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Unformatted text preview: Back at the front in springtime, Paul perceives war as a kind of disease, "the cause of death like cancer and tuberculosis, like influenza and dysentery." His mind refuses to focus on the carnage, which leaves craters on both the physical and emotional landscape. No one remembers what existed prior to the war, and the only fleeting enjoyment is in the brotherhood of soldiers. Life is "limited to what is most necessary," such as whether to eat in case a later belly wound would be complicated by food. Paul tries to think of the positives and hang on to them "against the onslaught of nothingness." As time goes by, the shell between sanity and insanity is broken. The German line, buffeted into shreds, disintegrates into a "bitter struggle from crater to crater." So desperate do the men become as the English surround them that they urinate into the empty case that holds water to cool the...
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- Fall '08