruction on such a large scale. Paul remembers his life at home when he had goals and when he strived for doing good in school to get a job. Tjaden: The kaiser and me. Tell them why you went, and what it meant to you.
A man would like to spank them, they are so stupid, and to take them by the arm and lead them away from here where they have no business to be. All Paul knows is war and there now is no way does he feels he can return and live the normal life he had planned. Three-quarters of his vocabulary is derived from these regions, and they give an intimate flavour to expressions of his greatest joy as well as of his deepest indignation. And what Kat said, he had thought about. Hair-peak soldier: Well, he never had a war before. I am so alone, and so without hope that I can confront them without fear. The life that has borne me through these years is still in my hands and my eyes.
Still I do not give up hope. Their intimacy is also tinged with homoeroticism Paul's fondness for Kat as they cook a goose together goes beyond mere friendship. This passage is the epigraph to the novel, telling the reader what the book is intended to be and mapping out some of its basic stylistic and thematic ground. I do not indeed, go to my room any more, but comfort myself with the thought that a few days are not enough to judge by. The dilemma becomes a very real one: How can this sense of democratic equality be made compatible with respect for exceptional personalities or great minds? The first shell to land went straight for our hearts.
And our bodies are earth, and our thoughts are clay, and we sleep and eat with death! The first bombardment taught us better. However it may seem, this is not gratuitous violence simply for the shock factor, nor is simply included to add realism to the novel. This undoubtedly meant that every single reader had been affected by the novel in many different ways which unfortunately for Remarque may have been an effect that he never intended. Those who have not served do not often think of the torment and negative consequences that the soldiers who make it out of war face. You drink yourselves to death.