All Quiet on the Western Front Ch. 6-9
Terms in this set (28)
Why do the men joke about death?
They see coffins newly made and lined up against a schoolhouse that are clearly made for any of them that get killed in battle - they must joke or they could go crazy with fear and anticipation.
According to Paul, why must every man believe in his chance and trust his luck?
Because there is not much else here that they can trust. "No soldier outlives a thousand chances. But every soldier believes in Chance and trusts his luck.
Describe the men's battle with the rats.
They lure the fat rats out with gnawed pieces of bread and then fry them with their pocket torches. Then they throw the dead rats over the wall and wait to strike again.
How do the men know they are really cut off from all help when they are being attacked?
Food is not even able to be brought up to the front, and anyone that tries to go back with injuries is not able to.
What happens to the young recruits during an attack? What is most important to them?
They freeze and cannot fight. They simply cower in a corner. They get claustrophobic in the trenches and run out to not go crazy and end up getting shot. Also, they are listening so intently for the big bombing sounds that they miss the slight whistle of a shot coming straight for them. They have not developed the instinct that their "seasoned" companions have.
To what level are the men reducing during an attack? What is the most important thing to them?
The become "wild beasts," turning almost robot like. Life is most important.
Describe the night that the men spend listening to the wounded men cry out for help.
Because there are so many dying men to bring in, sometimes it takes a while for them to get to all of the men. One man groans, and they cannot find him because he is probably "lying on his belly and unable to turn over." With his mouth to the ground, it is nearly impossible to detect where his cry is coming from. Some of the men go out three times in the night to look for him, but every time they think they are close, the cry seems to be coming from a different direction. They are promised three days of leave on the second day if they find him, but they cannot. He cries for help and then slips into delirium, trying to have conversations with his wife and children. Finally he dies on the morning of the third day (seems like a reverse of the resurrection of Jesus).
How does Himmelstoss react in battle?
He panics. He gets a small scratch and pretends to be more seriously wounded so that he might not have to leave the trench, but Paul comes to get him. He seems to be going crazy like a dog with rabies, crouching in the corner and nearly foaming at the mouth. Paul gets mad that the young recruits should be out there while Himmelstoss is cowering in a corner even as a Corporal. Paul makes him go out to the fighting. He is only "awakened" by the commands of a superior lieutenant to come with the rest to the front.
Describe the scene in the field when the battle is over. What do the men see?
They see Haie Westhus with his lung nearly bulging out of his back and others with their skulls blown open. Still, others run around on stumps because both legs have been blown off but the shock keeps them running on the stumps.They see a lance-corporal dragging his shattered knee behind him and men without jaws or mouths or faces. Another man has his arm's artery in his teeth to clamp it off so that he won't bleed to death.
How many men did the company lose?
They started with 150; they lost 118; they have 32 remaining
How does Paul feel about the brunette he meets? Are the feelings returned?
He is giddy, somewhat afraid, and he feels comforted by her face and its gentleness. He feels that her presence may be able to help him momentarily escape from the horrors of the war. No - She seems to show no emotion when Paul has to go on leave. She is not invested as he is.
What feelings does the picture of the girl in the white dress invoke?
They feel excited, happy, joyful, and want to be the man in the white trousers next to her to lure her by their charm. (Are they attracted to her "innocence" unmarred by war?)
How does Paul feel about being home?
He feels that all of the questions and praises that he receives are empty of the knowledge of what it is really like on the war front. He cannot see life normally anymore. There is an unspoken barrier between his present self and the past of his youth.
What are his mother's reactions to his visit? His father's?
She has saved food for him to come home even though they are always low on rations at home. She doesn't want to hear anything of the war except to be reassured that it is not as bad as some report. His father is proud and wants to show Paul off to his friends
What has happened to Kantorek?
He has been called up as a territorial. Mittlestaedt rules over him and pays him back for all of the degrading that Kantorek did to him in school.
Why is Paul repulsed by the conversation he has with his German master?
Because he acts like he knows what is going on with the war, but only speaks the same foolish babble that Kantorek would rave about concerning the courageous duty and spirit of a soldier. He also speaks of strategy when he is not even out on the front and pushes Paul to be the one who plows forward. He is basically clueless as to what is really happening
Tell about Paul's visit with Kemmerich's mother. Why does he persist in lying to her?
