He stresses hubris, the Greek concept of excessive pride, as seen in Himmelstoss' enjoyment of his power over young recruits and Kantorek's strutting chauvinism. He depicts Paul as the vulnerable infantryman, whose importance to the world cataclysm lifts him to the level of an everyman. He extends his canvas over a vast setting — the Western Front, which is described as a five-hundred-mile human wall pitted against the Allied assault. He celebrates male bonding, just as the Iliad emphasizes Achilles' love for Patroclus, whose death overpowers his control of emotions. He focuses on blind chance, over which humans have no power. He maintains an objectivity toward the slaughter of a war, the proportions of which involve a long list of nations that mirror the suffering experienced by all soldiers — German or otherwise, even enemies. In terms of the central intelligence, the novel veers sharply away from epic tradition of the noble
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2011 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.