She weeps and cannot understand why her son had to die while Paul got to leave (Is it Chance as Paul suggests?). She wants to know how he died, and Paul lies to her saying that he got shot through the heart and died immediately. No suffering was involved. She does not believe him until he swears that he is willing to never come back himself if what he says is not true. On the one hand, he wants to preserve her the grief of believing that he suffered, but on the other hand, he cannot comprehend how one man's life is so precious after having seen so many die. He is not convinced by her insistence upon swearing this or that to tell the truth because he does not hold anything sacred anymore and has discovered that the place can no longer be home to him. He has changed too much.
Why does Paul say he should have never had a leave?
t is only a pause which makes everything after it so much worse. Out on the front he was able to block all emotion out to be hopeless yet indifferent. Coming home has caused him to face some of his feelings which will only make the war afterwards so much worse for him. At home, he realizes that he DOES have feelings for others, but out on the front if one tries to feel, it will only destroy him mentally and emotionally.
Why do the soldiers at the camp on the moor become so close to nature?
Because they feel so alone. Being alone causes them to be quiet and observe and appreciate nature. Nature is safe companionship that cannot die. Even if "she" seems to die, it is only for a season. They also do all their drills outside in the nature
Describe the Russian prisoners. Why does Paul feel sorry for them?
"They look like meek, scolded, St. Bernard dogs." They seem nervous and afraid and go about like beggars taking the scraps from the Germans' garbage piles. Because he realizes their humanity. They look just like any of the other peasants in the farmland of Germany. Many of them have dysentery and are barely staying alive without the nutrition they need. They exchange far too much of their own possessions only to get one night's meal. Paul believes that they are more brotherly and human towards each other than his own countrymen are towards one another. Paul realizes that it is only because he has been commanded so that these Russians are his enemies.
What is wrong with Paul's mother? Why is his father afraid to ask the surgeon how much her operation will cost?
She is dying of cancer. Because he knows that if he asks the doctor, the doctor will automatically assume that Paul's father cannot afford it and thus, will not do the surgery, since he thinks he will not be getting paid. Though they have received some assistance in the past, they cannot anymore because "Mother" has been ill too long.
Why is it hard for Paul to spend time with his family?
He knows that he cannot fix their problems which are very real, but he also feels so disconnected from them after being on the front. Also, all they have to talk about is his mother.
Who is the Kaiser?
The emperor of Germany
How do the men prepare for the Kaiser's visit?
They are issued all new uniforms (to borrow), and there are so many drills and attention to perfection.
The men have a discussion about who starts war. What conclusions do they reach?
That even if the Kaiser had said no to the war it would have happened because the government is more than one. They also conclude that the French believe that they are in the right just as much as they do. They decide that a war is started because the State (government) is offended by another country. Though they have been told that they are fighting for their fatherland, it is really for the political game that they are fighting, which they really have no vested interest in. They also speculate that the emperor may secretly want the war for a claim to fame in history books.
What type of damage do trench mortars cause?
They can blow you right out of your clothes/in half.
What happens to Paul on scouting duty? How is he saved? How does he feel about his comrades?
He gets lost in the trenches and looses his sense of direction therefore ending up on the enemy line. After killing Duval, he runs for safety from trench to trench during the cover of night until he finds Kat and Albert. They are nearer to him than lovers. They share the same fear and life.
Who is Gerard Duval? How is he affected by his death?
He is the enemy man that Paul stabs to death when he falls in the pit that Paul is hiding in when behind enemy lines. He almost goes mad with the time that he slowly watches the man die - his thoughts and that "time" bring him closer to madness. Even after Gerard is dead, Paul drives himself crazy thinking about what his wife will be doing at that very moment and when she gets a letter from Gerard in a few months that he wrote before dying. Paul talks to the dead man about how he did not want to kill him but only did because he jumped into the trench nearly on top of Paul. He talks to him about how they were only enemies because of the uniforms that they wore. He asks Gerard for forgiveness. Paul vows to help his wife and children. He will write to them (or so he says until he reads their letters and is too stricken by guilt and pain). He vows to be a printer when he returns to civilian life as Gerard was and to live for Gerard and his family alone.
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